Best Stretches Post-Run

For the longest time I hated running because it always hurt my hip-flexors and lower back. It took some time to realized it was because I wasn’t stretching. Running can put a lot of stress on your body and joints causing pain if you’re not stretching properly. Stretching really is such an important part to keeping your body moving, pain free and also injury free.

I’ve put together 5 of my favorite stretches to do post run while your muscles are warm.  So bookmark this post and open it back up after your next run.

Kneeling Hip-Flexor 

With one knee down, place the other foot on the floor in front of you. Ease into the stretch with your hands on the floor or on yoga blocks. Slowly start to press your hips toward your front heel and keep your core engaged. If you’re able to you can bring your hand onto your knee or even in the air to let gravity help you stretch.

If you’re ready for a more intense stretch, reach and grab your back ankle then pull towards your body while still sinking towards the floor with your hips.  If your chest is too tight you might struggle grabbing your ankle so you can place your knee at the base of a wall and have your foot and shin rest up the wall as you find the stretch.

Kneeling Hamstring 

With one knee down, place your other leg in front of you with your heel down and toes up. Try to get your leg as straight as possible, you can use yoga blocks if you can’t yet touch the floor. In this position stick your butt back and lean forward with a flat back. Flexing your foot or bringing your toe back towards you can intensify the stretch on the back of the leg. Also, try swaying your toes to the right and left. 

Child’s Pose

Start on your hands and knees, bring your toes together and sit down onto your heels letting your chest sink between your knees. Keep your arms long and reach away from you after a few breaths bring both hands to the top right side of your mat, then the left. This is great to help stretch your lower back, hips, ankles and the sides of your body. 

Downward Dog

Start on your hands and knees, press down into your hands as you lift your knees off the floor and lift your hips towards the ceiling. Try to get your legs straight, you will feel a stretch  in the back of your legs, calfs and even back. In this position you want to keep your ears away from your shoulders, core engaged and heels pressing towards the floor. 

Piriformis Stretch 

Either start laying on your back or sitting down. If sitting starting with both legs straight cross one ankle over the opposite knee and then bend your straight leg to get your foot flat on the floor. The closer your foot is to your body the more of a stretch you will feel. You can also push yourself towards your legs to deepen the stretch.

If laying down bend knees and have both feet on the floor. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee, then grab your hamstring or shin and pull both legs towards you. (Sorry I couldn’t demo the laying down version, my rib is still broken and causes pain when I lay down. But this is my favorite way to do this stretch.)

Thanks for reading! I hope these stretches help you. I know they made a big difference for me to avoid hip-flexor pain and stiffness in my back after running. I would love to hear from on how these stretched felt for you.