Best yoga for runners is here. For runners, the joy of their sport comes with a price. Too much foot striking and not enough stretching can lead to tight muscles that put extra strain on bones and joints.
Yoga offers dynamic stretches for athletes, particularly runners. It also fosters mindfulness. This awareness helps identify when the body needs rest or is at risk of injury.
Running is great for cardio and strength, but it can cause tightness. For a successful running journey, include yoga in your routine!
Regular practice helps open up those tense spots while balancing the body and boosting flexibility. Reducing injury risk along the way too.
Why Are Yoga Stretches Important For Runners?
A pain-management doctor from the University of California, San Diego acknowledges a fact. Running injuries often come from something called functional shortening.
Overused muscles can tighten, making knees and hips injury-prone. Adding runner-specific yoga stretches to your routine can prevent these issues. This helps you log more miles without injury.
Best Yoga For Runners
Maintain a healthy running body with these top yoga poses for runners! These stretches, designed for runners, target key muscles and enhance performance.
With poses accessible at all levels, it’s easy to look after your hardworking self. Who deserves nothing but the best! So let’s get on the yoga mat.
Butterfly (Baddha Konasana)
After a long run, unlock tight hips and increase flexibility with the transformative power of butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana).
This relaxing seated pose is great for recovery after intense activity. It stretches the inner thigh psoas and improves lower back mobility.
To do this pose, sit comfortably on a flat surface. Then, gently bring your feet together like wings. This instantly eases tension in stress-prone areas.
Unlock the potential of your feet and ankles with a gentle stretch. Allowing them to slowly separate like pages in an open book. For those seeking more comfort, use a block or bolster to ease into it while keeping the spine straight and aligned.
Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
Happy Baby, Ananda Balasana, is a calming and restorative yoga posture that brings the body into a safe and relaxed position.
Ideal for concluding a session or following a tough pose like downward dog, this pose gently opens the hips. It also relieves neck and lower back discomfort.
To practice happy baby, begin by lying on your back with your legs bent at the knees and feet resting slightly apart on the floor. Take a slow deep breath while reaching down towards your ankles or feet.
Gently draw them in until you feel comfortable. Ensuring that you’re engaging with the muscles of your back while keeping a relaxed tension between your thighs. This will help to keep the posture comfortable so there isn’t any added strain on the body.
Remain in this position for up to five minutes or until you feel ready to move out of it.
To do this, roll onto one side and slowly rise. Use props like blankets or pillows for support if necessary.
The happy baby pose enhances hip flexibility and body circulation. Its gentle movements relax the mind and body, promoting better nervous system coherence.
Half-Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Unlock your body and find relief by practicing Half-Pigeon. It’s a powerful hip opener that simultaneously stretches the psoas and hip flexors.
Start in a seated position, with one leg extended behind you while pulling your other shin parallel to the front of your mat.
Keep both hips square as you inhale slowly and gently relax them into this comfortable pose.
If desired take it further by lowering onto forearms for an even more intense stretch! Use blocks or bolsters underneath back knee when needed. Then switch legs after 30-60 seconds (or longer!) to evenly open up all sides of inner thighs, glutes and lower backs muscles.
Enjoy feeling completely opened from head to toe afterwards!
Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)
Your calves and ankles take a lot of strain, but it’s easy to give them some much-needed TLC. The Pyramid Pose with blocks is the perfect way to stretch those trouble areas while freeing up your tight hamstrings too!
Tightness in this area can lead not only to discomfort but also nasty injuries such as shin splints or plantar fasciitis. So don’t be shy about showing your lower limbs some extra love through this beneficial pose.
Enliven your Crescent Lunge practice with a stimulating balance! Shorten the stance to allow for grounding in the outer heel of your back foot.
Place supports under both sides of the front right foot and enjoy an expansion through chest, arms and shoulders as you inhale.
Exhaling leads you into a radiant forward fold on blocks. Softening the front knee intensifies the calf muscles with each breath cycle.
Half Splits (Ardha Hanumanasana)
Running uphill strengthens hamstrings with gravity’s help, toning your lower body. However, it can cause soreness afterwards.
Before stretching the left leg out in half splits afterward, start off low lunge followed by a quad stretch.
Release more tightness by gently pressing and rocking one foot’s heel side-to-side. Then, step forward into another deep waist-level bend.
Reclining Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
Running can put a lot of stress on the spine, especially when running downhill. A great way to counteract this pressure is with an easy twist exercise – no specialized equipment required!
This pose decompresses your backbone and stretches the outer hip muscles, which often tighten from trail-running.
Why not using yoga blocks? Get ready for some serious relief!
Gently sink into the cozy embrace of a restorative twist, cross your right thigh over your left and send your arms out wide.
Shift to the side gently, letting gravity lower your knees towards the ground. An optional pillow can provide extra support underneath.
After some moments in this pose, switch sides for ultimate relaxation!
Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Get your body ready for a run with the rejuvenating pose of downward-facing dog! This posture stretches out and strengthens muscles in the calves, hamstrings, feet arches, spine and shoulders.
It’s all about keeping length throughout your body. Start off on hands and knees with hips directly over your knees then slowly lift up the tailbone towards the ceiling to straighten legs.
No need to push yourself aiming for heels touching down! Feel how good it is as you re-energize those lower limbs before setting foot onto that running track.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Bridge pose is a great way to open your upper body and add extra strength and activation in the core area. Especially beneficial for runners.
To experience this gentle backbend, start by lying on your back with knees bent.
Pull your heels close to your glutes, or lightly touch them with your fingers. Engage your glutes and lift your hips towards the ceiling.
To deepen the pose, bring shoulder blades closer and grasp the floor with your hands. Keep your neck relaxed and ears away from shoulders. Tuck your chin gently into your chest to complete the pose.
Why Stretching For Runners Is Important?
When it comes to running, stretching is not only an essential part of any training regimen. But it can be the difference between success and injury.
Maximizing blood flow in muscles and joints before and after a run improves flexibility and reduces injury risk. With increased range of motion after stretching, you can become a better runner!
Stretching can boost your running performance. Regular stretches enhance flexibility and range of motion, improving form and speed while using less energy!
With flexible muscles enabling easier movement. It’s clear that a regular stretching routine is essential for unlocking the full potential of your runs.
Stretching after a run is key to more than just avoiding injury and boosting your performance. It can also help you recover faster and reduce the risk of injury.
Exercise causes lactic acid build-up in muscles, leading to fatigue and soreness. Stretching flushes out this lactic acid, speeding up recovery and making future runs easier.
So don’t forget those post workout stretches, they’ll have you back at peak form no time! There are not only yoga strech exercises. So, which stretches should you be doing as a runner? Here are a few key stretches to include in your routine:
Hamstring stretch: Refresh your body and mind with a simple hamstring stretch! Start by sitting on the ground, extending both legs out in front of you. Reach towards your toes as far as comfortable; then hold for 20-30 seconds to maximize this full body energizing experience.
Quad stretch: Unlock the hidden potential of your body with a quad stretch! Stand in a relaxed way, feet shoulder-width apart. Then take hold of one foot and draw it up towards you; keep that gentle pressure pinned for 20 to 30 seconds before switching sides – greater flexibility awaits!
Calf stretch: Strengthen and elongate your lower body with a calf stretch! Stand facing wall, hands at shoulder height. Step back on one foot while pressing heel into the ground to engage all of those muscles in your calves; hold for 20-30 seconds before switching sides. Get ready to feel those legs stretching out!
IT band stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Cross your right foot over your left foot and lean to the right. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Stretching is a key component beside your regular yoga practice. Not only can it help you run longer and stronger, but also prevent injuries while aiding quicker recovery times. Incorporate stretching into your training regimen.
Be sure to get those muscles warm with some pre-run moves and finish off after with cool down stretches for optimal performance. Improve agility, flexibility, strength – make this integral part of any workout routine!
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