Great Yoga Stretches For Runners
You’ve heard about yoga, but did you know that it could be incredibly beneficial to both the casual and competitive runner?
When it comes to running, you need two things: Strength (which we’ve talked about) and flexibility.
As far as flexibility is concerned, yoga stretches are the way to go!
While the prospect of yoga can be daunting to many, there are plenty of ways to incorporate stretches into your routine without a full-blown yoga session.
And yes, they’re just as effective for your overall flexibility! Let’s have a look at a few examples of such stretches.
Yoga stretches develop core strength, physical awareness, flexibility, and range of motion.
An important category of yoga stretches that can benefit your range of motion, circulation, and loosen your hips is known as the hip opening poses.
Bound Angle Pose:
Start with your legs out in front of you. Pull your heels toward your pelvis, drop your knees down to the floor on either side of you, and bring the soles of your feet together.
Keeping your back straight and your buttocks firmly planted on the ground, bring your heels as close to your pelvis as possible.
Hold the pose for several minutes, while focusing on relaxing and deep breathing. You may find after a little while your knees may sink that little bit lower if they’re not already flat on your mat.
As we’ve shown in the photos above, everyone is different. If you’ve ever been to any of our exercise classes, we always advise focussing on your own movements and progress (and not compare to other people!).
Fire Log Pose:
This pose specifically targets your outer hips, giving them quite the stretch. Prepare by shrugging your shoulders back towards one another.
Taking care, take your left foot and bring it under your right leg, aligning it with the opposite hip. After this, put your right leg directly on top of your left and keep your right ankle positioned on top of the left knee.
Again, the photos above demonstrate a difference in the flexibility of people. Keep monitoring your own progress.
We’d suggest this next step only if you’ve been working on this pose for a while or are naturally fairly flexible. Keep your shoulders shrugged and make sure not to bulge your stomach forward. Keeping your focus on breathing, move your body downwards until you can lay your hands and wrists/forearms flat on the ground.
An often overlooked aspect of running can also be improved with yoga stretching. Check out a few yoga stretches that will surely enhance your balance!
Next, bend your right knee and bring the sole of your foot as far up your standing leg as you can. Bring your arms in a comfortable overhead position and keep your back straight.
This is a great pose for working on balance, but take care when you try it. It’s similar to a wall sit or a bodyweight squat.
To start, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your arms forward with the palms facing each other. Hold your arms out straight in front of you so that they’re perpendicular to the floor.
Bring your butt as far down to the floor as you can, in a sitting position.
For an increased stretch through the side of your body, raise the arms even further up the wall so the arms are at a 45-degree angle.
As we’ve said numerous times before, flexibility is quite important to runners, whether you’re a part-time 5k racer or an Olympic sprinter.
Much care needs to be given in order to ensure that you’re as flexible as possible. Yoga stretches are a great way to give your muscles the flexibility they need.
While yoga may seem complex on the outside, it can be easy to pick up, especially if you focus on singular stretches. Don’t hesitate to try some for yourself, and always remember: it’s important to strengthen whatever you stretch!