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6 Yoga Poses for Runners

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6 Yoga Poses for Runners

It seems like running is the hip exercise lately! So many people that I know are lacing up and hitting the road to get in shape. Unfortunately, running can be tough on the body, but a good stretching routine can help balance out the impact from pounding the pavement.

Some exercisers like to stretch before and after a run. If you’re already stretching before you run, keep it up, but if that’s not part of your routine, there’s really no need to stretch before running. Walking for a few blocks before you pick up the pace should warm up your muscles just fine.

Proper stretching is just as important for your health as your workout, and because running is so high impact it’s a good idea to focus even more on stretches to help your body recover. When you run, you impact your hips, knees, calves, ankles, thighs, and feet, and it’s a good idea to give your upper body a good stretch after running, as well as hitting those problem areas. Here are some yoga-inspired stretches to help your body recover from running.

1. Garland Pose

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then lower down into a squatting position. You can separate your knees a bit, so that your upper body can rest between them, then straighten your back, and bring your hands into prayer position. If you can’t get your heels on the floor in this posture, don’t fret! You can place your hands on the floor to help support yourself until your ankles and arches stretch enough to do the full pose. Hold for 10 deep breaths.

2. Wide Legged Forward Bend

Stand with your feet in a wide stance, toes pointing forward. Rotate your feet so that your toes point inwards ever so slightly, then bend forward at your waist with a straight back until you can place your hands on the floor. Hang here, letting gravity stretch your back and the backs of your legs, for 10 deep breaths. If you want to go deeper, you can grab hold of your ankles and gently pull your upper body further down. Just make sure you don’t pull too hard – you don’t want to injure yourself!

Next>> More forward bending and a spinal twist.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by lululemon athletica

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


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3:38PM PDT on Jun 7, 2013

Great tips.
Thanks Becky.

10:34PM PDT on May 31, 2012

yeah, don't forget to stretch runners.

10:25PM PDT on Jul 12, 2011

great article!

11:54AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

thank you

7:23AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

I looooove the Wide Legged Forward Bend and the Spinal Twist poses. They do wonders for the back.

5:10AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

Good information, thanks. I would add regarding shoulderstand that more information is vital, no weight on the neck should be emphasized, and 1/2 shoulderstand is very effect, OR, just legs up the wall would probably be the safest for those who are new to yoga.

7:52PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

Good article. Forward bends whether standing or seated are beneficial as is any pose that opens up the hamstrings. These get tight from running. Quad stretches are good to balance as well, such as virasana or pigeon pose (eka pada rajakapotasana) variation are good ones. I believe yoga of any sort is beneficial for runners and cyclists.

3:43PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

darn, i needed yoga for walkers...

12:31PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

Thanks a ton!

12:19PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

Cool. Thanks. I use most of these but a couple are new. Thanks.

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