There is no doubt; runners are physically fit people. Long-distance runners, most especially, are strongly built. However, most can’t describe runners as limber or flexible. Thus, most runners would likely agree that is there is one weakness that needs to be bolstered among them; it is their flexibility. The good news is, today’s runners are getting more limber with the runners’ yoga. Through a series of Asanas or poses, a flexibility routine can be developed; this is the runners’ yoga stretches.
Stretch or Injury
Stretching is important in running as it improves flexibility. Flexibility is an important key to preventing injuries in running. Yoga can also increase blood flow and distribution of oxygen to muscles, ligaments, and tendons that boosts agility as well as dexterity. The result is less risk for injuries, soreness, and speedy recovery in case of injuries and pains.
Other Benefits of Runners Yoga
It is common knowledge among health and fitness buffs that yoga offers tremendous health, physical and mental benefits. For runners, integrating yoga as a cross training program can help them attain physical goals necessary for running such as flexibility, agility, balance, and overall strength with emphasis on those that are used less in running like core and upper body,
Yoga is called as “meditation in motion.” Thus, runners can learn to empty their minds of other concerns and instead focus just on running. With proper breathing, one can relax and enjoy the run. All these contribute to a run that ends well without injuries or sores as a common aftermath of a long run.
Warming Up Before a Run
Before a run, the runner needs to warm up. Warming up the muscles is very important for the efficient use of muscles and conservation of energy. Warm muscles are also more flexible and agile. There is also less risk for injury. Warming up relieves tension that allows better circulation of oxygen. A runner who is into yoga warms-up by doing a few sun salutations.
Doing a series of yoga poses or Asanas is a great way to relax after a run. Consequently, post-run stretching also helps a runner develop core strength, balance, and focus. To improve the range of motion, to bolster strength of muscles and to keep the joints healthy, here is a 10-step flexibility routine called runners’ yoga stretches
- Supta Padangusthasana or Reclined Big Toe Pose – This stretches the calves and hamstrings. You can start by lying down to stretch your legs slowly. Do this interchanging the pointed and flexed foot. Use a yoga strap or belt on both legs.
- Janu Sirsasana or Head-to-Knee Pose – This is a classic runner’s stretch that works in the hamstrings and calves.
- Baddha Konasana or Cobbler’s Pose – This is a great stretch for the hips and groins.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose – This basic spinal twist is intended to stretch the shoulders and back.
- Gomukhasana or Cow Face Pose – This works great for the hips and triceps.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog – This stretches the hamstrings, calves and shoulders in a standing Asana.
- Lunge – This is a classic stretch exercise for the hip flexors.
- Natarajasana or King Dancer Pose – This is a great stretch for the quadriceps and balance.
- Parsvottonasana or Pyramid Pose – While on a standing Asana, stretch the hamstring that is a very important muscle group.
- Prasarita Padottanasana or Standing Straddle Forward Bend – This is a final stretch for the hips and hamstrings.
Running can stress the body – joints, muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. A sore body is to be expected as an aftermath of long-distance running. Nevertheless, with runners’ yoga stretches during the warm- up and after the run, a runner is likely to avoid injuries and experience less pain. When pain occurs, recovery is faster. Therefore, smart runners these days go for yoga for a fun run.