Though inherently different workouts, there is no need to define yourself as either a runner or a yogi. Together they make a super-charged workout. Integrate these yoga postures into your next post-run regimen and you’re sure to bring some much needed balance back into your life.
The physical act of running tends to bring on many imbalances from the constant pounding of feet on hard surfaces, the kind of imbalances for which the stretching, strengthening, and twisting of yoga serves as the perfect cure!
1. Runner’s Lunge
Called “runner’s lunge” for a reason, this stretch is extremely beneficial for runners as hip flexor muscles tighten (especially when running on ice) during the constant forward motion associated with jogging. From forward fold, step your right leg back. Bring your hands down next to your left leg which should remain at a 90 degree angle. Hold this stretch for about 20-30 seconds and switch to your right leg.
2. Quadricep Stretch
From runner’s lunge, bend at the knee of the extended leg and reach for inner foot. Gently pull heal towards seat for a deep quadricep stretch. Hold, again, for 20-30 seconds and switch to your opposite leg.
3. Pigeon Pose
Yet another deep hip opener, this position is designed to relieve glute pain post-run. From tabletop position, bring your right leg forward and slide your left leg back. In this pose, keep the shin parallel with the top of the mat and foot flexed to protect the knee.
4. Frog Pose
Loosen up groin muscles by actively pushing knees into elbows and elbows into knees. This squat like posture opens up the hip flexors, improves abduction, and is just plain fun. Hold pose for 20-40 seconds.
5. Pyramid Pose
This standing leg forward fold is perfect for loosening up sore hamstrings and IT bands. It strengthens and loosens the back and entire leg.
6. Happy Baby Pose
Settle into this pose to gently open the hip joints, stretch the inner groins, and massage the spine. Bonus: gently rock side to side to get a nice back massage.
7. Upward Facing Dog
Upward facing dog is part of sun salutation and today we are going to use it to stretch our core. Don’t neglect to give your core some lovin’ with this front torso stretch. Cycle through a sun salutation and hold upward facing dog for 20-30 seconds before returning to downward dog.
8. Legs Up The Wall Pose
Relieve stiff legs and tired feet while stretching backs of the legs, front torso, back, and neck. This posture will help speed recovery from that long run! Lying flat on your back, lift both legs and hold for 20-30 seconds.
Do you stretch post-run?