While you may know that stretching is important before and after runs, you may not be as familiar with the stretches you should be doing. With so many options and variations out there, we can’t blame you! In this blog, we’ll go into five easy and effective stretches you can do for optimal performance on the track, the road, or wherever your runs take you. As with all stretching, go into and out of the stretch slowly and stop if you’re feeling pain.
1. The Knee Hug
The knee hug will ease tension in your back, which can build up from poor posture and during your day-to-day routine.
- While lying on your back, hug your shins while bringing them toward your chest.
- Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds (or longer).
2. Standing Quadricep Stretch
Miles of running can lead to tight quads. For this important stretch:
- Stand straight and keep your feet hip-width apart.
- Grab your right foot, and bend it backward while keeping your knee pointed at the floor.
- Hold for up to 30 seconds. Repeat with your left leg.
3. Hamstring Stretch
A tried-and-true stretch, this will get your legs (and hamstrings, in particular) ready for any type of run and serves as a great way to ease tension after you’re done.
- Sit with both legs fully extended.
- Lean forward with your trunk and try to reach for your toes while keeping your legs extended.
- Hold stretch for 30 seconds.
4. Wall Calf Stretch
After miles of running, or even after a short distance, your calves can truly feel the burn. The wall stretch is easy to do and pinpoints your calves.
- Face the wall and keep your legs hip-width apart.
- Put your hands on the wall and lean forward.
- Hold for 30 seconds. Both legs can be stretched at once, or you can do one leg at a time.
5. Leg Swings
This simple motion loosens up your leg muscles and will work every part necessary for a good run.
- While holding onto something for support, swing your leg forward and back.
- Be sure to keep your trunk vertical while moving your leg.
- Do 10 repetitions with one leg and switch.
Stretching is an integral part of your running routine, and so is your choice of socks! Feetures’ graduated compression socks for men and women are perfect for long-distance running. And be sure to use our Sock Finder Quiz to find the perfect pair for you!