Best Stretches for Runners

Best Stretches for Runners

Warmer days are right around the corner. This means many of you are lacing up your sneakers and preparing to get outside for race training! Running is a great form of cardiovascular exercises. It gets the blood moving and endorphins pumping. To avoid injury and help recovery, here are the best stretches for runners.  

Spring weather in Rockville, MD is absolutely beautiful and perfect for outdoor running. But in order to get the most out of your runs and race training, let’s talk about the best ways to prevent injury and speed up recovery.  

running group in Rockville, MD that used Kaizo Health's best stretches for runners tip

If you’re looking for your next race in Rockville, MD you are probably planning to do a good amount of running soon. Some of the most common conditions we see in runners is tight calves, shins splints, pulled hamstrings and limited ankle mobility. 

These conditions are common because of the repetitive motions of running can cause irritation and tension in the tendons and muscles overtime. This can eventually result in injury if not properly cared for. 

So, what do we recommend to avoid these common injuries for runners? Muscle activation and dynamic stretches that will strengthen and relieve the muscles of built-up tension.  

Best Stretches for Runners

Here is our favorite pre and post run stretch routine!  

Before your run try these quick and easy exercises: 

Eccentric Calf Raise: stand on one foot, lift onto toes and slowly release to the ground while keeping control in the calf the whole way down This stretch activates gastrocnemius and soleus while working on ankle control.

Lateral/Side Lunge: take a step out to the side into a sitting-like position, keeping your weight primarily in the back of your foot and glutes. Then, step back up to standing position. Side lunges are great for activating the quads, glutes and hamstrings.

woman about to go run a race in Rockville, MD

Then after your run, cool down with these stretches that will help increase recovery: 

Extensor Digitorum Longus Stretch: in a seated position cross one leg over the opposite knee. Grab the foot and ankle and gently pull back towards you to stretch along the knee, calf, shin, ankle and foot. This muscle is often associated with shine splints because it connects to and runs along the tibia. 

Static Calf Stretch: place toes on elevated surface and press heel down to stretch calf muscle. We do not typically recommend static stretches but incorporating these after your run once your muscles are firing this will work wonders to release the tension in the calves. We recommend using an elevate block or using the wall the press toes against. 

Half Kneeling Ankle Mobility Stretch: kneeling down with on knee on the ground, place a pole or broomstick for on the outside of the foot and ankle. Using the pole for support, gently move your knee from the inside of the pole to the outside while foot and ankle remains stable. Continue to move knee to the inside and outside of pole to work the ankle and lateral-facing muscles in the leg. This stretch hits your hip flexors, tibialis anterior and ankles. 

Foam Rolling: we always recommend a good foam rolling routine to the end of any workout to get deep within the muscle tissue to break up tension and adhesions in the fibers. 

woman foam rolling her calves after going for a run in Rockville, MD

Chiropractic Treatments for Runners 

In addition to helpful pre and post run stretches, there are many chiropractic treatments that offer natural, holistic pain relief for these common conditions. These treatments are super helpful for runners and athletes preparing for races in Rockville, MD.  

Dry Needling 

Dry needling is a great way to reduce inflammation and release trigger points or knots. It also draws blood back to the area to relieve any associated pain, tension and/or inflammation.⁠ 


Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, or scraping as it is often commonly known as, is a manual form of therapy that uses a tool to help break up adhesions and scar tissue in the muscles.⁠ 

This is super helpful for runners preparing for races in Rockville, MD. New tissue forms as part of the of the normal healing process following an injury or strenuous exercise. However, this tissue can be laid down in a disorganized fashion that forms adhesions.⁠ 

These adhesions can prevent the muscles from moving properly, which can limit function and cause pain!⁠ The advanced chiropractor in Rockville, MD will use a metal tool to “scrape” along the muscles to break up that scar tissue. There might be visible redness but this is a natural result and means there’s proper blood flow is being restored. 

runner getting ready for race by tying shoe in rockville maryland


Cupping is another awesome natural treatment that is used to enhance the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Cuppings creates an inflammatory response which causes white blood cells to break down scar tissue and improve the body’s natural ability to relax and heal the muscle tissue experiencing pain. 

Compression Therapy 

Compression therapy is a form of treatment that uses controlled pressure to increase blood flow in certain areas of the body and increase blood flow to the heart. We love using the Hyperice Normatec compression boots to take our athlete’s recovery to the next level. 

Get Treated at Kaizo Health    

Our goal at Kaizo Health is to always get you back to feeling 100%. Our doctors provide treatment to help you be pain-free. We also have a dedicated team that will work with you and your insurance. We want to make sure you get the most from your benefits. You should experience relief for as little cost to you as possible. If you are ready to experience relief from the pain, make an appointment to see us now.        

Kaizo Health offers locations in Rockville, MD; Landover, MD; Fort Washington, MD; and Fairfax, VA. Our doctors an evidence-based approach by combining chiropractic care and individualized rehabilitative exercises. We provide the treatment and resources you need to recover your health. We are here to help! If you’d like more information, check out our blog. You can also take our free virtual self-assessment on app here