Having your own stretching routine for after a workout is very important. This routine can ease muscle soreness, release lactic acid, and even prevent future injuries. The following stretches are recommended by leading fitness experts.
Shin/Tibialis Anterior Stretch
Stand up straight and tall and make sure your feet are hip-distance apart. Take one foot and move it 2 inches behind you while placing your weight on the front of your toes. You should feel the stretch in your shin. Hold for one minute then switch legs. This stretch can prevent shin splints and other shin-related injuries.
Standing Forward Fold
Stand up straight and tall with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly roll your head downwards towards your feet and try reaching for your shins, toes, or the ground. Relax your neck and let your hands dangle. You should feel the stretch in your hamstrings and lower back. Hold for just under a minute.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
This stretch works well for calves and hamstrings. Start standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Step the right food out about two feet in front of you, bend downwards at the hips and reach towards your toes. Bend your left leg just slightly to aid your forward reach. Hold for about 30 seconds to a minute, and then switch legs.
Figure Four Stretch
This one is great as a hip opener and IT band stretch. Start off standing tall while making sure to keep your core and shoulders back. Lift your right knee up and place the right ankle on your left thigh. Start shifting your weight back onto your heel. Once stable, bend your standing leg and slowly lean forward. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute then switch sides.
Start in a lunge position with your front knee bent over your ankle with your back leg straight back. Place both hands on the inside of your foot and directly under your shoulders, allowing your knee to open up slightly as you lean forward. Hold for one minute then switch legs.
From the runner’s lunge position, you can lower your back leg to the ground and walk your front foot to the opposite shoulder, placing your knee on the ground. Your front leg should look like the number seven. Flex your foot in front so it stays in one place and make sure your back foot is straight. Place your hands in front of you and gradually lean forward. Go as far as your body will let you and hold for 1 to 3 minutes on each side.
Make sure to consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for all health related advice.
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