Performing stretching exercises after a run will help you cool down gradually and improve your flexibility.
These stretches are best done after exercising, when your muscles are warm and more elastic.
Breathe deeply and regularly during the stretches. Aim to stretch to the point of feeling tightness or slight discomfort.
You should not feel any pain when doing these exercises. If you do, stop and seek medical advice.
Hip flexor stretch – hold for 15 seconds
Thigh stretch – hold for 15 seconds
Tip: place a hand on a wall or bench for balance.
Hamstring stretch – hold for 15 seconds
Iliotibial band (ITB) stretch – hold for 15 seconds
Tip: you should feel the stretch along your outer right thigh and hip.
Calf stretch – hold for 15 seconds
Tip: You should feel the stretch at the back of your left leg, below the knee.
Lower back stretch – hold for 15 seconds
Buttock stretch – hold for 15 seconds
Couch to 5K running plan
New to running? Couch to 5K gets you off the sofa and running in just 9 weeks.
The One You Couch to 5K app gives you a choice of running coaches and helps you track your progress.
As well as Laura, who features on the NHS Couch to 5K podcasts, you can also be coached by celebrities Jo Whiley, Sarah Millican, Sanjeev Kohli or Michael Johnson.
Page last reviewed: 13 January 2021
Next review due: 13 January 2024