Any dedicated mover worth her weight in activewear knows the importance of stretching, and whether you’re an avid yogi or a committed cardio queen, a good stretch is the ideal way to round out your workout. With run season now well and truly underway, we thought there was no better time to share our top 5 stretches EVERY runner needs to practice each time you plan on pounding the pavement, to help reduce the risk of injury, aid recovery and keep those muscles long and lean!
If you struggle with balance, you can hold onto a wall or chair. Starting in a standing position, cross one leg so your ankle sits on the opposite knee (making the number 4). Slowly sink into a 90 degree sitting position to feel the stretch through your bottom, holding for around 20 seconds each leg.
Standing Quadricep Stretch
Again, starting in a standing position (holding the wall or a chair for balance). Bring one foot up to your buttocks, holding onto your ankle, and pushing the hips forward. Make sure you stand tall! Hold for 20 seconds, then switch.
Standing Calf Stretch
Starting in a standing position, step one foot slightly back behind you (just enough so your foot is flat on the ground). To stretch the calf muscle, simply lean your upper body slightly forward and feel that fabulous stretch! Go slowly with this one, holding for around 20secs before you switch to the opposite leg.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Starting in a kneeled position, place one foot forward firmly on the ground, keeping your chest up, and push the hips towards your front leg. This opens up the opposite hip flexor and allows for a great stretch! Hold for 20 seconds and then repeat on the opposite leg.
Single Leg Hamstring Stretch
Sitting on the floor, bring your legs out to a V position. Bend at the knee and bring one foot to your leg (almost creating a number 4). To stretch the hamstring, slowly reach towards your outstretched foot – go slowly! Hold for 10 to 20 seconds depending on your flexibility, and switch legs.
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