If you are feeling great after a run, cherish that feeling, but also remember that your workout does not end as soon as the running stops. Before you strip down and head into the shower, stretch out your tired muscles.

It will not only feel amazing, but will also keep your muscles supple and can help prevent injuries. Here are the essential stretches that you must do after every run to target your lower back, quads, hip flexors, and hamstrings. These are the crucial muscles that will be strained after a run. Loosen them up. And you don’t need much…just a yoga mat and 5 minutes of your time!

Calf stretch

Also known as the ‘sprinter position’, this simple stretch is great for your calves. Start by getting into the downward dog position with your entire body weight supported by your palms and toes. Lower your heels all the way to the floor as you feel your calf muscles getting taut. To deepen the stretch, pull one knee forward or place your foot behind the opposite ankle for a better stretch. Hold this for 30 seconds and switch sides.

Quadriceps stretch

Lower your body by getting down on one knee with the other leg bent in front of you. Next, place your hands on the thigh and lean forward. You will feel the stretch in your quad and hip. Hold this for 30 seconds and switch sides.

Hamstring stretch

Start in the same position as the Quad stretch. Now, sit back to straighten out the front leg with the help of your hands. Stretch your leg all the way and place your heel on the floor. Maintain this for 30 seconds and repeat for the other side.

Butt stretch

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Next, place the right foot outside of the left knee. Hold your knee and slowly twist your torso inward. Since the aim of this stretch is to target the buttocks, make sure to keep both sit bones on the ground. You can deepen the stretch by twisting further inside. Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat for the left foot.

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