The main reason to stretch after running is to alleviate tight muscles, according to Runner’s World, whether it’s your calves, hip flexors or hamstrings. Tight muscles are more susceptible to injury. That said, here are some great yoga stretches you can perform after you run.
This exercise can strengthen your upper body while stretching muscles you used during your run. Start by assuming a push-up position, with your arms fully extended and balls of your feet or shoes on the floor. Keep your back and legs in a straight line and hold for five to 10 seconds or breaths, then relax.
Kneeling Lunge/Low Lunge
To stretch your thighs and groin, kneel on the floor with both hands in front of you. Slowly move both hands forward until you’re leaning on your knees, then move your right foot forward between your legs. Use your right hand to move your foot forward if necessary. While keeping your back and the back of your left leg in a straight line, stretch for three to five breaths. Repeat movement on the other side — with your left foot forward and right leg back.
Lying Big Toe Raise
Lie on a floor or mat and extend both legs forward. While keeping your right leg extended, pull your left knee toward your chest and wrap a towel or strap around the ball of your left foot. Take a deep breath and exhale as you straighten your left leg under the pressure of the towel or strap. Stretch your leg for five to 10 breaths. To increase the intensity of the stretch, move your left leg toward your head while keeping your knees locked. Repeat the movement with your opposite leg for the same count, then relax. This movement stretches your thighs, groin and hips.
Sit on the floor with both legs bent cross your left leg over your right. Move your left leg inward until it’s directly on top of the right one. Keep the outside edge of both feet against the floor. Inhale and lift your right arm over your head. Place the palm of your right hand between your shoulder blades with your elbow pointing upward. Next, move your left hand around your back and try to grab your right hand. If you can’t, use a towel or strap to stretch your upper body while keeping your legs crossed. Hold this position for one minute, then perform movement on opposite side.