For me, stretching after a run is like doing the dishes after I cook—something that I say I will do later, with full knowledge that I won’t. This is bad news for both; cool-down stretches after a run are important for injury prevention, and doing the dishes right then is important so that they don’t keep piling up until I need to hire a hazmat crew. In the latest installment of Well+Good’s Trainer of the Month Club, Nike Master Trainer Traci Copeland shares seven running cool-down stretches that you can do anywhere, anytime. But even if you’re already an avid stretcher, you’re probably not giving your feet enough attention, she says. Your poor, unfortunate soles.
“We kind of forget about our feet sometimes when it comes to running, so make sure you find ways to stretch the soles of your feet—especially if you’ve done anywhere from three to five miles. Your feet are always going to be sore too, they need a little extra love,” Copeland says. This is one of those things that makes so much sense you wonder why it never occurred to you before. Obviously, running is hard on your feet, because you are literally pounding them into the pavement. You don’t even need to do any foot-specific stretches, you can just make a couple of tiny adjustments to include your feet in your cool-down stretching. For instance, she demonstrates a slight tweak to a hip flexor stretch that will also stretch out your feet (click play above so that you can see her example).
“Whether you do all seven moves or just a few at a time, it’s really important to get a good stretch in after you run,” Copeland says. Your cooldown is all about injury prevention, resetting after your run, but also making sure you’re ready to get out there for your next run.” Watch the video to see all seven of the running cool-down stretches she recommends, and you’ll be back on your feet in no time at all.