I’ll be the first to admit that I used to skip stretching after my workouts—hence the past tense on that statement. It didn’t take me very long to realize that after a long walk or run, neglecting to stretch out the primary muscles (i.e., the calves, quads, hamstrings, and flexors) would leave me in a world of pain.
According to researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, neglecting to stretch after a workout will not only make walking more difficult, but also increase the risk of muscle, tendon, and ligament injury. So add these six simple stretches to the end of your walking workouts. They’re quick to do and will support your speed, endurance, and walking alignment and stride…
1. Quadriceps Stretch
There is little doubt that after a long walk—especially if you take hills or stairs—one of the first groups of muscles you’ll feel tension in is the quadriceps. The quads cover a large area of muscles at the front of the thigh. Stretching out the quads after a walk or run will help can help release tension and tightness in this large area and encourage full mobility of the muscles going forward.
To perform a quadriceps stretch, stand tall with your knees together. Bend your left leg up behind and grabbing the foot or ankle with your left hand, pull the heel close to your buttocks. Be sure to keep your torso straight and feel free to keep balance using your right hand. Alternate to stretch right quad.