New Runners – Stretch guide

In this lockdown I have seen more people getting active and trying new things, one being more running. Therefore, I thought I would put a blog together to help new runners with stretches and mobility exercises that will help them stay injury free while they cannot get a sports massage.

It is important not to stretch cold, you can do a bit of skipping or do a gentle jog before starting your warmup. Mobility and stretching before your run:

  • Calf/achilleas stretch – use the curb to put your toe on the edge and drop your heel down
  • Side lunge and/or lunge 
  • Quad stretch – Stand on your left leg, one knee touching the other. Grab your right foot, using your right hand, and pull it towards your glute
  • Fire hydrant circles – these focus on the hips, 5 forward 5 backwards on each side
  • Hamstring stretch – simple hamstring scoop works well, or you can lie on your back and raise your leg up straight in the air

It is just as important to stretch after your run, some like to do it straight away, others like to do it post shower while their muscles are still warm.

  • Lying hamstring stretch – same as number 4 above but you can add a dressing gown cord or a therapy band around your foot to get a stronger stretch
  • Lying glute stretch – Lie on floor or mat. Bend knees with feet on floor, cross lower leg over thigh of other leg. Grasp back of thigh of lower leg with both hands and pull leg toward torso.
  • Couch stretch – this targets the hip flexor. Bend your left knee and place your shin along the back cushion of a couch with your toes pointed upward, keep your left thigh in line with your body. Place your right foot in front, aligning your knee above your ankle.
  • Upper calf stretches – Stand with one foot in front of the other, front knee slightly bent. Keep your back knee straight, your heel on the ground, and lean forward
  • Lower calf stretches – Stand with one foot in front of the other, front knee slightly bent, bend your back knee, keeping your heel on the ground (if struggling look up soleus stretch on YouTube)
  • Forward bend – feet shoulder width apart, keep your legs straight (knees soft) and bend forwards from the hips, relax into the stretch

There are so many more that you can do but here are some to start you off. Foam rolling is also a brilliant tool to use so I would highly recommend investing in one if you haven’t already.

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