Over my years of running my view on stretching has varied widely. Years ago, I felt it was non-negotiable and made sure to stretch for 15-20 minutes every day. Then I learned that maybe it wasn’t quite as important as I had once thought, and I used some of that time to foam roll instead. Lately I’ve been stretching when I feel like I need it and because it feels good. However, over the past few months I’ve pretty much skipped stretching post-run more than I’d like to admit! This 6 Minute Standing Stretch Routine is something I came up with that is quick and can be done outside before I even walk back in from my run. I’ve been trying to be better about getting in a few stretches every day!
In an ideal world, I would spend more than 6 minute stretching if that’s what I felt I needed. However, a few minutes is better than nothing especially if you are consistent about it. Also, I foam roll and do some mobility work about 3-4 days a week, so that supplements my stretching. I go through phases with yoga and currently I am not in a yoga phase. That’s one of the reasons I know I need to be a little more consistent about stretching.
This routine consists of 6 stretches that are each done for 30 seconds on each side. If you have more than 6 minutes, I recommend spending more time on any areas that feel particularly tight. When I have noticed that one spot is tight I try to make a mental note to stretch it again later that day. I often notice that my hips are pretty tight so I will stretch while I’m brushing my teeth, playing on the floor with Grayson, or while on a work call.
6 Minute Standing Stretch Routine for Runners
To make this easier to remember, I start at the bottom and work my way up. You can do these in any order that works for you! If you have a chair or something to lean against that will be helpful but you don’t really need anything to do these stretches.
If you have something to lean against like a chair, lamp post, or the side of your house you can use that. If not you might not get quite as deep of a stretch but it will still work. Bend your front leg and keep your back leg straight. Push your back heel into the floor until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
You can use a chair, bench, curb or anything else that is slightly higher than the ground for this. If you don’t have anything at all you can just keep both legs on the group. Place one foot on the raised surface and slightly bend your knee. While making sure your back stays straight, bend forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the raised leg. Play around with the direction you bend over to stretch different parts of your hamstring. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
Quad/Hip Flexor Stretch
Depending on what you use to do this stretch you may feel this mostly in your hip flexor but you can also get into your quad as well. If you have a chair, stand facing away from it. Place one leg behind you on the chair with your knee slightly bent. Bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in the hip of the back leg. To get more into the quad, also bend your back leg more so you are almost in a lunge position. Squeeze your glutes while you do this.
If you don’t have anything to prop your leg onto you can do this on the ground as a lunge. To get a deeper stretch, kneel down and pull your back leg up with your hand. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
Inner Thigh Stretch
Stand with your feet wider than hip width apart. Bend one knee and lean towards that side while keeping your other leg straight. You should feel a stretch in the inner thigh of the straight leg. Go as deep as you need to to feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
Find something to hold onto for balance. Take one leg and place your ankle on the knee of the other leg. Squat down with your standing leg. You should feel a stretch in the glute of the top leg. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
This stretch is for the outside area of your hip. From standing, take one leg and place it behind the other. Raise the arm of the back leg and stretch it overhead while keeping the other hand on your hip. You should feel a stretch in the side hip of the back leg as you lean over. You can also push the arm of the back leg into a wall to get a deeper stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
This standing stretch routine is simple but effective. I like that you can do it without having to get down on the floor. (I usually end up tackled by my toddler when I try to stretch on the floor!) It’s also more convenient to do these stretches wherever you are when you finish your run.
[Tweet “Giver this 6 minute standing stretch routine a try after your next run! @milebymilerun #runnersroundup #runchat”]
How often do you stretch?
What are your favorite post-run stretches?
Are there any spots that get particularly tight for you?
Now it’s time for the Runners’ Roundup! Link up your running and fitness posts below! Join myself, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs, Running on Happy and Organic Runner Mom to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas.