The Best Stretch Routine for runners: Guided by a 200-Mile Athlete
Looking to prevent injury and optimize performance on your next run? This guided stretch routine for runners is the perfect 10 minute stretch to get you ready to crush your next run. Learn the best stretches for running from our founder and 200-mile athlete, Ryan The RaveRunner® Lange.
Follow along with the best guided stretch routine for runners below. Here we describe each stretch in depth. We recommend you held each stretch for 30 seconds, but going for longer will never hurt!
Our first exercise in our stretch routine for runners is the pigeon pose. This does a great job of stretching your entire hamstring. First, put your left leg out in front of you bent on a 90-degree angle. Now, square your hips, and push your chest into your leg. You should feel the stretch from your hammy all the way into your butt. This move will also elongate the muscles in your lower back.
The psoas muscle is the most neglected out of all muscle groups but is probably the most important muscle to stretch. put one leg up and stand on your other knee. Push your knee back until you feel a stretch in the front of your hips (psoas). Now lean into this and drop your tailbone to the ground. try and twist your back heel in towards your body, you will experience a deeper stretch. This particular stretch will give you a longer stride and enable you to stand up straighter while you run instead of being hunched over.
Stretching the hamstring is omnipotent when preventing injury while running. That is why we stretch it in multiple different ways. Stick your left leg out diagonally and sit your butt on your right heel. Your foot should be propped up on your toes. Grab the inside of your left leg and pull your belly button to your foot. Here we get more leverage by propping our body up on your foot. This allows us to press deeper into the stretch.
Put your left leg on the ground like the pigeon pose, but keep your other leg standing on your knee. Grab your foot with your right hand and drive your left elbow into your left knee. You should feel this stretch in the side of your hip.
While this may seem intimidating, it is much easier than it looks. Start by inching your legs out until you feel the stretch in your inner legs and then lean your butt back until you feel the stretch go even deeper. Hold here for 30 seconds and then get out of the stretch by leaning all the way forward.
This stretch is easy to do and highly effective. Lay on one side and grab your ankle with your hand on the corresponding side. Pull your foot toward your low-to-mid back and drive your knee backward. You should feel this all the way from your groin to your knee.
My personal favorite stretch in this stretch routine for runners. Start on all fours and then sit back on your feet. Do your best to rotate your heels in so that the stretch deepens. You should experience a stretch from the top of your shin down to the base of your toes.
The calf is a commonly pulled muscle due to the lack of stretching. Start in a downward dog position and pick one leg off the ground. Keep the leg that is holding you up bent at a 90-degree angle. Drive your heel into the ground and feel the stretch in your lower calf. After 20 seconds, extend the leg holding you up so that it is straight. this will move the stretch to your upper calf.
Finally, let’s do a supine twist to adjust our lower back. Lay on your back, bend your knee into your chest, and fold it over your body. With the opposite hand, pull your knee across your body. This should stretch your lower back and if your lucky, you’ll experience a nice crack.