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11 January, 2024


Olympian & Commonwealth Gold Medallist Eilish McColgan Reveals Her Top Ten Daily Stretching Exercises & Tips to Reduce Injury

While stretching might not be the most glamorous aspect of training, it plays a crucial role in enhancing performance and maintaining flexibility in my muscles and joints. Olympian & Commonwealth Gold Medallist Eilish McColgan Reveals Her Top Ten Daily Stretching Exercises & Tips to Reduce Injury

Eilish McColgan best running stretches

I am aware that unfortunately injuries happen (is it just me or do they happen at the worst possible times!) and following several injuries throughout my career to date, I am committed to taking every precautionary measure to avert potential injuries or setbacks.

Here I share ten of my favourite stretching and mobility exercises that I have been using since I was 15! I do these exercises whenever I can, whether that is before, during or after training. I don’t stick to a regimented routine! As long as I do them on a daily basis, the timing is not an important factor for me. You may find that you already have some stretches which you use to compliment my list… I just know that these work for me.

These exercises are relevant to any sport, aiding in enhancing your mobility to proactively mitigate the risk of injuries.

  1. Leg raises – Lying flat on your back, with one leg outstretched straight, loop a resistance band over the other foot and gently pull it towards your head while trying to keep the leg straight, using the band to help pull the leg up. Change legs and repeat.
  2. Hamstring teaser – Place the resistance band over one foot and the other end around your head, gently pulling the leg up towards you and bending the knee in and out for the stretch.
  3. Knee to chest – Lying on your back, with one leg outstretched, place a resistance band over the foot of the other leg. Gently bring that knee into your chest, holding for a moment and releasing it out straight, swap legs.
  4. Hurdler stretch – In a seated position on the floor, stretch out one leg in front of you placing a resistance band over that foot, while the other leg can be bent flat on the floor. Then stretch your body over the straight leg, pulling on the band until you feel a stretch. It’s great for tight hips.
  5. Seated toe touches - Sitting on the floor, extend one leg out in front of you and using the resistance band place it around that foot reaching over as far as you can towards your toes while gently pulling on the band with the other hand.
  6. Adductor stretch – In a seated position on the floor, sit with the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to fall outwards towards the ground. Hold your ankles with your hands and rest your elbows on your knees and apply gentle pressure on the inner thighs for a more intense stretch.
  7. Seated glute twist – When seated, stretch out your legs in front of you, then bend your left knee crossing it over your right outstretched leg, placing your foot next to your right thigh. With your left arm bring it around the right knee and gently twist your body away. You should feel a nice stretch in that glute.
  8. Band assisted cross body – Lying on your back with one leg stretched out, place a resistance band over the other foot, bringing it up towards your body and using the band to pull the leg slightly across the body until you feel a stretch.
  9. Human pretzel – This is a great rotation that helps stretch several muscles. Lying on your left side, bring your left knee up towards your chest holding it with your left arm, at the same time, bend and push your right knee backwards, and with your right arm taking hold of your right ankle. Then change sides.
  10. Hip flexor lunge stretch – Begin in a kneeling position, then bring one foot flat on the floor in front of you so that your other knee is on the floor behind you under the hip. Raise the opposite arm up straight and gently lean forward. Now swap to the other side.

Remember to breathe and repeat each stretch, adjusting to your abilities. As ever, always listen to your body and work within your own abilities. Post-training, I rely on Joint Complex by Revive Active for added muscle flexibility and bone strength, which contains vital active ingredients including Marine Collagen, Glucosamine, MSM and Hyaluronic Acid. Their Joint Complex pro-sport version is Informed Sports Certified and therefore suitable for me to take.

Eilish McColgan is a Joint Complex Brand Ambassador for Revive Active.

Learn more on Revive Active's website and follow the conversation on Instagram & Facebook @reviveactive_uk, TikTok & X @reviveactive

Eilish McColgan running

Revive Active

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Daithi’s pioneering approach has driven the company’s growth. He has built an experienced team around him, from the fields of science, nutrition, manufacturing, logistics, sales, marketing and research & development.

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