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2:25 pm

Yoga Poses for Runners

After a long run or race, your legs, back, and shoulders feel sore, achy, and tight. Practicing yoga can help you regain range of motion, reduce swelling in your legs, and improve circulation to speed your recovery. Erin shared some poses that benefit runners on her blog, she has been practicing at Om Yoga for over a year- "Stretching is so beneficial for runners because it really stretches out those tight muscles and hamstrings experienced after long runs. Stretching can prevent injuries to the muscles especially the hamstrings and IT band.. Try these poses at home!

1) Low Lunge: Opens and strengthens your thighs, hip flexors, and lower back.
  • Step forward with your right foot (toes forward) and drop down to your back knee, untucking your left toes.
  • Slide the left knee back until you feel a stretch. Be sure to align your right knee directly on top of your right foot. Do not let your right knee hang past your right foot (you should feel this in the thigh and groin area).
2) Crescent Lunge: This is a deeper stretch than the low lunge.
  • From low lunge, untuck back toes and lift knee off ground,
  • Press through the ball of the back foot.
  • A slight backbend helps stretch the abs and back and strengthens the core.
3) Intense Leg Stretch: Strengthens and stretches the inner and back thigh (hamstrings). I have really tight hamstrings so this pose really helps- and gosh do I feel it!
  • With feet together, step right foot forward. Right toes should be pointed straight ahead, left toes should be pointed to the left.
  • Square off the hips to the front and fold over the right leg, trying not to collapse the back. Keep the back long and straight.
  • If it helps, then look forward; one day your forehead will touch your shin!
  • Engage the quads.
4) Pigeon Pose: This is another hip opener and stretches the groin and psoas. This helps runners by increasing the ROM. Also, stress, tension and anxiety are naturally stored in the hips, so this pose helps to release those negative feelings.  
  • From a table top position (on your hands and knees), slide the right foot out meeting your left hand (right knee should be at your right hand).
  • Slide your left leg back with untucked toes. Try to keep hips squared.
  • If this feels good and you want more, begin to fold over that right leg. Be sure to keep your right foot aligned with your right knee (if you are using a mat, your shin should be parallel with the top of the mat).
  • For a more advanced stretch, push your body up and bring the left foot to the bend of your left elbow. Bring your right hand and clasp your left hand behind your head. This stretch is an intense quad stretch, so be aware of the quad in this pose!
Each stretch should be done on both sides to balance the body. I hope you try out these poses and let me know how you feel afterwards!

By Erin

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