After a hard run, it’s tempting to just collapse on the floor. Or head straight to the fridge for a rewarding beer or juice. But there’s a lot of sense in adding some post run stretches to your after-run routine. They can help improve your flexibility, comfort and performance next time you go out for a run.

Why post run stretches work

Old school thinking used to concentrate on pre-exercise stretching. But modern wisdom points out that stretching warmed up post-run muscles can be far more effective.

By targeting certain muscle groups, post run stretches can help keep you limber and even reduce the risk of injury.

The best time to do these is pretty much directly after you have completed your run. It may seem troublesome at first but the long-term benefits make it well worth it.

Which muscles should you target?

There are various post-run routines out there. But the main areas that should be given stretch treatment are the quads (along the front of the thigh), hamstrings, calfs, groin and the iband.

Again, it depends who you listen to, but each stretch should be held for 40-60 seconds to have maximum effect.

This video shows you an easy routine to follow.

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How do I know if I’m doing it right?

If you are particularly inflexible, then when you stretch your hamstrings for example, you’ll experience some trembling. It’s important here not to over stretch or you risk inflicting injury on yourself.

The secret is not to expect too much in a short length of time. Consistently stretch after your runs and you’ll slowly see improvement in your flexibility.

By adopting a post run routine that includes thorough stretching, you should see some performance improvements.

If you want to see how to warm up for a run check out this post here.

Any comments about post run stretches, drop them below.