Stretching After a Run: Why It's So Important

Stretching After a Run: Why It’s So Important

May 1, 2016

If you’re an active runner, do you view the final step of your run as the end of your workout? Don’t forget that stretching after you run is a vital part of your exercise routine, too.

Read on to learn why stretching after running is so necessary and what stretches are the most effective.

For additional ideas on stretches or exercises or to set up an appointment for injury rehab in Brampton, contact the physiotherapists at Paramount Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Clinic.

Why Stretch After Running?

Stretching after running gives your body the chance to shake loose lactic acid buildups. It also keeps your muscles supple after putting them through their paces and can help prevent injury.

You’ll also find that your range of motion improves when you stretch after running. If you’re working on building your flexibility, you’ll likely find you can reach further during an after-run stretch than when your muscles are cold. That’s because warm muscles are more pliable.

What Stretches Should I Do?

Quadriceps stretch: This muscle running along the front of the thigh is engaged heavily during running, so you may feel exhaustion and soreness here after a long or challenging run. To help ensure that soreness does not become an injury, use a wall to help you perform this incredibly beneficial stretch.

Using the wall to stabilize yourself, reach back and grab your right ankle and pull it up and back until you feel the stretch in the front of your thigh. Remain upright by keeping your core engaged and your hips in line with each other. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds before switching legs and repeating the stretch on the other side.

Calf stretch: Be sure not to neglect this smaller muscle, as tight calves can interfere with your overall stride and cause other injuries. Place your hands against a wall and lift your toes up so they are touching the wall while your heels remain on the ground, your leg is straight or your knee is slightly bent.

Lean forward into the wall until you feel the stretch in your calf. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds before switching legs and repeating the stretch on the other side.

IT band stretch: IT band syndrome commonly affects athletes and often results from overuse stemming from running or cycling. It can surface in the form of knee pain. The IT band can become inflamed with overuse. Stretching lessens your chances of this syndrome.

To perform an IT band stretch, stand straight and cross one leg over the other and hinge down at the waist until you feel a stretch in your back leg on your outer thigh. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds before switching legs and repeating the stretch on the other side.

Hamstring stretch: While standing, place your right leg slightly in front of you and rest on your right heel, then bend into the stretch slightly with your left leg, hands on your hips. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds before switching legs and repeating the stretch on the other side.

Find out more about the injury rehab services offered at Paramount Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Clinic in Brampton by calling 905-455-4488 today!

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