Yoga for Runners: Eight Moves to Improve Flexibility and Strength

Have you ever ever thought of doing yoga for runners? Yoga has many advantages past sustaining flexibility. Yoga will help you sleep higher, enhance your focus, enhance endurance, assist you to construct muscle energy, enhance your steadiness, and decrease your resting coronary heart charge.

All of this stuff will help runners carry out higher, with analysis from the Worldwide Journal of Yoga (Opens in a brand new tab) Discovering that yoga can really assist athletes enhance oxygen uptake and utilization throughout train, making the physique extra environment friendly.

Yoga is often practiced on a yoga mat. One of the best yoga mats (Opens in a brand new tab) They’re comfy on your Bonner’s joints and have a sticky texture to make sure that you’ll be able to keep put when gripping conditions.

However there is no such thing as a proper or unsuitable on the subject of yoga runners as a result of many postures will profit them. We have rounded up a few of the finest yoga poses for runners that will help you get began, with the assistance of bodily therapist Kelly Rotheram.

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  2. 1. The downward canine
  3. 2. Low lunge
  4. 3. Intense facet elevate
  5. 4. Reclining hero mode
  6. 5. The bridge
  7. 6. Lay the tub reclining
  8. 7. Toe squat
  9. 8. Head to knee place
  10. Why ought to runners follow yoga?

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Kelly Rotheram

Licensed Physiotherapist

With over 15 years of expertise in bodily remedy, Kelly has intensive data of working with elite athletes and most people. She is captivated with her work and takes a holistic method together with her sufferers as she understands the bodily and psychological impression of damage. She is co-owner of High Toe Physiotherapy and Senior Physiotherapist.

1. The downward canine

Bodily therapist Kelly Rotheram explains why a downhill canine is sweet for runners to coach, “It really works on flexibility and energy,” she says. The downward going through canine targets your higher and decrease physique on the identical time, so you may really feel it in your arms, shoulders, again, calf, hamstrings, and ankles.

“Not solely does a downward going through canine present nice stretch within the ankle and leg, nevertheless it additionally strengthens numerous the smaller stabilizing muscle groups within the foot. To guard your self from damage whereas working, you need ft that may conform to the bottom, react shortly to terrain and switch weight successfully” .

Woman on a yoga mat doing a ramp dog
(Picture credit score: Getty)

Step 1 From 4 poses, place your arms in entrance of your shoulders and bend your toes. Unfold your fingers huge.

Step 2 As you exhale, elevate your hips up and again, making your backbone lengthy.

Step 3 You may hold your knees bent in case your shoulders are spherical. You need to elevate your shoulders up and out of it, with a flat higher again, urgent the ground away from you.

Step 4 – Take 3 deep breaths right here. You may keep nonetheless or stroll right away, bending one knee at a time.

2. Low lunge

The low lunge is a should for runners. Rotherham explains: “As a runner, you may’t ignore the lunge, a motion that has many various types and vital coaching results. The low lunge can practice steadiness and physique grasp and support motion of the trunk, hips, and ankle joints. The low lunge stretches primarily the quadriceps, stomach, and hip flexors and helps to Strengthening the glutes.”

Man doing low lunge yoga for running
(Picture credit score: Getty)

Step 1 From the canine down, transfer your proper foot ahead between your arms, and decrease your left knee to the ground. Loosen the toes of your left foot.

Step 2 You may place your arms on both facet of your proper foot. Maintain making use of strain in your proper foot and the highest of your left foot as you breathe in in a lunge.

Step 3 – As you press into your ft, decrease your hips ahead and all the way down to stretch the quadriceps muscle groups on the left leg. Take 3 deep breaths.

Step 4 Swap your legs, carry your left foot ahead and your proper leg again and repeat.

3. Intense facet elevate

The acute lateral stretch pose is a deep stretch that focuses not solely on the legs, ankles, and ft however on the backbone.

Rothram gives perception into what this pose can do for runners, “This pose relieves stiffness within the legs and hip muscle groups and helps with motion within the hips and backbone,” she says. The core muscle groups work whereas the pinnacle rests on the knees. The shoulders are pulled again, which helps appropriate spherical and droopy shoulders.”

Yoga students doing intense lateral stretching
(Picture credit score: Getty)

Step 1 – Come to a stand together with your ft spaced about your leg. Flip your proper toes to the quick facet of the yoga mat and roll your left toes towards the middle of your mat.

Step 2 – Inhale and lift your arms up, rotate your hips in the identical course as your proper foot, and exhale the folds of your hips over your proper leg.

Step 3 – Place your arms in your proper leg or the ground, in case you can attain it. You can too use yoga blocks below the arms for assist, or wrap your arms behind you.

Step 4 – As you’re taking 3 deep breaths right here, hold turning your left thigh towards the fitting foot till your pelvis stays flat.

Step 5 – Inhale, press firmly into your ft, interact your thighs and lift your arms up, standing up. Repeat on the opposite facet.

4. Reclining hero mode

Rotherham says there are various advantages from the reclining champ place for runners. “The reclining champ pose will increase flexibility and encourages correct alignment within the hips, legs, and knees. It stretches the quads, encourages and trains inside rotation whereas additionally strengthening the decrease again.

Person doing a reclining action in hero position
(Picture credit score: Getty)

Step 1 Come to your knees and make your ft wider than your hips. Your knees might or is probably not shut collectively, do what’s finest on your knees right here.

Step 2 Roll your calf muscle groups with the assistance of your arms and sit between your heels. You should use a block or pillow below your buttocks right here for assist.

Step 3 You can begin strolling once more in your arms, ensuring that you don’t really feel any ache in your knees. You need to really feel a stretch in your thighs, so bending the tailbone behind the knees might assist with that.

Step 4 Maintain going again till you attain the comfy restrict. You might find yourself on the arms, elbows, or mendacity all the way in which down. Discover your distinction and maintain for 5 deep breaths.

Fifth step To get out, stroll again up utilizing your arms and lift your heels. Lengthen your legs out and shake them.

5. The bridge

Bridge pose is nice for stretching after an extended distance and enhancing hip energy. Rotheram feedback: “Working can put strain in your hips, which, over time, can negatively have an effect on your efficiency.

“Fortuitously, the bridge is right here that will help you construct energy within the quadriceps. We all know how vital the glutes are for runners too, and this pose can actually assist goal that posterior chain. It additionally engages your core and stretches the hip muscle groups.”

A man makes a bridge at home
(Picture credit score: Getty)

Step 1 Come to lie in your again together with your ft on the ground near your buttocks. You need to have the ability to contact your heels together with your center fingers.

Step 2 Put your arms down at your facet, palms going through the ground. Squeeze your arms and forearms and start to elevate your hips up with an inhale.

Step 3 Maintain bending the tailbone to the again of your knees and elevate your hips up. Your chest ought to transfer towards your throat.

Step 4 Take three deep breaths right here earlier than you exhale once more. You may repeat this place a number of occasions.

6. Lay the tub reclining

From a bodily therapist’s perspective, the reclining tub place has a variety of advantages for runners.

Rotherham explains: “The mendacity tub place gives a number of advantages. It opens the muscle groups across the hips, decrease again, and backs of the legs. After we do not take the time to correctly stretch the over-taxed areas, it may well usually result in tightness and ache. Stretching these muscle teams Gently chosen will enable your physique to correctly heal and get well from overuse.

“As a result of this pose is finished in your again, it is nice to do as a warm-up pose or a cool-down pose. Since mendacity down would not put any strain in your hips or knees, it is also a safer option to open up your hip in case you’re working with any thigh instability or accidents. on the knee.”

Woman doing pigeon lying in bed
(Picture credit score: Getty)

Step 1 From the bridge place, hold your ft on the ground and place your proper ankle in entrance of your left knee.

Step 2 Ensure your proper knee is shifting away out of your proper shoulder till you’re feeling a stretch in your outer proper hip. You may keep right here together with your left foot on the bottom or in case you do not feel a lot within the outdoors proper hip, attempt the following step.

Step 3 Inhale and elevate your left foot off the bottom. Move your proper arm by way of the center of the legs and your left arm across the left facet of the left leg till you may pull the again of your left thigh.

Step 4 Take 5 deep breaths right here earlier than altering to repeat on the opposite facet.

7. Toe squat

This isn’t everybody’s cup of tea nevertheless it proves to be a should for runners. Rotheram explains, “Your foot and leg are subjected to large strain with every swift step you’re taking whereas working. Stretching your toes and the soles of your ft can scale back the incidence of plantar fasciitis, which in flip ensures that your working stays bearable. This pose additionally works to stretch the muscle groups and connective tissues on the shin size to assist stop and scale back the ache of shin splints.

woman doing squatting
(Picture credit score: Getty)

Step 1 – Come to a kneeling place. Put your arms in entrance of you and elevate your hips off your ft.

Step 2 Bend your toes down and begin bringing the load of your hips again towards your ft. For some individuals, they will sit on their heels with their arms on their knees. For others, putting their arms on the ground and bending ahead is sufficient to lengthen the ft.

Step 3 Take 5 deep breaths right here earlier than lifting and liberating the ft utterly.

8. Head to knee place

Good Posture to Get into Follow, “The pinnacle pose for the knee stretches the hamstrings, hips, and quadriceps. Athletes and runners who have to run will profit loads from this wonderful approach for tight hamstrings,” says Rotheram.

Woman wearing head to knee at home
(Picture credit score: Getty)

Step 1 Come to a sitting place together with your legs straight in entrance of you. Bend your proper knee and place your foot on the within of your left leg.

Step 2 Inhale and place your arms on the ground subsequent to your hips. Raise your chest up, extending your backbone and loosening your shoulders away out of your ears. Exhale right here and inhale to boost the arms up.

Step 3 Exhale and fold ahead, stopping out of your hips to your left leg. Take three deep breaths right here earlier than altering sides.

Why ought to runners follow yoga?

It is not uncommon to really feel stiffness after working an extended distance. Runners are all the time suggested to stretch earlier than and after their run, however what number of really do it?

Stretching earlier than working warms up your muscle groups whereas stretching afterwards helps preserve your flexibility – skipping working after stretching can scale back your mobility over time.

There’s additionally the additional benefit that stretching after train helps blood circulation to the muscle groups to take away lactic acid. If we really feel a buildup of lactic acid, we might really feel ache or a burning sensation in our muscle groups. Doing a little yoga after your run could be a good way to start out the therapeutic course of on your drained legs.

“Working is repetitive in nature,” says bodily therapist Kelly Rotheram. This will trigger a musculoskeletal imbalance in flexibility or energy. Yoga helps restore coordination and steadiness to the physique by enhancing flexibility and energy within the muscle groups and gives a full-body exercise. Muscle groups of the arms and higher torso that aren’t usually utilized in working are known as upon and strengthened.”

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