The sore feeling post run can feel like a victory. But, there is a happy medium here.

Running provides a forward pull on your groin and leg muscles repeatedly. If you’re not stretching, your muscles will shorten.

Cue the domino effect.

With shortened muscles, your muscles are less flexible and weaker. This means you won’t be able to properly extend them all the way. The end of this story results in joint pain and muscle damage.

If you’re running for health or joy, skipping the pre and post stretch is not worth the long term damage.

Stretching for running is simple and only takes a few minutes before and after your run. The right stretches will allow you to maintain flexibility and endurance.

Keep reading to find out the essential stretching for runners.

Stretching For Runners

We suggest breaking out your yoga mat now and trying them out as you read. Take this moment to learn how to ease in and ease out of your run or jog. Making stretching a habit is a sure way to having better health.

Piriformis

This muscle stabilizes the area between the hip and pelvis. Every step you take, you activate this muscle.

For this stretch, you’re basically an inverted chair. First, lie on your back and then bend your left leg. Next, place your left ankle on the front of your right leg and pull your right thigh towards your chest.

Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and then do the other leg.

Groin

Embrace your power stance for this stretch.

Your groin area includes the muscles between your thighs and your stomach. To stretch your groin, place your feet in a wide stance with your hands on hips.

Shift your weight back and forth so that one leg is bent and one leg is straight. Hold each side for 15-20 seconds. Repeat until the desired stretch is achieved.

Hamstrings

Your hamstring muscles hang out on the back of your thighs from the hip to the knee. You’ll need a cord for this stretch. You’ll have to lay down on your back.

To start this stretch, place the loop of the strap around one of your feet. Using the cord, gently pull your leg upwards. After 30 seconds, switch to your other leg.

You’ll feel the stretch the higher you pull your leg.

Lower Back

This stretch is quite simple but a total lifesaver for your back. It’s a sister stretch to the fetal position.

Lying on your back, hug your knees to your chest and hold for 30 seconds. If you need an extra 30 seconds, please go ahead and hug out that pain!

Beyond running, stretching your lower back is a great way to start your morning.

Final Lap

If running clears your mind and keeps you in shape, then you have to maintain your body. Without stretching you won’t be able to continue to reap those benefits. Stretching for runners is one of the best ways to keep your muscles ready for the next mile.

Want to practice with the stretching pros? Check out our programs to learn more!