Just because you finished your run doesn't mean you can go grab a post-run green juice.
Skipping your after-workout stretch session is an invitation to welcoming all sorts of injuries. Take five to 10 minutes after a run to stretch out tight muscles and increase suppleness. Not only will this help you recover quickly, but it will also increase your range of motion and running performance.
Sophie Jaffe, a Los Angeles-based health and wellness expert and yoga instructor, shares four poses that will open up and stabilize key muscle groups, from your hip joints and flexors to your quads and hamstrings.
Note: Hold each pose for five breaths or 30 seconds.
Half Front Splits (Ardha Hanumanasana)
"This stretch works the hamstrings and calves, lengthening the back of the leg, which tends to tighten up when you're running," Jaffe says.
Start in a low lunge with your right leg forward. Releasing your left knee to the earth, shift your hips back to your left heel, walk your hands back and lengthen your right leg. For support, place your hands on the ground. Flank your right quad and breathe.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
"A low lunge helps relax and balance the hip flexors, which become extremely tight during a run," Jaffe says.
From downward-facing dog, inhale the right leg up to the sky, then step it forward in between your hands. Drop the back knee down onto the mat, placing your hands onto the front knee. Make sure that the front knee stays directly above the ankle and breathe.