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How to stretch after a run

Performing stretching exercises after a run will help you cool down gradually and improve your flexibility.

These stretches are best done after exercising, when your muscles are warm and more elastic.

Breathe deeply and regularly during the stretches. Aim to stretch to the point of feeling tightness or slight discomfort.

You shouldn't feel any pain when doing these exercises. If you do, stop and seek medical advice.

Hip flexor stretch – hold for 15 seconds

Hip flexor stretch starting position
Hip flexor stretch side view

Thigh stretch – hold for 15 seconds

Thigh stretch front view
Thigh stretch side view

Tip: place a hand on a wall or bench for balance.

Hamstring stretch – hold for 15 seconds

Hamstring stretch front view
Hamstring stretch side view

Iliotibial band (ITB) stretch – hold for 15 seconds

ITB stretch front view
ITB stretch side view

Tip: you should feel the stretch along your outer right thigh and hip.

Calf stretch – hold for 15 seconds

Calf stretch front view
Calf stretch side view

Tip: You should feel the stretch at the back of your left leg, below the knee.

Lower back stretch – hold for 15 seconds

Lower back stretch

Buttock stretch – hold for 15 seconds

Buttock stretch

Couch to 5K running plan

New to running? Couch to 5K gets you off the sofa and running in just nine weeks.

The One You Couch to 5K app gives you a choice of running coaches and helps you track your progress.

As well as Laura, who features on the NHS Couch to 5K podcasts, you can also be coached by celebrities Jo Whiley, Sarah Millican, Sanjeev Kohli or Michael Johnson.