6 deeper stretches for runners

6 deeper stretches for runners

If you’re looking for a deeper stretch for your quads, hamstrings, or glutes, try these individual stretches.

1. Quads: Keeling quadriceps stretch against a wall
With a wall behind you, kneel on the floor on one leg, with the knee of your rear leg bent and the toes of your rear foot resting against the wall. Extend forwards from the hips so that you feel a stretch at the front of your thigh (of the front leg). Take care if you have ankle problems, and stay tall in your upper body to avoid compressing your lower back.

2. . Hamstrings: Bent-leg standing hamstrings stretch
Be thoroughly warmed up before you attempt this one. Standing on one leg, position one foot on a chair or ledge and bend your upper leg deeply, moving your chest down onto your thigh. Keeping your chest low, gently try to straighten your upper leg.

3. Glutes: Cross-legged sitting gluteal stretch
Start in a cross-legged position with your back upright. Your shins should be parallel to your body and your feet should be as far out to the sides as you can get them. Keeping a straight back, bend forwards with arms outstretched.

4. Downward-facing dog
Keep your feet hip-width apart and your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your legs straight, keep your hips high and lengthen your heels towards the ground (don’t worry if they don’t reach). Press your palms and fingers flat into the ground; you should feel as though you’re trying to push the floor apart between your hands and feet. You can enhance the stretch by shifting your weight from one leg to another, by gently bending alternate knees. Stretches your hamstrings, calves, achilles tendons, back and shoulders.

5. Lying spinal twist
Start on your back with both legs straight. Hug your right knee in towards your chest, and hook your right foot behind your left knee. Then roll to your left side, so your right knee touches the floor. Extend your right arm towards the floor on your right side at head-height, and turn your head to look along it. Relax into the posture, then repeat on the opposite side. Stretches your gluteals, lower back, upper back, shoulders, arms and chest.

6. Forward-bend shoulder stretch
From standing with your feet hip-width apart, fold the body over at the hips, interlacing your fingers together. Your head should be facing the ground with your quads tensed but your neck relaxed. Putting your hands on your hips before you stand back up avoids possible lower-back strain. This stretches your hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and arms.
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