Hip flexor stretch
Lie on your back, cross your left foot over your right quad and bend your right knee.
Hold the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold the position there. Swap sides and repeat the move.
Side body stretch
Stand tall with your feet and legs together. Reach both arms straight up overhead as you inhale.
Lower your right arm down the right side of your body and exhale as you lengthen your left arm over the head, bending your body gently to the right.
Inhale to return to the start position with your arms over your head and exhale as you repeat on the left side.
In this move you hold onto your hips and – as the name suggests – circle your hips, which is kind of like using a hula hoop.
Stand straight with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart.
With your hands on your hips, slowly rotate the hips making big circles. And repeat in the opposite direction.
Stand on the edge of a step, with your heels hanging over the side. Engage your core and keep your chest upright.
Repeat this move for 30 seconds.
Stretches for after you run
‘For post-run, firstly remember to hydrate and take a moment to rest your body before jumping into the stretch,’ explains Kevin.
‘It might be tempting to reach for a celebratory pint post-marathon – which is just fine – but always stretch afterwards, or you’ll be feeling the pain for days afterwards.
‘Start with static stretching.’
Stand upright and pull your leg behind you with the corresponding hand.
Tuck your pelvis under and pull your shin toward your thigh.
Hold the position for about 30 seconds and switch sides.
Sit on the ground and extend your left leg. Move your right foot toward your inner thigh, so that it just rests against the top part of your left leg.
Lean forward, bending your back and waist toward the left foot as if reaching for your toes.
Hold for at least 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg
‘Don’t forget your back,’ adds Kevin.
‘Try a lower back stretch, where you grab your knee with both hands and pull your leg towards your body.
‘Or the similar buttock stretch where you lie down with your knees bent and cross your left leg over your right thigh, or vice versa, and pull the right leg towards you.’
It’s also worth talking to a personal trainer or a physiotherapist before you start training for a big run – particularly if you have never done it before.
Everybody has different niggles and it might be that you need to pay particular attention to a certain muscle or joint.
When it comes to running injuries, prevention is always better than cure. Stretching is the best thing you can proactively do to keep yourself on track.
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