There is a long debate going on among sports experts, fitness freaks and scientists. Should you stretch before or after a run?
No. 1: Don’t stretch cold muscles. No. 2: Don’t overstretch. Use your breath and take your time and always listen to your body.
Before doing static stretches, try to mobilise your joints and warm up your muscles with f.e. a simple 10-minute walk or warm-up jog.
Stretching can increase your flexibility and your range of movement (ROM). It enhances your dynamic strength. It can help you to reduce soreness after a long run and to prevent injuries. Further, it helps you to improve your blood and lymphatic circulation. And it makes your body feel good and relaxed after a powerful run.
Meglio presents you the top 10 stretches for runners. GOLDEN RULE: Make sure you feel the stretches in your muscles and not in your joints.
#1 Standing quad stretch
This one is the most well-known stretching exercise for runners. You are in a standing position. Bend your right knee and grab your foot with your right hand. Bring the foot to your buttock. You will now feel a stretch through your quad muscle. For more support, lean your other hand against a wall. Take some breaths and switch to the other leg.
#2 Kneeling quad stretch
Similar to the standing quad stretch is the kneeling quad stretch against a wall. This stretch comes with more support and stability from the ground and the wall. You are in a kneeling position with your back facing the wall. Slide your right shin towards the wall (your shin now touches the wall). Your left leg is bent in front of you. Now you can play with the intensity of your right quad stretch by pushing your hips slightly forward. Don’t compromise your straight spine and uplifted chest. Take your time and switch to the other side, when ready.
#3 Lying glute stretch
You are in a lying position with your feet against the wall and your knees in a right angle. Put your right foot over your left knee. By dropping the knee outwards, you can feel a stretch in your glute muscles, and you have a great hip-opening sequence as well. Hold here for some moments, bring your foot back against the wall and switch to the other side.
#4 Groin stretch
You are in a seated position with your back straight. Palms of the feet are touching. Now grab your feet with your hands and slowly bring your feet closer to your centre. You can intensify the stretch by pushing your knees to the ground.
#5 Standing forward fold
You are in a standing position. Keep your legs and back straight and your feet hip-width apart. Now tense your quads and place your hands on the hips. Hinge from the hips with a straight back. Feel the stretch, take some breaths and come back up without collapsing in the spine.
#6 Cross-legged forward fold
Similar to the classic forward fold is the cross-legged forward fold. You are in a standing position and put your right foot across your left foot. Both feet are flat on the ground. From here, place your hands on your hips and hinge your hips with a straight back. Hold it there and with control come back up and take the left foot in front of the right one.
#7 Seated forward fold
Sit down with your legs straight on the floor and bring your feet together. For variations, you can keep your knees slightly bent. Fold from the hips, make sure you keep your spine straight. Pause when you feel a slight stretch in the back of your legs. Take some breaths here and if you feel like go a little bit further.
#8 Calf stretch
Make a small step forward with your left foot and put it in front of your right foot. Bend your left leg and keep the right one straight. Keep your right foot flat on the ground. Now you can play with the intensity of your calf muscle stretch by shifting the hips forwards and backwards. Hold for a few seconds and repeat it on the other side.
#9 Piriformis stretch
Lie on your back and keep your legs straight. Keep your left leg straight on the floor and lift your right leg and interlace your fingers beneath your right thigh (knee is bent). Now pull your right knee towards your chest. Take some breaths here, release and take it to the other side.
#10 Side body stretch
Bring yourself in a standing position with straight legs and closed feet. Extend your arms overhead and grab your right wrist with your left hand. Now, pull your right arm to the ceiling and slightly to the left and simultaneously push your hips to the right. Make sure your body is straight and does not collapse. You can feel a stretch throughout the entire right side of your body. When you are ready, take it to the other side.
Take your time while doing stretches. You can hold each stretch up to 30 seconds or as you feel. Post-run stretches can help you to increase your flexibility and reduce soreness. It also allows your body to recover faster. Take advantage of the top 10 stretches for runners presented by Meglio.
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Meet James Watts (JP) @jpwatts1980 #TeamMeglio Legend & Rower turned Triathlete ????♂️ ????♂️ “Originally I’m from Grimsby and I spent 10 years rowing before taking up triathlon. The rowing season for me would always finish at the end of June (Henley Regatta) and I wanted something to keep me fit over the summer, so a few of the guys from my crew signed up for an Olympic distance triathlon.” Follow his journey along with all our Meglio athletes on the Meglio hub & across our social media channels. Link in bio ✅ #rower #rowing #triathlon #triathlete #ironmatri #ironman #ironmantriathlon #triathlonintheworld #triathlonlifestyle #trilife #swimbikerun #swim #bike #run #marathon #instatriathlon #instarunners #instarunning #teammeglio