Long gone are the days when a quick touch of the toes and a reach for the sky would suffice for the habitual post-run routine. Thankfully, those interested in running are far more educated on other elements that can be drawn in to make their sport more beneficial, as well as helping to keep them suppler/more injury-free, ultimately bringing increased levels of enjoyment.
If you are looking to bring more to the table as a runner, then it’s certainly a wise option to look at practicing yoga after your workouts. Essentially, you are increasing blood and oxygen flow to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, after your run. Not only this, yoga also provides a welcome boost to flexibility, as well as lessening soreness for issues – such as IT band pain relief – and decreases recovery time too.
We have listed six yoga poses that effectively target common tight and weak spots runners suffer from. By utilising these poses after each run they actively improve the range of motion and strength of the individual to keep muscles and joints healthy. What’s more, you can expect to have the added bonus of developing core strength, balance, and improved focus levels.
Here, you can find a full step-by-step guide to each pose, the specific benefits and contraindications:
Video courtesy of: YoBoHoFitness/YouTube
Benefits: Triangle pose helps to engage every part of the body, strengthen the core, open the hips and shoulders and stretch the legs.
Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the hips, back or shoulders.
Video courtesy of: The Yoga Collective/YouTube
Benefits: Pyramid pose acts to deeply stretch the backs of the legs and develop balance, improve mental functions and circulation.
Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the hips, shoulders or back.
Quadriceps Stretch in Lunge
Video courtesy of: geobeats/YouTube
Benefits: This pose helps to open up any feeling of tight hips and chest, aids to stretch the groin, hip flexors, quads, shoulders and neck. Additionally, this stretch strengthens the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders, and helps to alleviate lower back pain.
Contraindications: Knee injury.
Pigeon Forward Fold
Video courtesy of: garthhewittyoga/YouTube
Benefits: Increases external range of motion of femur in hip socket, and lengthens hip flexors. This pose also prepares the body for backbends and seated postures.
Contraindications: Knee injuries, sacroiliac concerns.
Head to Knee
Video courtesy of: Abi Carver/YouTube
Benefits: Seated head to knee stretches the back and deeply stretches the back of the legs. This posture assists in calming the mind and emotions, encourages the nervous, reproductive, endocrine and urinary systems to become stimulated.
Contraindications: Recent or chronic back or knee injury, or inflammation.
Video courtesy of: Yoga Body Secret/YouTube
Benefits: Happy Baby pose provides a gentle stretch to the hips, inner groins and low back, helps to lengthen and realign the spine, and strengthens the arms and shoulders. The pose also calms the mind and can relieve stress and fatigue, making it a nice choice to do before bed or at the start/end of practice.
Contraindications: Pregnancy, knee injury, neck injury.