14 Aug What to Do After You Run
footinjuryclinic’s Podiatrist Trevor Proskewitz gives you step-by-step instructions on how to stretch correctly after a run.
After you do a run, make sure you cool down properly. Jog or walk for about 200 metres, then spend a few minutes stretching the muscles you have worked. Running causes the muscles to shorten; stretching helps them re-establish their resting length so you don’t feel stiff afterwards. To stretch your muscles effectively, you need to move gently into the stretch until you feel slight pulling – but never pain.
When you do the stretches below, make sure to hold each stretch for 30 seconds, ideally repeating at least twice each side.
Quad stretch (front of thighs): Take your right leg up behind you, lifting the foot and taking hold of it with your right hand. Keep your pelvis in a neutral position – don’t arch the back – and gently pull the foot in towards your bottom, keeping your knees close together. Feel the stretch along the front of the thigh of the bent leg. Swap legs.
Calf stretch (back of lower leg): Take your feet a stride length apart with the right leg back and the left foot forward. Bend the front knee, keeping the back leg straight, press the right heel down to the floor. Make sure your back foot is pointing forwards. You should feel the stretch in the middle of the calf. To feel the stretch lower, bring your right foot forwards a little and bend both knees, and sink down into the back heel. Swap sides and repeat.
Hip flexor stretch (front of hips): Adopt a lunge position with your left foot forward and take your right knee to the floor with the lower leg extended behind it. Your front knee should be at around a 90-degree angle. Now tuck the pelvis under and press forward from the hips until you feel a stretch along the front of your hip and thigh. Swap sides.
Hamstring stretch (back of thighs): Lie on the floor on your back. Loop a long bath towel around your toes and hold the ends of the towel in both hands. Slowly pull on the towel to lift your straight leg up. Be sure to keep your knee straight. The leg without the towel should remain flat on the ground.
Bring your leg up until a stretch is felt behind your thigh. You may also feel a stretch behind your lower leg in your calf. This is normal. Repeat each leg.
Glute stretch (bottom): Start by sitting tall with your legs out straight in front of you. Now bend the left knee and take the left foot across your right thigh, planting it flat on the floor. Place your arms around the left knee and gently draw it across the body, keeping the foot on the floor. Swap legs.
(Source: The Guardian)