The Perfect Recovery Routine For Your Rest Days

This routine helps your muscles bounce back from hard runs.

This active recovery routine from running coach Robyn LaLonde increases circulation, loosens muscles, and flushes out soreness and fatigue – all in less than 15 minutes. Complete it on rest or easy-running days at least once a week and as many as three times per week. Start with a 90-second dynamic warmup of standing trunk twists and leg swings, next do these five moves straight through as one circuit, and then repeat all five moves again.

Ice Skaters
Stand with your legs about 3 feet apart, feet and toes pointed forward. Lower your body to a gentle squat, then bring your right foot diagonally behind your left leg and touch your toe down. Hold for one second, then fire up your glutes and push off your left foot in a jumping movement to the right. Bring the left foot diagonally behind the right, then repeat on that side. Continue to push left and right for 30 seconds – about 15 to 20 reps total.

Backward Lunges
Take a step back with your right foot. Lower your hips until your left thigh is parallel to the floor and your right knee is close to (but not touching) the floor. Pause for two seconds, then press your left heel into the floor and contract your quads and hamstrings to return to start. Repeat, alternating legs, for one minute (about 12 reps per leg).

Walking Squats
Lower into a squat, with butt back, and head up, and knees not passing toes. Take five controlled steps to the right. Remain in squatted position and do five running-arm swings with each arm. Walk five steps to the left and repeat. Repeat one more time in each direction, for a total of two reps each way and about 45 seconds.

Plank With Single-Arm Extensions
Start in a bent-arm plank position. Extend one arm straight in front while holding the rest of your body steady and taking long, slow breaths (don’t sweat it if you shake – totally normal). Hold for 10 seconds, then bring your arm back down and lift the other one. Repeat three times on each arm for a total of one minute.

Mountain Climbers
Get into a pushup position. Bring your right knee up to your chest, inside your elbow, then return it back to the starting position. Do the same on the left, moving as quickly as possible; that’s one rep. Repeat seven times. Then do the exercise again but bring your knee outside your elbow. Repeat another seven times for a total of about 1 minute.

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