5 Post Run Static Stretches for Every Runner

5 Post Run Static Stretches for Every Runner _ happyfitmmama.com

To stretch or not to stretch. That is the question.

It’s the great debate in the running world.

Do you stretch? If so, when? Before? After? How much? How often?

For years, it was recommended to “warm up” with static stretching prior to a run.  If you didn’t, you’d be that girl/guy grabbing their hamstring in pain because proper stretching prevented injury.  Now we know that’s totally false.  No research has proven that static stretching before a workout prevents injury or improves performance. In fact, static stretching prior to your muscles being warmed up may increase your odds of getting an injury.

What is hands down recommended for any runner, is a dynamic warm up that gets the blood flowing to the muscles and the heart rate elevated slowly prior to a run or workout.  It’s your best option. Good examples of a dynamic warm up are walking, lunges, walking alternating quad stretch, knee to chest, squats, etc. Or here’s 6 different options of dynamic warm ups from my running blogger friends.

If you want to do static stretching, post workout is the best time. That is, if you feel the need to. Studies vary on if any stretching is needed at all unless something feels tight. I personally do like to do a few stretches after a run. My calves, hamstrings, hips and lower back appreciate it after being pounded on for some time. Plus, it just feels good.

Moral of the story – if you like stretching, do it.  If you feel like something is tight, stretch it, foam roller it, get a massage, work on mobility or all of the above.  It’s really a personal preference.

That being said, I’d love to say that I devote a large chunk of time to stretch after each workout. However, I’d be lying. Most days, I’m lucky if I can get 2-5 minutes in. Feeding my face, taking a shower, Mama duties and life in general become more of a priority once I walk through the door post run. On days like that, I pull out my 5 favorite post run static stretches and will do a few outside of the house before I go inside. Because I know once I’m inside, there’s a slim chance it’s happening.

Hold each of these stretches for 30-60 seconds and you’ll be done in 5 minutes or less.

FYI – these pics are from inside because it’s freaking still winter over here in New Hampshire and I don’t want to freeze my buns off anymore than I already do every single day. 

Quadriceps Stretch

stretches: quads (hence the name)

Post Run Static Stretches _ quad stretch _ happyfitmama.com

High Lunge

stretches: psoas, quad, hip, , glute, hamstring, calf

Post run static stretches _ high lunge _ happyfitmama.com

Calf Stretch

stretches: you guessed it, calf muscle

Post run static streches _ calf stretch _ happyfitmama.com

Rag Doll

stretches: lower back, hamstrings

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that this is one of my go-to stretches post run.

Post run static stretches _ rag doll _ happyfitmama.com

Standing Figure Four

stretches: piriformis, glute

Post run static stretches _ standing figure four _ happyfitmama.com

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesdayand the Coaches’ Corner.

Do you like to stretch?

What’s your post run fav stretch?

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Last week’s workouts had a Nor’easter, a cutback in running mileage and my 40th birthday.  It was a fun week!


25 minutes Arc Trainer

20 minutes Stepmill

Smith press bench single leg squats

squat press

bench press

single leg dead lift

assisted pull ups with band

eccentric pullups

front/reverse lunge matrix

plank rows

battle ropes

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.comTuesday

6.1 mile run, 9:25 avg/pace, 375 ft/gain

The day of Nor’easter #5498.  After waking up and seeing that it had yet to start snowing, I quickly put on my running clothes in hopes to miss the mega snow that was coming.  Of course, as soon as I stepped outside, it started dumping.  The roads and sidewalks quickly become snow covered and slippery.  I wish I had worn my ski goggles because the wind pelted my face with ice crystals that really started to hurt after awhile.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.comWednesday

4 mile treadmill run w/ strength intervals

After 22 inches of snow in a 24 hour period, the roads were an absolute mess. Rather than fighting with snow plows and cars in the early morning darkness, I opted for the treadmill.  I couldn’t get my head to stop throwing a tantrum so I broke up the run with strength intervals using my Bosu, Dynamax Ball and mini bands.

Run 1 mile

Side step with mini band

Med ball squat jump toss

Bosu single leg front lunge with med ball shoulder press

Bosu single leg reverse lunge with med ball twist

Bosu side lunge with med ball chest press

Repeat run/strength sequence as many times as you want

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.comThursday


I woke up with a sore throat and a stuffy nose and promptly shut my alarm off to get more sleep.  I skipped yoga, the gym, and a run for a day of complete rest.  It was what I needed because I felt a million times better Friday morning.


6 mile run: 2 mile warm up, hill repeats x 5, 2 mile cool down, 886 ft/gain

I introduced Mega Hill Repeats to my friend Kyle.  She was lucky enough to get into Mt. Washington so the good friend that I am, I joined her for the good times of running up and down this 14% grade mega hill in town.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.comSaturday

8 mile run, 8:45 avg/pace, 369 feet/gain

I usually like to run some distance that correlates to my age on my birthday.  There was no way I was running 40 miles so I thought I’d do either 4.0 or something that ended with .40.  I decided on 7.4 but then I didn’t pay close enough attention to my watch and bypassed it.  My neurotic runner self couldn’t end the run on an odd number so I ran until I hit 8 miles.


Morning Flow Yoga

3 mile trail run, 13:24 avg/pace, 321 feet/gain

After going out for my birthday Saturday night, I wasn’t really feeling a strenuous run.  Instead I opted for a yoga class in the morning and a Cooper paced easy trail run.  Despite over four feet of snow in the past two weeks, the trails were runable thanks to cross country skier and snowshoers packing down the trail.  There were still a few ankle twisting spots but not so bad.  And my 12 year old pup had a blast so it was a winning situation for everyone.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Linking up with Hoho and Wendy for the weekly workout wrap up.

How was your week in workouts?

Do you run your age on your birthday?


Lately... | happyfitmama.com

Lately…It’s been quite some time since I’ve checked in on a Friday.  Things have been busy with family and work life (at the hospital, run coaching and freelance writing).  That meant less time behind the computer for fun and trying for more time living.  When I started blogging over 6 years ago, I was fanatical about blogging five times per week.  Then I cut down to four. Then three.  Over the past month or so it’s been two.  Blogging has changed in so many ways over the years.  I enjoy it some days and some days I want to pack it up and never write anything again. What keeps me from doing that?  One of the biggest reasons is the connections blogging has brought me over the years.  It’s what keeps me coming back!

Lately…I’ve been enjoying running a lot.  As you’ve seen from my weekly workouts, I’m progressing my mileage, trying to add in more specific workouts and just having fun. I still haven’t made up my mind with what I want to specifically train for next. There’s a couple of options that I’m looking at.  Mostly trail races.  I’d love to be out on the trails right now but with the two feet of snow that fell on Tuesday in addition to the two feet that fell last week, the trails are a little crazy.  I could bust out the snowshoes for some snowshoe running but I’m just not feeling that.  Lol. It’s funny how I was so excited for snowshoe running in January and now I’m like, no thanks!

Lately... | happyfitmama.com

Lately…I’ve been enjoying The Walking Dead and This is Us again.  For awhile both shows were kind of boring.  Now, things are shaking up and getting interesting again. Is it wrong that I cry like a baby at both shows? Or at least I cried when Carl died on TWD.

Lately…strength training has been so much fun.  It’s something that I look forward to at least a couple of days a week. I know not a lot of runners say that but strength training was one of my first loves. I started lifting in when I was a freshman in high school.  My PE teacher competed in figure competitions and looked amazing.  She was strong and fit. FYI – this was back in the 90s when people still associated weight lifting with bulking up. Oh wait…some people still think that. :)  I know she inspired not only me but many of my female friends to not be afraid of the weight room, lift heavy, move daily and eat healthy foods.

Lately... | happyfitmama.com

Lately…I finished reading a really great book a few weeks ago called Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure. It’s the story of a mom and her 5 year old (yes 5 year old!) climbing all of New Hampshire’s 48 4000 foot mountains.  It’s quite a feat for anyone to do but especially a 5 year old.  I can barely get my kids to hike a few times a year let alone tackle 4000k year round!  I loved the story of how determined this girl was and how much she loved to hike.  It’s a great quick read about tackling goals no matter what your shape, size or age. You can do hard things.

Lately…I’ve been enjoying run coaching again.  I turned down taking on any new clients for most of late last year.  I was dealing with my own return to running after an injury and didn’t feel that spark to coach anyone else. But at the beginning of the year I started taking new clients and have really enjoyed watching their success.  So if you are in the market for a coach, I’d love to chat with you!

Lately... | happyfitmama.com

Lately…tomorrow I turn 40. Let’s take a moment to take that in. Yup…40.  First of all, I don’t feel 40.  Actually, I’m not sure how 40 is supposed to feel.  I’m OK with turning 40 until I have to say how old I am.  It just sounds so weird!  I still remember when my parents turned 40 and thinking, THAT’S SOOOOO OLD!!!  Now I don’t think you are old until you hit 80. I think I need a BHAG for this year.  Or at least do something stupidly awesome. I saw on Amelia Boone’s Instagram last week that she was #bringingstupidback.  I can get behind that goal for 2018. And FYI – check out Billy Yang’s new short film 15 Hours with Amelia.  You wont’ regret it!

What’s been up with you lately?