3 fast stretches to do instantly after ending your run or run


After running a race, it’s tempting to hunker down in the nearest chair and stay there until your legs say otherwise. But allowing time for a few quick stretches before dropping down can be very helpful.

For one thing, gentle movements like stretches can help lengthen the muscles you just worked out during your run, including your hamstrings, quads, calves, shoulders, and neck muscles. By stretching those muscles — which tighten during labor — you’ll give them much-needed relief and prepare them to work harder the next time you put on, Physical Therapist Brando Lakes, DPT, Co-Founder of kinesadelic in New York, says SELF.

Stretching will also help you feel better after your run, or after any run, really think: less stiff and sore. Additionally, specifically stretching the back of the leg from the knee down can help reduce your risk of common runner conditions such as calf strains, Achilles tendinopathy (which causes pain in the back of lower leg or above the heel) and plantar fasciitis (which causes pain down the bottom of the foot toward the heel), Lakes says. And stretching the front of the leg from the hip to the knee can reduce your risk of developing hip flexor strains (causing pain in the front of the hip), runner’s knee strains (pain at the front of the knee) or IT band syndrome (which can cause pain outside the knee or hip), he adds.

In short, there are several compelling reasons to stretch after your run, and the good news is that you don’t have to make stretching a huge, complicated production. That’s why we’ve got a simple three-move sequence you can easily do after your next big run. The routine below, which Lakes created for SELF, will provide relief in key areas including your quads, hamstrings, calves, and upper body.

You don’t need any equipment to perform these quick stretches, and all of them can be done without sitting or lying on the floor, making this an easy sequence to do in public. Another benefit: This streak can serve as a warm-up before your next run, Lakes says, as long as you perform dynamic versions of the stretches instead of holding fixed positions.

Do the following quick stretching routine shortly after your run or run. Hold the stretches for the time suggested below, or as long as you feel comfortable. Remember that stretching may not be very pleasant, but it should never be painful.

Quick warning: depending on the distance covered and the intensity of the run, the following sequence may not be enough to calm you down. However, it will still do you good and may even hold you back until you have more time for a more thorough stretch. Every stretch counts!

The stretching routine

What do you need: Nothing, no carpet needed here.


  • Standing Dynamic Hamstring Stretch
  • Stretching the hip flexors
  • Overhead Triceps and Shoulders Stretch


  • Hold each stretch for the recommended duration or reps, then move directly to the next stretch.
  • Complete a lap in total. Do not hesitate to repeat if necessary if you have a little more time!

Demonstration of the movements below are Grace Pulliam (GIF 1), aerial yoga and vinyasa yoga teacher in New York; Jessica Rial (GIF 2), a plus-size (200-HR) yoga instructor and passionate advocate for fitness and wellness for all bodies; and Caitlyn Seitz, New York-based group fitness instructor and singer-songwriter.

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