According to Frame Shoreditch's Ida May if you want to take your fitness to next level and make your body more efficient you need to stretch. "The same goes for gaining strength and endurance plus finding new ranges of motion and increasing flexibility," she says. "Post-run stretching will also help your body to recover more quickly and reduce muscle tension and soreness. And it can even decrease your risk of injuries."
With the parks full of runners training for 10K challenges and marathon season well under way, check out below for her six ultimate but simple stretches that every runner should do.
1. The ultimate calf stretch
"Find some stairs, edge of the pavement or an escalator and place the ball of the foot on it. Let your heel drop down and let the gravity do the work!"
2. The one for tight quadriceps
"Start in sitting position both legs in front of you, bend your right knee and bring the heel towards the bum. Bring left elbow on to the floor and lift the left knee up towards your chest with the help of the right hand. Keep the right knee and both hips on the floor and roll the pelvis under. Move the left knee out/in to find a perfect place for your stretch."
Ida demonstrating the quadriceps stretch
3. The one for your piriformis (AKA glutes)
"Sit upright with hands behind your back, knees bent and feet on the floor. Bring your right foot over the left knee into a figure four stretch. Keep your right foot flexed this will keep muscles active and the knee safe. Want to increase the stretch? interlace the fingers underneath the left knee and bring the right hand through the window created. Bring your chest towards the shin. The closer the foot is towards the bum the more you can feel the stretch. Don’t forget to relax the shoulders! Can be done standing, seated or lying down on the floor."
4. The ultimate hamstring stretch
"Grab a partner and sit back to back with your legs straight in front of you. Reach towards your toes to stretch your hamstrings whilst your partner lies on your back. The stretches out the hamstrings, whilst the partner on the top can stretch and open the upper body and shoulders. Do listen to your partner! Don’t push or force anything – just breath and find the deeper level of stretch."
If you don't have a partner you can stretch out your Hamstrings on your own
5. The one to relieve lower back pain
"Lie down on the floor with your arms out in a capital T position, bend the right knee and tuck the toes under the left knee. Guide your right knee to the floor with the help of the left hand and look over the right shoulder. Keep both shoulders on the floor. This will improve the spine elasticity, relieves lower back pain, calms the nervous system down and increases the circulation to all the spinal nerves, veins, and tissues! Opens and stretches the shoulders, back and the gluts!"
6. The quad stretch
"To open up and release tension on the quads and the tight IT bands, find a foam roller and start rolling over it!! Simple but oh so effective! Don’t forget to breathe!"
Dynamic Stretch is at Frame Shoreditch every Tuesday at 8.30pm