Yoga – is there anything so complementary to running that runners are more afraid of? Well, maybe not all runners (Christine, runner and yogini extraordinaire springs to mind), but many runners I know mumble something about their hamstrings and severe lack of flexibility when the subject of yoga comes up.
This month in our workouts for runners round up, Angela, Allie, Nellie, Sarah, Laura and I are here to tell you that adding in yoga as a form of stretch for runners is a perfect way to recover after running. As a trainer, I am also a big proponent of active stretching as well as passive, static stretching. Yoga poses are a perfect cool-down active stretch post run and I often suggest yoga practice to my running clients.
If you’re new to our monthly series, 6 of us running bloggers and coaches share a workout on a theme every month. Here are our past round ups you may have missed – you’ll never complain of not knowing what to do in the gym again!
Ready for a yoga stretch routine to add on to the end of your next run?
I adore this sequence. It was one of the first yoga sequences I learned, back in high school, and I still love doing it today. It’s a great way to finish off a run because it is still a very active sequence, so it’s a nice way to transition with your breath from your run into a calmer, cool down stretch session. Check out this Rodney Yee video to see the poses that make up the sun salutation flow.
This is another active pose, a great one for runners to draw on the strength from their run and channel it into a strong position. Spend some time here, a few breaths as you sink into the pose, and feel how your muscles were working while you were running. Move into the next pose, then repeat the warrior II and triangle pose on the other side.
This pose is a great way to flow from warrior and get a good side and back bend, stretching out and opening up your chest in the process.
Down Dog Leg Cycles
From the standing active poses, move down to the mat and get into a down dog position. Down dog is a deceptive pose – it seems to be a resting position, but when your hands and feet are placed and your muscles engaged to hold it, you can feel the heat of the pose. I love cycling the legs in this pose as a way of loosening up the hips a little, always an area of tightness for runners. In down dog, simply bend one knee in towards the opposite side of your chest, alternating sides. I do these slowly and really get the stretch in the outer hip as you reach your knee, before switching to the other leg.
Finally, finish up in child’s pose – with knees bent, take a seat between your feet and fold over in front. A lovely variation of this pose is to inch your fingertips out to one side to get a stretch in your lat, then inch back to center and over to the other side.
I promise, even if yoga is new to you, these are some simple poses and flows that your runner’s body will LOVE.
Want more to love? Good, time to check out the workouts from the lovely ladies in the monthly workouts round up!!
Check out Angela’s 5 yoga poses for runners:
Here is a video from Sarah to stretch you out:
Nellie is all about getting your hips loose (and we all know that’s the place we runners need the stretching most!):
And finally, Laura has an awesome stretch routine for you to loosen up after your run:
Okay, so what are your favorite stretches post run? And are you a runner who embraces yoga, or are you mumbling about your hamstrings? 😉