Running can leave us feeling stiff and sore the next day, which is why it’s important to stretch or cool down. It can also help prevent injury, allow the body to recover and regulate your blood pressure. Stretching is most effective after a run when the muscles are warm and more elastic.
The 5-10 minutes you spend after your run will determine how well you will recover from your workout. It’s also going to largely determine your vulnerability to injuries and will impact your ability to improve your performance over time. While so beneficial, spending that 5-10 minutes to cool down and stretch is often overlooked by most runners.
Our osteopath Marissa Mitchell can’t emphasise enough the importance of warming up and cooling down with appropriate exercises when you go out for a run. In an earlier post, Marissa shared her top exercises to do before you hit the track to support your muscles, tendons and joints, enhance your recovery and improve your performance. You can read all about static and dynamic stretching, and watch the recommended exercises here.
4 after run exercises for optimal recovery
Stretching immediately after your run is important, particularly if you’re recovering from an injury, as your muscles are warm and more supple. Following just a few exercises can help target those muscles that work the hardest during your run and end up feeling tight. By helping the muscle fibres elongate, stretching can improve your recovery and the body’s ability to heal. Stretching post your run can also help to enhance your range-of-motion and flexible which let’s face it, we could all benefit from!
The following exercises Marrisa recommends are designed for you to incorporate into your post-run routine. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds before you move onto the next one. If your muscles are feeling sore and achy, reach for the Whole Body Health & Wellness ‘Muscle Recovery Squad’ pack and consider booking an appointment with Marissa in Geelong or Ocean Grove who can design an individually tailored treatment program that can help protect you from injury and improve your performance.
1. Glut Stretch
2. Hip Flexor
3. Hamstring Stretch
4. Quad stretch
That wraps up our series on running tips! Remember, if injuries are affecting your running performance or your spending your rest days feeling sore and tight, book an appointment today with Marissa at our Geelong or Ocean Grove clinic. As an osteopath, Marissa can help ensure you’re training for your body and fitness goals as well as recovery optimally.