Yoga for Sports Series: Yoga for Runners. The Perfect Pre-Run & After Running Yoga Exercises


Are you a marathon runner? Are you a short distance runner? Have you been running on the track for a long time, or are you a newbie to the sport?

Chances are you have heard of people trying to incorporate yoga into cardio. Just like many avid runners like yourself, you may ask yourself this question. “Should I do yoga before and/or after running?"


Are there specific yoga exercises that I can do to improve my running, or aid in recovery, endurance, warm-ups, or cool-down's?

Implementing compound exercise into your active lifestyle is perfect for ideal health and performance, yet in precisely what order?

...Well, the answer is both.


Before running, yoga causes the muscles to warm up and prepare you for your run, without getting fatigued. This is a great way to prevent injury. However, yoga for stretching purposes is best done after a run.

Yoga after a run stretches all the muscles that you just worked, and you will find it much easier to get a good stretch after your muscles have been put through a run and are warmed up! It will assist you with recovering quicker and can likewise help in bringing your heart rate down, possibly even placing you in that fat burn rate.

This article will provide you with the perfect pre-run and after running yoga for runners that will help you warm-up and then aid in your cool-down routine.


Pre-Run Yoga

Standing March Hold





This is the main exercise you should do before you go for your run. It requires zero warm-ups and does many things for your body. It assists with activating your hip-flexors, core, lower legs, and gets your balancing muscles locked in as well.

Doing this straightforward ‘Standing March Hold’ balance posture as a pre-run yoga exercise will stretch your hip-flexors, preparing you for the long run.


Downward Dog

If leg cramps are an issue, the downward dog posture can help improve your flexibility. It is a perfect yoga maneuver for sprinters who usually have sore leg muscles and sometimes tightness in their neck and back muscles.


High Lunges

Even though running can do wonders for the heart, depending on the surface and how long you maintain your run it may not always be great for the hips and lower back. The High Lunge is an incredible exercise for your glutes and thighs.

This exercise concentrates on the your glutes and thigh muscles. While performing pre-run yoga, this ought to be a fundamental exercise to get you loosened up nicely. Hold this one for around 30 seconds.

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 postponing over your ankle or slightly in front.

Keep your back leg straight and your front knee stable as you raise your arms overhead. Once you find your balance, loosen up your neck and concentrate on breathing!


Yoga After Running

Forward Bend

This activity releases lower back tension and stretches your hamstrings at the same time. While standing straight, start to slightly bend your hips forward, continue pressing hips toward the rear, pivoting your body over the front legs.

If able, try touching your ankles or even placing your hands flat on the ground (palms down) on the side of your feet. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds.

For an additional stretch, flex the foot toward the sky. It not only stretches your hamstring and calves, but also prevents cramps after a long run and helps during your cool-down process.


Seated Stretch

If you are used 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 want to get a really nice 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. Now sit back on your heels and bring your body upright.

You should now feel a stretch on the bottom of your feet and ankles.






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 yoga techniques!


Happy Stretching!

In the end, choosing to do cardio or Yoga is up to you. However, incorporating yoga exercises before and after a run will not only reduce your cramps, 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!



References:

https://manflowyoga.com/blog/best-5-pre-run-postures/

https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness-pictures/yoga-poses-for-runners.aspx

https://www.theactivetimes.com/5-pre-run-poses-better-running

https://yogaclub.com/blogs/news/should-i-do-yoga-or-cardio-first

https://www.yogajournal.com/.amp/poses/post-run-yoga

https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/health/injury/a769975/9-yoga-stretches-to-release-post-run-tension/

https://www.womensrunning.com/health/5-best-yoga-poses-for-runners/

https://www.doyou.com/top-5-benefits-of-splits-pose/

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