RW’s Whole-Body Stretches

These stretch more than one muscle group at once – including your upper body, an often-neglected area in runners.

1. Downward-facing dog

Keep your feet hip-width apart and your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your legs straight, keep your hips high, and lengthen your heels towards the ground (don’t worry if they don’t reach). Press your palms and fingers flat into the ground; you should feel as though you’re trying to push the floor apart between your hands and feet. Stretches your hamstrings, calves, Achilles tendons, back and shoulders.

2. Lying spinal twist

Start on your back with both legs straight. Hug your right knee in towards your chest, and hook your right foot behind your left knee. Then roll to your left side, so your right knee touches the floor. Extend your right arm towards the floor on your right side at head-height, and turn your head to look along it. Relax into the posture, then repeat on the opposite side. Stretches your gluteals, lower back, upper back, shoulders, arms and chest.

3. Forward-bend shoulder stretch

Keep straight legs, a straight back, and feet hip-width apart. Tense your quads, but don’t tense your neck. Putting your hands on your hips before you stand back up avoids possible lower-back strain. Stretches your hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and arms.

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