The Best Stretches for Running

runner stretching

The best stretches for running prepare your body for whatever damage you are about to inflict, whether you like to take the trails, the road, or the treadmill. Your calves, ankles, glutes, hamstrings, and hips all have to be warmed up.

Here are the best stretches for running:

Best Stretches for Running Hamstrings: Modified Hurdler

stretching muscles-modified Hurdler

The hamstrings are the main muscles in the back of your thighs. The hurdler is one of the best stretches for running because this position warms up the hamstrings and stretches your hips while your thigh is rotated inwards, which few other exercises do.
To do the modified hurdler, sit on the ground. Straighten your right leg directly in front of you and place your left foot on the inside of your right thigh. Hinge at the hips and reach towards your right foot. Focus on keeping your leg straight, not on touching your toes. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

Repeat on the other side.

Best Stretches for Running Ankles: Short Arch Foot Exercise

Ankle impingement, tarsal tunnel syndrome, anterior shin splints, and chronic ankle instability are common in runners. Short arch foot exercises are one of the best stretches for runners because they reduce the likelihood of sustaining these injuries.

To do a short arch foot exercise, sit on a chair and put your feet flat on the floor. Draw your toes back towards your heel to shorten the foot. Keep your toes relaxed an in contact with the ground as your arch rises up. Hold the position for 2 to 5 seconds.

Repeat this 5-10 times on each foot.

Best Stretches for Running Quads: Standing Quad

standing quad stretch

Your quads cover most of the front side of your thighs. Exercising these leads to improved flexibility. An injury to the quad will affect your overall mobility as these group of muscles helps your knees move.

To do a standing quad, stand upright and pull one leg behind you. Reach down and hold your foot with the hand on the same side. Pulling your foot towards your glutes, focus on keeping your knees together and pushing your hips forward. If you need to, grab onto a chair for balance. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

Repeat on the other side.

Best Stretches for Running Calves: Lunging Calf Stretch

Your calf muscles make up the back part of your lower legs. Lunging calf stretches are one of the best stretches for running because they improve your mobility.

To do a calf stretch, do a small lunge by placing one foot in front of the other, bending the front leg while keeping the back leg straight. Lean into the front leg while keeping your back heal flat against the ground. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

Repeat on the other side.

Doing your stretches before each run to get more mobility and to reduce the chance of injury.

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