The best stretches for runners are going to focus on the areas that will likely bring us the most injuries:
- Tight hips
- Tight calves
- Tight IT Band
Another area that is often OVERLOOKED is the inner thigh. As with the other areas, when tight it can pull the knee out of alignment.
After that if you have a few minutes pick out 2-3 stretches and get on it. But do plan to spend some time later in the day doing a little more stretching on especially tight areas and then go on about your day. Now is the time where you can do those static stretches which are forbidden prior to a run.
At this point, studies show you need to hold the stretch for 1 minute minimum to get the maximum impact! So that’s why I graciously said to just pick a couple to do each day because I know you won’t spend 10 minutes here.
The reason static stretches are beneficial after a run (never before) is because it helps the muscle to release the tension created during the run and continue to improve circulation. That circulation is what’s carrying all the nutrient rich blood to your muscles to jump start the repair process.
Plus, we know that tight muscles cause things to pull out of alignment and then our form gets all wonky and then we have pain and then well we aren’t running. So…ya…just stretch for a minute will ya?