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Best Stretches After A Run

09/19/2011 07:52 EDT | Updated 12/13/2012 01:47 EST

After a run, the best stretches to do are static stretches. A static stretch is when you place your body in a certain position and hold the stretch for 30 seconds or longer. Stretching after your run will improve flexibility and recovery.

Here are five essential stretches to do after a run:

1. Quadriceps: The quadriceps are the muscles in the front of your upper leg.

Hold onto a chair or the wall with your right hand

Bend your left knee and bring your heel towards your buttocks

Grab and hold your left foot in your left hand

Keep your knees in line with one another and your back straight while you stretch

Hold for at least 30 seconds

Repeat right

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Best Stretches After A Run

2. Hamstrings: The hamstrings are the muscles on the back of your upper leg.

Lie down on your back with your knees bent so that both feet are on the floor

Draw one knee into your chest, and extend that leg straight up overhead

Hold onto the back of your calf or hamstring (whichever is most comfortable)

Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, slowly draw the leg towards your chest. Hold for at least 30 seconds

3. Lower Leg: The lower leg muscles include the gastrocnemius and the soleus, which make up your calf and your Achilles tendon, which attaches your calf to your heel.

Stand on a raised surface, such as the bottom stair, and hold onto the stair railing

Place the ball of your foot on the edge of the stair so your heel is hanging off the stair

Lower your heels down towards the ground until you feel a stretch in your calves. Hold for at least 30 seconds

You can perform this one foot at a time for more secure balance, or with both feet together

4. Hips And Glutes: The hips and glutes require two stretches.

Thread The Needle:

Lie down on your back with your knees bent so that both feet are on the floor and your legs are making an 'A' shape

Place your right ankle onto your left knee, pulling your toes back towards your right knee

Grab your left hamstring with both your hands by lacing your fingers togther behind your hamstring

Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, lift your left foot off the floor and draw your legs towards your chest

Keep your head, back and shoulders flat on the floor. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds

Repeat left