Runners often complain about tightened hamstrings, loosen them up before running with this simple stretch. Lay on the floor and lift one leg in the air. Place a towel in the arch of your lifted foot. Pull the towel toward you as you push your lifted foot against the towel. Don’t force it, you should only stretch to the point your muscles contract. Repeat with other leg.
The piriformis muscle is responsible for the rotation of your hips. This muscle often tightens up on runners, so it’s important to stretch it out. First lie flat on your back with your legs extended. Then bend your left leg toward your chest and grab it with your right hand. Extend your left arm out to the side, away from you. Keep your shoulder blades squared and use your right hand to move your left knee to the floor. The lower part of your body should be sideways while your shoulders are still flat on the floor. Hold this pose for 10-30 seconds. Don’t force it, go as far as you are comfortable. Repeat on opposite side.
Your feet are essential to running, so of course you’re going to want to stretch them. Sit on the floor and stick your legs out in front of you. Loop a towel around your toes and gently pull the towel towards you. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds. For best results, repeat this three times. Proper foot stretching can prevent foot injury or the need for plantar fasciitis treatment.
Lower Back Stretch
Like many muscles in the body, your lower back muscles can become tense or even injured while running. Stretch it out by sitting on the ground with your legs crossed. Next lift you left leg and cross it of over your right. Bring the left leg toward your chest and twist your torso so you’re looking over your left shoulder. You should feel a good stretch in your lower back and hips. Only go as far as your body will allow. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Believe or not, there are muscles around the groin that can become sore after running without proper stretching. To do this simple groin stretch, begin by sitting on the floor and putting the soles of your feet together. Place your elbows on the inside of your knees and slowly lean over, pushing your legs to toward the floor. Please to not force the stretch. Stop if you feel any pain.