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My Post-Workout Stretch Routine

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!! :-D

I, for one, can’t believe it’s already here! For some reason, it doesn’t feel like it to me. One reason might be because I’m about to go get ready and head into work for a half day – gotta make that dough! Another – I didn’t have time to do any Christmas baking this year, which is unheard of for me! However, I do plan on whipping up some delicious homemade eggnog when I get home today ;-)

Streeeettttccchhhh

The following stretches are my go-to moves whenever I do any form of cardio and/or lower body strength training. It only takes about 5-10 minutes, and stretches just about every muscle/ligament/tendon from the booty down. These 5-10 minutes can really save your legs and body! Why, you say? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Stretching after you work out or warm up (never stretch cold muscles) has a multitude of benefits! Here are just a few:

  • Better performance; flexibility in a joint asks less energy to be able to move through the exercise
  • Increased blood supply and nutrients to the joints, and possibly better circulation
  • Decreased risk of injury
  • Improved muscle balance and postural and kinesthetic awareness
  • Decreased risk of lower back discomfort

 

And here are the eight stretches I do (per side) every. single. time. after a cardio or legs session:

 

Start out with an inner thigh stretch (you can start it on either side of your body) by leaning your torso to one side with that knee bent, stick your booty out as to make sure your knee stays behind your toes, and hold for 9 counts.

IMG_1329

Side note: In addition to stretching after a warm up and especially after finishing exercise, you should also hold a stretch for at least six seconds. It takes 6-10 seconds to elicit the stretch response from the neuromuscular system.

Next, pivot your body to the side of your bent knee into the frontal plane, and lean your torso forward to get a nice calf stretch (gastrocnemius,) like so:

IMG_1330

To stretch your deep calf muscle (soleus,) simply bend your knee slightly, and keep stretching your calf:

IMG_1331

From here, straighten your torso to be perpendicular to the floor, and sink down a few inches to get a great stretch in the hip flexors:

IMG_1332

It’s easy to stretch the quadriceps muscles from this position by dropping your knee to almost a 90º angle:

IMG_1333

Next, slide the stretching leg in, and bend slightly, resting your hands on that thigh, to support yourself while you stretch the hamstrings of the opposite leg:

IMG_1334

 

And simply point your toe to the ground to get a good anterior calf stretch:IMG_1339

A lot of people tend to forget this stretch, but it’s very important, especially if you run!   

Finish up by bringing the ankle of that leg on the the knee of the opposite leg, and sit down a few inches to get a nice gluts and hip stretch:

   IMG_1335    

Then repeat for the opposite side of the body, and you’re lower body is ready to go!

Actually…I just though of one important stretch that you should do if you’re a runner – the runner’s stance stretch! I typically add this in between the quad stretch and the hamstring stretch, and it looks like this:

Hurdlers Stretch

[source]

 

Hopefully a few of you got something out of this post – let me know whatcha think!

This post will be linked into the RAN Fitness tab at the top of the bloggy starting today! :-D I’m also going to start recording my workouts in that section, so ya’ll can see (and I can keep record of!) my workouts on a day-to-day basis!

 

Is your lower body stretch routine similar to this? What type of stretching do you do post warm-up or post-cool down?

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Comments

  1. I really need to stretch more. I just hate doing it so I always skimp on it!

  2. i’m TERRIBLE about stretching so thanks for the suggestions!

  3. Working right up to Christmas kinda slows down the “feeling.” Sorry:-(
    I also need to stretch more when I go to the gym. I usually just hop on a machine and go. But when I walk/run outside, I begin with a ten minute, warmup walk with old Buck, and I always stretch when he decides to stop for 4 to 5 various reasons:-)

    I love your pink top in those warm up pics!

  4. Mine is pretty similar. I also do a butterfly stretch to loosen my inner thighs. I always think that one feels good.

  5. Thank you so much for this post! I never realized how important stretching was until I got posterior tibial tendinitis last year! Stretching out your calves after working out goes along way in preventing this!

  6. I do that same sequence almost to a tee!

  7. Thanks for the trip! Merry Christmas Eve :)

  8. great workout info, Paige!

  9. Loved this!! Totally agree about the anterior calf stretch – adding that into my routine pretty much got rid of the lingering ankle pain I used to experience after runs. I have bad hips, so my routine also includes a few more hip and glute stretches. I basically sit in pigeon for three minutes after ;)

  10. Great post! I do some of those stretches but not all of them. Thanks!

  11. Christmas Eve was absolutely awesome, more great memories! And now, I have more ideas and equipment for indoor stretches etc. Wish I lived closer to a personal trainer.

  12. Great stretches! I love the half pigeon pose for my hips. Merry christmas!

  13. Thank you for this! I’ve been having a heck of a time finding a real good solid post-run stretch routine ANYWHERE!

  14. Awesome stretch routine! Thanks for sharing :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] RAN Lower Body Stretching Routine […]

  2. […] out of a working state. Stretching is key, too. You can find a great post-run stretch routine in my fitness […]

  3. […] Christmas Eve in 2009, I worked up until noon at the BIC. Oh, and I was also pretty miserable. Somehow, I mustered up holiday […]

  4. […] Post-Workout Stretch Routine – How I stretch out my lower body. I try to do this after every single workout! […]

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