Running or jogging utilises many of the body’s muscles, specifically those in the legs, feet as well as back. Forgetting to stretch after running may cause muscles to become tense and painful, which could keep a person from attaining their fitness goals.
Individuals should stretch after every run while the muscles are still warm and maintain each stretch for between 10 and 30 seconds. It is useful to focus on breathing in and out throughout the stretch. Stretches should not cause you pain, and a person should stop the stretch immediately if they are finding it painful. In most cases, it is very possible to change a stretch to tailor it to the individual’s level of flexibility.
The do’s and don’ts of stretching:
- Don’t stretch cold muscles. It is much better to stretch after a run than beforehand.
- Do stretch lightly before speed work, and after a 10-minute warm-up jog.
- Ease into each stretch. Make sure that don’t bounce or force it.
- Before speed work, maintain each stretch for between 10 and 15 seconds.
- After a run, make sure that hold each stretch for 30 seconds. And then, repeat once or twice on each leg.
- Avoid certain stretches that can hamper your performance or increase your risk for a pull or tear.
The Knee Hug
Up to 80% of adults suffer from, lower back pain during their lifetime. Triggers of lower back pain include heavy lifting, as well as prolonged sitting, however poor recovery after running, may also lead to back problems. The knee hug could stretch out the back muscles as well as relieve tension.
To do this stretch:
- Lie down on a mat. Make sure that your back is flat on the floor.
- Slowly bend your knees and bring them in close to your chest.
- Grasp your shins, pulling them in gently, and hold for 30 seconds.
- Steadily lower your legs back down to the floor.
Lying Gluteal Stretch Against A Wall
- Keep your ankle of your front leg just below your knee. Make sure that you’re sufficiently close to the wall for your lower back to be off the floor.
- As gravity slowly brings your lower back towards the floor, you’ll be feeling a stretch in your muscles around the side of your buttocks.
- Alter the angle of your hips and front knee in order to intensify the stretch.
This asana stretches the muscles in the back of your torso and your shoulders.
To perform Child’s Pose:
- Kneel down on a mat with your toes pointed out behind our body and the buttocks resting on the back of your feet.
- Bend forward at the waist and then slowly lower the chest down to the knees.
- Stretch your arms above the head. The hands need to be flat on the mat, and your elbows need to be straight.
- Gently reach forward and then hold for 30 seconds.
- Bring your arms back in and slowly sit up.
If you want to learn more about how your body works then you should check out our Exercise Science Certification. Follow this link to find out more.