We spent October building up our running routines, but now it’s time for a proper cool down. To give our muscles a good stretch, we spoke with Team Amino Vital trainers Nathan Jendrick and Jenny Lagerquist. Both our experts agree that stretching after any training session is essential. And after a run, it’s always important to stretch your quads, hamstrings and calves. To stretch these muscles properly, Jenny suggests following these tips:
- When stretching your quads, keep your knees together, core tight and tailbone tucked.
- Hamstring stretches are done best when lying on the floor and using a towel or yoga belt to pull one leg up straight. Stretching hamstrings by leaning over puts too much stress on the lower back and may not even stretch the hamstrings unless done properly.
- When stretching your calves, make sure to target your gastrocs AND your soleus. The gastroc stretch is your basic calf stretch. To target the soleus, simply bend your knee slightly until you can feel pressure on your achilles.
But Nathan adds: “Everyone thinks about stretching the quadriceps, hamstring and calves when it comes to running, but you’ll find a lot of comfort in stretching the hips, groin and lumbar, too.” He recommends also doing seated hip twists to target the hip flexors, butterfly stretching for the groin and lumbar extensions for the lower back. These are simple stretches, but very effective. Thanks, guys! We definitely love a good stretch!