There are numerous benefits to stretching before you start running: It prepares your body for the workout to come and expands joint flexibility. But, if you forget to stretch after running, it can cause muscles to become very tense and painful, which can keep you away from achieving fitness goals.
Running or jogging uses multiple of the body’s muscles, particularly those in the legs, feet, and back and thus people should stretch after every run while the muscles are still warm and hold each stretch for around 10-30 seconds as it helps to focus on breathing in and out throughout the stretch.
Why you should be stretching regularly
- Helps to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate
- Reduce the frequency and severity of muscle cramps
- Reduce mental tension and may also help to decrease anxiety and depression
- Flexibility training can help to improve blood flow and circulation
- Muscles react better to the stress the body puts on them when they’ve been warmed up
Which stretches are best for runners
The knee hug: At least 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain due to heavy lifting and prolonged sitting. However, poor recovery after running can also lead to back problems. The knee hug can help you to stretch out the back muscles and relieve tension.
Lying hamstring stretch: As you pull one of your legs towards you, keep your upper body relaxed and both of your legs straight. Then turn the upper knee in towards your heart. Retaining the cord encompassing the foot of the bent leg, push away with the foot, trying to straighten the leg corresponding to the tension of the cord. You will feel the stretch higher up the hamstring.
Child’s pose: This pose helps you to stretches the muscles in the back of the torso and the shoulders. Take a mat, kneel on it with the toes pointed behind the body, and the buttocks were resting on the back of the feet. Then gently bend forward at the waist and slowly lower the chest down to the knees. Stretch the arms above the head. Keep in mind that your hands should be flat on the mat, and the elbows should be straight. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
Toe touch: This stretch can also develop the flexibility of the hamstrings. Stand with the feet collectively or shoulder-width apart. Keep the knees straight but not locked. Then bend your hips, slowly lower the head down toward the knees, keeping the back as straight as possible. The fingers will reach toward the toes. Hold this pose for 30 seconds, at least.
Shoulder stretch: Keep your legs straight, back straight, and feet hip-width apart. Hold your hips before you stand back up avoids possible lower-back strain. This will stretch your hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest, and arms.