With the London Marathon fast approaching as well as Spring being upon us, bringing out the sun seeking runners from their hibernation, I thought I’d share some yoga poses to help you with your runs and post run soreness. I used to be a runner myself (short distance sprinting and occasional jogger), and I know first hand how important post run stretches are to not only keeping the soreness away, but also aiding your recovery and improving your running technique.
Here are some yoga poses that you can aim to incorporate into your post run stretch session, or if you practice yoga then you could add some more of them in!
1. Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
Probably the most well known yoga posture, downward facing dog will stretch out your hamstrings, and calves, as well as lengthening the spine and stretching your traps and rhomboids. Make sure to spread your fingers wide, and allow your shoulders to come away from the ears, letting your shoulder muscles relax. If you’re hamstrings are tight (like mine) a slight bend of the knees is perfectly fine.
2. Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
In upward facing dog not only do you get a great stretch the hip flexors as well as the whole front of the body, but you also get to continue opening up the chest, great for all you runners! Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders, toes are on the ground, and focus on pulling your heart and chest open and radiating them out, not over arching the neck.
3. Extended Triangle Pose – Utthita Trikonasana
This pose again stretches out your hamstrings as well as your inner thighs, it’s also really great for runners, as it’s a side stretch, which is helpful as it allows your body to move in a different plane, as the motion of running is purely in the sagittal plane (forward or backward movement), so doing stretches that operate in different planes is great for your body. Make sure to bend from the hip joint, extending the top arm towards the ceiling, aiming to keep a long line from the crown of the head all the way down the spine.
4. Bridge or Wheel Pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or Urdhva Dhanurasana
Both bridge and wheel pose are great chest openers, allowing you to really stretch your chest muscles. Wheel is more advanced and will open up the chest even more, helping to strengthen the lungs (perfect for runners) as well as strengthening the entire body from head to toe. But don’t worry if you don’t have the full wheel yet, bridge pose is also super beneficial!
5. Tree Pose – Vrkasana
One legged balancing poses are great for everyone, as it forces your brain to engage with the body in a different way than when you’re using both legs to balance. It’s also great for strengthening the calves, ankles, thighs, and the spine, whilst allowing you to open up your chest and shoulders. Try to play around with different hand placement, and if you think you’ve got it, see what happens when you close your eyes. Knee police comment: never place the foot directly on the knee in this pose as it’s very dangerous for your knee joint!
What poses do you love doing? Leave a comment and let me know
Bikini from Khongboon