In running, as with all forms of exercise, there are two forms of recovery. Passive and active. Passive involves just letting your body rest, whereas active recovery involves taking an action to heal up after a run. Active recovery typically involves low-intensity movements that help your body recover so that you can enjoy a full range of motion and run again the next day.
Active recovery is critical for people who want to run pain free. It is a form of preventative care to lessen the chance of injury by keeping the body loose to avoid stiffness and other potential issues.
Here are some ways you can work on your active recovery after a run:
- Sit on your feet to stretch your ankles.
This is the best first action before you stretch. Take off your shoes, and come down to the floor on all fours, then place your knees on the ground with your feet behind you, and sit back onto your feet. This should not hurt. If it does, pull your body off of your feet, but maintain the stretch of your ankles.
- Hip lifts
Lay down flat on the ground with your head, back, and heels pushing into the ground. Then gently lift your hips into the ground. Your body should be relaxed as you slowly lift your hips up and down. Do 10 of these.
Once you get used to this active recovery exercise, get a little more advanced by lifting one leg in the air to do five hip lifts, and then switch legs and repeat.
- Leg squeezes
While still laying down, lift both legs in the air, and bend the knees, and push your legs close together and then allow them to resist the push to pull apart 5-10 times.
- Scissor kicks
Again, while laying down, lift both legs in the air, with your knees slightly bent. Bring one leg towards your chest while the other is still extended, and then switch legs to complete one rep. Repeat 5-10 times.
- Now begin your stretching
Some of the best stretches you can do include leg lunges, hamstring stretches, hip and back stretches, calf stretches, and hip flexor stretches.
In RunRX’s membership programs, we cover several techniques you can use for strength training, self-care, and mindset. We also share the best tips and tools for active recovery so that whether you’re marathon training, 10k training, or just want to run every day, you can do so without pain. Don’t go about your running practice alone! Sign up for the membership for accountability and coaching by Valerie.