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Like how Dynamic Stretching is important before a run, static stretching is the best cool down when it comes to post run stretches. Static stretching is when you stretch a muscle to its furthest point and hold the position for 15 to 45 seconds. Aside from increasing circulation, it has numerous benefits. Static stretching helps with stiffness and therefore helps relax your muscles thus preventing injury. Reducing stiffness also eases pain which helps you go about your post-run activities easier. Some important things to keep in mind before trying these stretches are to always go slowly, make sure to breathe, and never keep going if you feel any pain. Always talk to your doctor before trying a new stretching routine to ensure it’s the right method for you. 

Here are 10 static post run stretches you can incorporate!


Runners can often have overworked calves and weak shins. These calf stretches can help relieve some of the associated soreness. 

  1.  Begin by standing towards a wall with your hands on the wall, shoulder width apart. 
  2.  Place your left leg forward and bend the knee, keeping both feet flat on the floor. The right leg will be extended and straight. 
  3. Lean on the wall to feel the stretch in your right calf muscle. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, and then switch sides. Repeat three times.

Quad Stretch

The quads are the powerhouse when it comes to running. The more these muscles are stretched, the faster you may go! 

  1. Start by standing on your left leg and using your right hand to pull your right ankle back towards your butt so that your heel is almost touching. 
  2. Gently progress the stretch by pulling the foot up and in. Avoid twisting your knee. 
  3. Hold this for 30-60 seconds, and then switch legs. Repeat three times.

IT Band Stretch

The iliotibial band is a strong band of tissue that runs from your hip to the top of your shinbone. Not stretching this tendon properly can result in ITB syndrome, aka Runner’s Knee, which makes it irritated against the hip or knee bones. 

  1. To stretch your ITB, stand near a wall or another sturdy object that can support your weight. 
  2. Cross your left leg over your right at the ankles and extend your left arm above your head, reaching to the right side. You will feel the stretch along the hip.
  3. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds. Switch sides and repeat three times.

Butterfly Stretch

This stretch is great for loosening up the hips and inner thighs and releasing tension in the lower back making it a great post run stretch.

  1. Start by sitting on the floor and pressing the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to open gently like a butterfly. 
  2. You can lean forward to feel the stretch in your lower back to progress the stretch, but don’t go past the “good stretch” feeling.
  3. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. Repeat three times.

Hamstring Stretch

Most runners are quad-dominant, which is when the quad muscles overcompensate during the running stride. When the quadriceps contract when you land, the hamstrings then have to act and stop your knee from overextending during the end of a stride. When the hamstring is not stretched properly or isn’t equally strong, it can lead to injury that will have you out of commision for weeks. An easy way to stretch your hamstring is by touching your toes. 

  1. Begin standing and gently bend over at the waist and try to touch your toes. If you can’t reach them without it being painful just start with what is comfortable. Make sure not to bounce – this can cause the muscle to contract and result in an injury.
  2. Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds and repeat three times. 

Hip & Back Stretch

Tight hip flexors can lead to poor running form and pain. Use this stretch after your next run to help loosen the hips and back.

  1. Start by lying flat on your back and pulling your bent knees towards your chest.  
  2. When you exhale, try to pull your knees closer for a deeper stretch that is still in your comfort zone.
  3. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Repeat three times.

Tricep Stretch

Many runners get unwanted tension in the upper body during a longer run. Pushing your body to the limit can create stress that you might hold in your neck, shoulders or triceps. Try this easy stretch after your run to calm those muscles. 

  1. Bring your left arm up straight out in front of you.
  2. With your right arm pull your left arm gently towards your chest while keeping it straight.
  3. You will feel the pull of the stretch along the back of your arm.
  4. Hold this for 30-60 seconds and switch sides.

Reclined Figure Four Stretch

Studies have shown that the gluteus medius produces the most force out of all of the hip muscles when running. These muscles also help create greater stability for the pelvis, which then eases the pressure off of the back and knees. This reclined figure four stretch is the best for loosening the gluteus medius muscle when practicing post run stretches.

  1. Lie down on your back and go into the figure four position, pressing your right foot into your left knee.
  2. Interlock your fingers behind your left knee and gently pull your legs toward your chest.
  3. Hold for 30-60 seconds and then switch sides. Repeat three times.


Keep having repetitive shin pain? It could be because you aren’t warming up and cooling down properly. Try this static stretch to help the tibialis anterior muscle.

  1. Start by kneeling with the top of your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Slowly sit back as far as you can go to feel a nice stretch. To progress this stretch, sit on the back of your heels.
  3. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. 

Lunge Hip Flexor Stretch

If you’re sitting for long periods throughout the day, you probably have tight hip flexors. And if you’re a runner, you are repeatedly shortening that muscle and also shortening your stride and throwing off your gait. So it is very important to stretch the flexor before and after your run.

  1. Begin by kneeling on your left knee and placing your right leg in front of you with your knee bent at a 90 degree angle. 
  2. Gently lean forward until you feel a stretch on the left side of your hip. 
  3. You can use your arms to help balance, or place your hands on your waist. 
  4. Hold for 30-60 seconds and then switch sides. Repeat three times.  

Post Run Stretches

Be sure to prepare your body for the post-run healing process with static post run stretches. Be patient with your body and allow time for recovery – and don’t forget the importance of alternating your running shoe! Stop by your nearest Fit2Run retail location and let one of our Fit Experts answer any of your stretching questions and ensure you have the gear that will help you stay injury-free.

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