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Top 5 Essential Stretches for Runners

Annually, 30-75% of runners acquire running-related injuries. Injuries can stem from weakness, poor form, ramping up exercise too quickly, or not having enough flexibility. These 5 essential stretches for runners are common but often are overlooked. The stretches below are focused on muscles in the front of the body. These areas need to be flexible in order to have an adequate stride for running and secondly, allow you to have an efficient push-off to propel you forward. Perform these essential stretches for runners before and/or after running.

There can be many causes of running injuries, and flexibility is just a piece. If these stretches do not take away your pain or make it worse, stop the activity and see your local trusted physical therapist.

Top Stretches for Runners
  1. Hip Flexor Stretch

2. Calf Stretch

Keys: With toes on the wall and heel down lean into the wall. First keep knee straight, and then bend knee to get a deeper stretch.

3. Quad Stretch

Key: Hold the knee in hand and keep knee pointed down towards the ground. You can use opposite hand for balance.

4. IT Band Stretch

5. Big Toe Extension Stretch

Keys: Stretch/pull only your big toe up toward the ceiling. The goal is to have around 45 deg of flexibility. (This is important for an efficient push off in running)
Contact Us

If you are experiencing pain while performing these exercises for runners, contact a team member at Action Potential Physical Therapy. Our skilled therapist can help you create a customized program to get you back to your normal running routine.

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