Yoga For Runners:
Are you a marathon runner? Short distance runner? Have you been running on a track for a long time? Are you a newbie to the sport? Chances are you may have heard of individual’s trying to incorporate yoga, into cardio workouts. Yoga for runners, specifically, also exists.
Furthermore, you may ask yourself these questions when it comes to, yoga for runners.
- Should I do yoga before and/or after running?
- Are there specific yoga exercises that I can do to improve my running?
- Will yoga aid in my recovery?
- Help with endurance?
- Should I include yoga in my warm-ups, or cool-down’s?
Yoga Is Diverse:
Implementing compound exercise into your active lifestyle is perfect for ideal health and performance, yet in precisely what order?
Well, the answer just may be both.
Before running, yoga causes the muscles to warm up and prepare for your run, without getting fatigued. Somewhat similar to what stretching would do. This is a great way to prevent injury, simply because it can help loosen tight spots, elongating the muscle slowly.
However, some swear by yoga (for stretching purposes) being best performed after a run.
Yoga after a run, stretches all the muscles that you just worked (restoring range of motion). Areas of the body like your calves, hips and hamstrings, believe it or not, may actually somewhat tense, even after a run. Yoga can help create a balance in the area(s) which are tense.
Additionally, it may be easier and better to stretch after your muscles are already warmed up. We can also use yoga after a run to help develop more strength to the core.
It may also assist you with an additional calorie burn. By calorie burn, we mean helping to slowly bring your heart rate down, but also remain in that “fat burn” heart rate zone.
Without further ado here are some pre-run and after running asanas that will help you warm-up and then aid in your cool-down efforts.
Yoga For Runners: Pre-Run Yoga
Standing March Hold
We love the the standing march hold prior to running, as it helps target several areas of your body at one time. For example, it assists with activating your hip-flexors, core, lower legs, and gets those stabilizer muscles locked-in, before the run, as well.
Try adding this ‘Standing March Hold’ posture as a pre-run yoga exercise in your pre run routine.
A staple in yoga routines. Personally, downward dog has been helpful in alleviating leg cramps, specially in the calve area, as it helps to activate this area, prior to our run(s).
It can also be advantageous when it comes to a full body prep. It not only can help with “the stretch” but it also utilizes and improves both strength and balance.
Areas activated (and/or) stretched include the arms, hamstrings, calves, spine, shoulders, neck and back muscles.
Even though running can do wonders from a cardiovascular perspective, depending on the surface and longevity, it’s not always nice to other body parts. Which is why pre-run yoga, to us, is so importance.
High lunge is an incredible exercise for your glutes and thighs. While performing pre-run yoga, this ought to be a fundamental exercise to get you loosened up, nicely.
Extend your one leg backwards behind you, while bringing your other leg forward as close to a 90 degree angle as you can. Your knee should be almost directly positioned, over your ankle or slightly in front.
Your torso will be over your right leg at this time as well. Begin to roll your shoulders up and back. Concentrate on activating your core. Then, while pressing into the front leg, begin to lift your torso upward. Concentrating on focused breathing.
Yoga for Runners: Yoga After Running
This activity releases lower back tension and stretches your hamstrings, along with many others benefits. Uttanansana is actually a very complex pose, contrary to belief.
While standing straight, start to slightly bend your hips forward, continue pressing hips toward the rear, pivoting your body over the front legs.
It’s completely okay to bend at the knees, so to be able to continue downwards towards the ankles, or even placing your hands flat on the ground. In time, you can build upon this movement, eventually being able to keep the legs straight.
Be sure as you extend downward, you’re extended the crown of your head toward the ground. Additionally, drawing your shoulders down and back.
We include this pose post run because it is also a pose that should help connect your body and mind. Even though it may appear simple, it’s a full body movement, that takes mindfulness in getting the most out of.
If you are prone to having tight hips after a run, this stretch is for you. It’s incredible for opening your hips up after a run, as well as focuses again, on your hamstrings and lower back.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight, putting your feet level on the ground, toes pointing up. Gradually roll your hips forward and reach for your toes. Your chest/torso should be over your thighs, and hands/fingers reaching for your heels.
Keep your pose, attempt to breath slowly and with each breathe attempt to reach a bit further.
The Toe Squat
If you looking to create a stretch for your ankles and sols of your feet, then this post-run yoga exercise can help!
Stoop down with your legs and feet marginally separated. To make it a little harder, place them closer together. Place your hands and knees on your yoga mat, with your toes faced down behind you.
Then sit back on your heels and bring your body upright. You should now feel a stretch on the bottom of your feet and ankles.
In the end, choosing to do cardio or Yoga is up to you. However, incorporating yoga exercises before and after a run may not only reduce your a risk of injury, but also help you experience a far better run.
Thanks for stopping by and as always, please share your thoughts, so we can all improve our daily lives with yoga and knowledge! Please share our posts on social media and stop by again soon!
Want to take your yoga + running game to the next level, try doing yoga on the beach or adding in yoga props to advance your practice.