A 20 minute sequence of yoga poses for runners, and those wanting to focus on opening up and creating flexibility in the lower body – particularly the hamstrings.
Consisting of medium holds, this class is suitable for your warm up, but particularly for your cool down and recovery. It’s also beginner-friendly, with modified options available for the poses.
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Here are the top poses to focus on when trying to stretch out before or after a run:
Puppy Pose – Running does not only tighten up our legs! Remember running is a full body activity. It’s important to give some love to our shoulders and upper back. Puppy pose is a fantastic chest opener. It feels amazing to hold for at least 5 breaths!
Low Lunge – This pose begins to add flexibility into the hips while still adding in a bit of strength. Often a transitional pose, it could be held for a lot longer than usual, especially if the groin is tight!
Twisted Monkey – Again, think about the full body. Twists help to relieve tension in the back while opening up the chest as well. In a more advanced option, the top hand can reach for the back foot. Yeew! Talk about a hip opener!
Runners Stretch – The classic stretch that ever runner needs. This pose helps to open up the hamstrings. Always focus on bringing the belly down to the thigh rather than worrying about curling the head down to avoid rounding the back. Although this pose works on the hamstrings, we still always want to work on our poor lower back, which is often sore.
Pyramid Pose – A more advanced pose, pyramid pose gets deeps into the back of our legs. Be sure to draw the front hip back to begin squaring off the hips. Again – focus on the belly towards legs rather than the head. We don’t want to round that back!
Warrior Two – There is a reason why this is one of the most well known yoga poses. Warrior two does a combination of things: strength in the legs and arms, flexibility in the hips, balance in the entire body and lots of focus. Be sure to keep the front knee in line with your ankle and balance the weight evenly throughout the feet.
Triangle Pose – Triangle reaches into not only the hamstrings but the groin too! Safely reach as far forward as you can, before dipping your hand down to the floor. Something important to consider is not collapsing your weight into the bottom hand and to keep the chest lifted. Think of it as a little twist!
Forward Fold – Whether its seated, legs together or legs apart – forward folds are important for runners. Take some time getting used to this pose. Give the head a shake, lets the weight of your head and neck completely relax. Make sure to bend the knees and allow that belly to rest on the thighs. Like I’ve said before – its important to lengthen our lower back to help relieve pain we often have!
Just because you are a runner does not mean you need to be inflexible. I began my yoga journey to help with running and now they both hold a place in my heart. Keep up with the practice, you will be amazed at what results you will see.
Are you tight in the hamstrings?
I’d love to hear from you – how did this series of ‘yoga poses for runners’ feel in your body? If you have any questions or would like to share your experience, let me know via the comment section below.
P.S. Who do you know that may find this ‘yoga for runners’ routine helpful? Share it with them now, they’ll thank you later!