Water Workouts

After a long run on a hot day, few things feel better than diving into a pool. But why stop at cooling off?

By taking your stretching routine underwater, you’ll be able to move your joints and limbs through a wider range of motion – and with greater control – compared with stretching on land, says Scott Riewald, a biomechanics expert who works with Olympic athletes.

“It’s easier to reach and hold the point of optimal stretch, with less strain,” he says. Do this routine in the pool after a run. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds, repeating twice on both legs.

Hip Flexors Start in a lunge position with the left leg on a low step. Bend the right knee and shift your body weight forward so your hips drop down. You’ll feel this in the front of your left hip.

Picture credits: Stephen Frink

Hamstrings

In waist-deep water, place one foot, heel down and knee bent, on a low step. Keeping the back leg straight and looking ahead, flex at the hips to bring the torso forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh.

Calves

Stand in chest-deep water and hold the wall. Step back with the right leg and press the heel down. Hold for 20 seconds, then bend the right knee slightly for a deeper stretch.

Quadriceps and Hip Flexors

Stand on your left leg. Grasp the right foot behind you. For a deeper stretch, press the hips forward and allow the right knee to move back slightly.

Hip and Lower Back

Stand on your left leg in chest-deep water. Grab your right knee with both arms and pull it to your chest, standing tall and keeping the natural curve in your spine.

IT band

Position yourself so your left side is close to a wall. Cross the left foot in front of the right. Lean to the left using your torso, while pushing the right hip away from the wall.