Relaxing Post-Run Stretches for Fast Recovery

Post-run, you would be battling exhaustion and fatigue. Your breathing and heart rate would be soaring, and adrenaline would be rushing through your veins. One of the post-run routine challenges is how to get your body to cool down to normal conditions.

Your muscles may feel tense and painful after running, and you need to manage them carefully to prevent any chances of injuries and achieve your fitness goals. Thus, stretching exercises are essential for your post-run training.

Stretching exercises work great for providing comfort and flexibility at this juncture as your muscles are all warmed up.

Such stretching exercises target specific muscle groups that may get tightened after running. It ensures fast recovery during the post-run routine.

With stretching exercises, you can easily bring your body back to a normal state by breathing in and breathing out throughout the stretch.

There are varieties of stretching exercises, and you can choose the ones that match your level of flexibility.

Effective Stretching Exercises after Running

Whether you run on a treadmill or on-road, your body needs post-run stretching to relax. By doing so you are allowing your body to recover and perform better the next time.

Calf Stretch

When you run, your calf muscles are put under immense stress. Thus, you should do calf muscles stretching to relax them after your running. Stretching your calves helps you in avoiding shin splints.

  • Stand facing up an exercise step or a flight of stairs
  • Ensure to maintain a posture where your toes and the ball of your foot lie on the edge of the steps
  • If required, you can take the support of a railing or a wall
  • Now place the heel of the right foot on the floor while keeping the knee of the left leg bend
  • Maintain this pose for 30 to 60 seconds
  • Repeat the same steps with the left leg
  • This exercise results in stretching of the calf muscles

Kneeling hip flexor stretch

The hip flexors belong to the group of muscles found in the region where thighs meet the torso. Running may result in tightening the hip flexors that may result in the lower back and hip pain in the runners.

Runners with tight hips may find it difficult to lift their legs rapidly and make progress in their running. Thus, they must resort to kneeling hip flexor stretching exercises.

  • Stand upright and then move your right foot behind your body and rest your right knee on the floor
  • Place both your hands on your left knee
  • Try to lean your body forward slowly while straightening the right hip
  • Maintain this posture for 30 seconds
  • Now pull the right foot back and get back to an initial standing position
  • Repeat the same set of steps with the left leg

Standing quad stretch

The quadriceps or “quads” muscles are located in the front area of the thigh. Running may result in the tightening of the quads. This may lead to misalignment in the hips and back area resulting in intense pain.

The quads also provide support for your knees; therefore, tense and tight quads may result in knee pain. The stretching of quads helps provide improved flexibility and strength for alleviating pain in the hips, back, and knees.

  • Stand up with your feet wide apart. Place your left hand on a wall for balance.
  • Now bend your right knee and raise your right foot behind the body towards the hips.
  • Use your right hand for grabbing the right foot, and ensure that your right knee points towards the floor and presses against your buttocks.
  • Maintain this posture for at least 30 seconds
  • Repeat the same set of steps with the left leg

Hip and Back Stretch

Stretching the muscle groups of hips and back helps in alleviating pain in the lower back and hips.

  • Spread your yoga mat on the floor and sit on it with your legs stretching in the front
  • Gently lift your right leg and cross it over your left leg while ensuring that your left leg stays straight
  • Pull your right leg to bring it closer to your chest and bend your trunk for looking over the right shoulder
  • Maintain this posture for 15 to 30 seconds
  • Switch your legs and repeat the same set of steps

Hamstring Stretch

The hamstring stretching provides great flexibility for the hamstrings. Every runner must do this stretching after completing the run.

  • Spread your yoga mat and lie on your back
  • Extends your legs and keep your back straight
  • Ensure that your hips are levelled, and your lower back lies on the floor
  • Slowly bend your left knee and keep it extended on the floor
  • Straighten your right knee and use both your hands for grabbing the back of your right leg
  • Slowly pull your right leg towards you without lifting your hips from the floor
  • Maintain this posture for 20 to 30 seconds
  • Repeat the same set of moves with your left leg

Triceps Stretch

During running, your upper body propels forward in a thrusting motion. Thus, runners must stretch their arms after completing their run.

Follow these steps for stretching your triceps that are located on the back of your upper arm.

  • Move your right elbow across your body towards your left shoulder
  • Bring your elbow as closely as possible to the shoulder by using your other hand
  • Stop when you feel the stretch in your triceps
  • Maintain this posture 15 to 30 seconds
  • Repeat the same set of steps with your left elbow

Butterfly Stretch

The butterfly stretch works great for stretching the muscles of the groin area and inner thighs.

  • Spread your yoga mat on the floor and sit on it
  • Bend both your knees and bring them together in such a way that the bottom of your feet touches together and knees stay pointed in opposite directions
  • Grab your feet with your hands and gently bring your heels toward your body
  • Press your knees down to the floor and slowly lean forward. This results in the stretching of your inner thighs
  • If you can do it comfortably, stretch more by leaning forward and trying to bring your nose to the floor
  • Maintain this posture for at least 30 to 60 seconds
  • Get back to the starting position and repeat the same set of steps

Arms and Abs Stretch

The arms and abs stretching is perfect for improving the flexibility of your arms and obliques.

  • Stand with your feet slightly apart
  • Stretch both your arms above your head and hold the wrist of one hand with other
  • Gently drop your shoulders away from ears and lean back to your comfort level while maintaining your hips square throughout the stretching
  • Slowly straighten up and lean on your left side and then on your right side

Knee Hug Stretching

The knee hug stretching provides excellent stretching of the back muscles and relieves the tension that may have developed after the running.

  • Lie down on your exercise or yoga mat and keep your back flat on the ground
  • Gently bend your knees and pull them closer to your chest
  • Make a lock over the shins with your hands and pull them in
  • Maintain this posture for 30 seconds
  • Move your legs back to the starting position.

Low Lunge Stretch

The low lunge stretching provides a good workout for hip flexor muscles that work hard while lifting your legs during running.

  • Positioned yourself into a lunge position by keeping your upper torso straight and toes pointing forward
  • Ensure that your back legs are kept straight
  • Extend your hips forward and press down with hands till you feel stretching of the front area of hips and the top area of thighs
  • Maintain this posture for 30 to 60 seconds
  • Repeat the same set of steps by switching sides

Toe touch

Toe-touch stretching is the most commonly used stretching exercise by runners. It is meant for improving the flexibility of the hamstrings.

  • Stand with your feet together on the floor
  • Ensure that your knees are kept straight without being locked
  • Gently bend at the hips while lowering your head for touching the knees
  • Ensure to maintain the straight back as far as possible
  • Try to touch the toes with your fingers without stretching your neck too much
  • Maintain this posture for 30 seconds
  • Gently raise your body to get back in starting position

 Child’s Pose

This stretching exercise is meant for stretching the muscles in the back of the shoulders and the torso.

  • Begin by kneeling on your yoga mat with your buttocks resting on the back of your feet and your toes pointing behind your body
  • Gently bend forward and lower the chest down to your knees
  • Keep your hands flat on the mat by stretching your arms above your head
  • Ensure to keep your elbows straight
  • Slowly move slow forward and maintain this posture for 30 seconds
  • Pull back your arms and sit up slowly


Stretching exercises make up an essential component of the post-run routine of the runners. These are equally useful for both experienced as well as novice runners. These stretches improve the flexibility of the various muscle groups of the body.

With stretching exercises, you may alleviate the pain and stiffness caused by running. These stretches reduce the soreness and tightness of the muscles. Every runner should stretch all the muscle groups in the legs, lower back, hips, arms, and chest.


Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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