adidas / March 2023

8 Post-Run Stretches For Your Recovery Routine

Recover like a pro so you can run like one. Take a breather with adidas and learn what post-run stretches to add to your cooldown routine. 

The cooldown is just as important as the workout. Your body needs rest so you can bounce back better than ever. Every good workout ends with a cooldown. These are cliches everyone in the workout world has heard before. And as cliché as it might sound, your cooldown is just as important as your workout. Tuning in with your body after your run is a fantastic way to care for and connect with your physical and mental well-being so you can recuperate, reflect, and go harder on your next run.
Stretching after running is a phenomenal way to increase flexibility and mobility and reduce muscle tension. Stretching directly following a run—when muscles are warm—can improve your range of motion and accelerate recovery. Not to mention, it’s a good time to take a beat and reconnect with yourself after exerting a lot of energy.
“Stretching post-run is a good way to look inward and check in with yourself,” said Juan Martinez, an EXOS trainer at the adidas gym. “Post-run recovery stretches help you get out of go mode and cool down. They allow you to reflect on your run and see what worked and felt good.”
So, take a breath, collect yourself, and tune in with your body and adidas as we flow into eight beneficial post-run stretches.

8 Post Run Recovery Stretches

Below are eight simple stretches you can try after your next run. While performing these stretches, remember never to force a stretch. Listen to your body. Feeling a little discomfort when stretching is normal, but you never want to be in pain.


1. Glute Stretch

  • Stand with your back straight, knees unlocked, and hands on your hips.
  • Raise your right leg and cross your right ankle over your left thigh.
  • Slowly bend your left knee, moving your hips down into a squat position.
  • Pause when you feel a stretch in your right glute. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Return gently to the starting position. Repeat with your other leg.



2. Hip Stretch

  • Sit on the floor in pigeon pose, with your forward-facing knee and hip bent in front of you, your back leg straight, and toes untucked.
  • Bend forward at the waist, lowering your chest to the ground as you reach your arms straight out on the floor in front of you.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Switch legs and repeat.


3. Lunging Calf Stretch

  • Stand tall with your feet together and your hands on your hips.
  • Take a step backward with your right foot.
  • Lean forward slightly, keeping your back straight. Press your right heel into the ground for a calf stretch. If this movement is too easy, place your right foot further behind you for a deeper stretch.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.


4. Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Stand tall with your feet hip width apart and your hands on your hips.
  • Step your right foot forward into a lunge and contract your right glute.
  • Reach your left hand overhead and gently stretch it toward your right side, creating a slight bend in your torso.
  • Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement on the opposite side.


5. Interior Thigh Stretch

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  • While keeping your right leg straight, take a large step to the left, shifting your weight to the left side of your body.
  • Keep your back straight and place your hands on the thigh of your lunging leg.
  • Lunge as low as you can.
  • Return to the starting position by pushing through your hip.
  • Do a few more reps and then alternate legs.


6. Lower Back Stretch

  • Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Drop your head, round your upper back, and take a deep breath in.
  • Slowly drop your belly down and lift your head and chest to arch your back as you exhale.
  • Return to the neutral starting position and continue this movement.


7. Quad Stretch

  • Start out lying on your left side, with your legs stacked and your left hand supporting your head.
  • Using your right hand, gently pull your right leg back towards your glutes to feel a stretch in your front thigh.
  • Remember to contract your top glute.
  • Hold for a few seconds and then return to the starting position.
  • Do a few more reps and then switch legs.


8. Hamstring Stretch

  • Lay on your back with feet planted in front of you and knees pointed at the ceiling.
  • Lift your right knee toward your chest, grasping behind the knee with both hands.
  • Slowly encourage your leg towards you and extend it straight up.
  • Hold for a beat.
  • Relax and bend your knee toward your chest, then place your foot back on the ground.
  • Repeat movement a few more times before repeating on the left leg.

Recover Like A Pro

Stretching after a run is the cherry on top of a good workout. When you stretch right after running, you can reduce discomfort in the body and muscle soreness. Post-run stretches allow you to tend to achy muscles and reduce joint stiffness. While you don’t need to stretch immediately after running, it’s best not to wait more than 10 minutes to cool down.
“You can take a minute or two, but I wouldn’t wait more than 10 minutes to stretch after the run,” said Martinez. “Not if I’m trying to get the most out of my recovery. You don’t want that hard stop after a run. You want to tune in with yourself, even if only for four or five minutes.”
The frequency with which you perform post-run recovery stretches depends on how much time you have. If you have 15-20 minutes, try out all eight of these stretches after your next run. If you only have 5-10 minutes pick 3-4 and get after it. “It’s about progress over perfection,” said Martinez.
Be patient with yourself and your body. You only get one body, so it's essential to take care of it so you can move and perform with ease, energy, and comfort. Be consistent and dedicated to checking in with your body after every run. And remember, progress over perfection is the name of the game.
adidas / March 2023