There is stretching and then there is ROLLING, which is on a whole other level. I have posted previously all the benefits of using a Foam Roller and a Stick>> Here is the link to that post: FOAM ROLLING 101
Roll AFTER a workout. This helps muscles return to their proper length and start the recovery process w/o letting scar tissue build up. When you roll, your muscles relax to absorb all that fresh flowing blood to your sore muscles or soon to be sore muscles. Speeds up recovery.
Here are pictures breaking down a few foam rolling exercises:
1) Quads- Roller is above the knee around quad area. For less pressure you can always go to your hands instead of elbows.
2) Hip/IT Band- the most painful stretch of the 4 shown. This stretch is a MUST for runners. Most knee pain is associated with IT bands being too tight. Roll up and down the side of your leg. This will keep that band long and flexible. Take the roller higher for hips. In the picture I have one leg in front of my body. For more pressure, stack your legs on top of each other.
3) Hamstrings/Glutes- Roller is under hammys. You can stack one leg over the other for more pressure or leave the trailing leg to the side for a bit of support like I am in the pic. For the Glutes, you are basically sitting on the roller. If stretching left glute, bend left leg slightly and cross the right leg over the bent knee.
4) Calves- Roller goes under calf. Stack your other leg over for more pressure or leave it trailing to the side.