The finish line. Straight ahead in 100 feet. You look behind you, and they are on your heels. No time to stop! You sprint full speed ahead, heart pounding in your ears, feet hitting the pavement at full force.
And then the moment … You did it!
You finished the race in record time, and you beat the person behind you. Victory!
It’s the scene you see in every racing movie, and maybe it is something that you have experienced when running or walking in a race.
Here’s something that is often overlooked: What happens after you cross the finish line?
Well, if you just completed a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon, you are probably gasping for breath, hobbling to the nearest water station, and high fiving and hugging people in the finish area.
Regardless of your speed or intensity, most of the muscles of your legs are activated when you are walking and running. Whenever you finish these activities, it is critical to stretch to reduce muscular tension and prevent injury.
One of the number one causes of injury for walkers and runners is muscular imbalance. Strength training, mobility and stretching moves helps improve these imbalances.
This video provides a quick, four-move routine that you can do after a run or walk to
stay limber and avoid injury. Stretches included are for your: lower back, hamstrings (the three muscles on the back of your upper leg), your quadriceps (the big muscles in the front of your leg) and your calf muscles. I’ve included modifications for those who are less flexible, plus options to target additional muscles by tweaking the basic stretches I show. If you do these stretches after your walk/run, this will allow the muscles to continue to work in their full range of motion.