Running is an amazing form of exercise that comes with tons of benefits. Regular running can strengthen your bones and muscles as well as improve cardiovascular health, though it can also leave you feeling sore and tight. The right stretching routine can provide relief. Be sure to stretch when muscles are already warm; the best time is shortly after a run, and if you wait too long you could risk injury. Stretching should never be painful; there can be feelings of mild to moderate discomfort, but it should reach a point of unbearable pain. If you’re practicing a stretch and you’re not able to breathe deeply, back off a bit.
This stretch will target both your hamstrings as well as your hip flexors. Begin in downward-facing dog pose, inhale, and as you exhale bring your right foot forward and place it outside of your right hand. Keep your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle over your ankle, and slowly bring your forearms to the floor. Be sure to keep your left leg straight so as to get a good stretch in the left hip flexor. Hold for 5-10 breaths before repeating on the other side.
Side lunge, or skandasana, is a pose designed to stretch the hamstrings as well as adductors. Stand upright with your feet about four feet apart. Slowly bend your right knee while keeping your left leg straight. Continue until you feel a stretch in the inner thigh muscles. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side.