Avoid injuries and build strength with these 5 yoga poses for runners

November 26, 2014

Serious runners will want to add yoga to their daily routine because it can help prevent injury, steady balance and make them more efficient. These 5 yoga poses for runners should be considered by anyone wanting to improve.

Avoid injuries and build strength with these 5 yoga poses for runners

1. Downward-facing dog

Because running routinely results in shin splints, knee injuries and ankle injuries, it is important to focus on yoga poses that stretch and lengthen the body.

  • When done correctly, downward dog lengthens the back while also stretching the hamstrings and opening the hips.
  • When doing the pose, concentrate on straightening the back, raising the hips and pushing the heels as close to the floor as possible.
  • Because it is important to avoid curving the spine, try bending the knees if the heels cannot reach the floor.

2. Forward fold

  • Start on the floor with your feet stretched in front of you and your back straight.
  • Bend forward at the hips while leaving your knees straight and reach toward your toes.
  • Grab hold of your thighs, ankles or toes and hold the pose for at least five breaths.

Because runners tend to have very tight hamstrings, it may not be possible to lay the legs flat. If this is case for you, place a block under your hips to raise your body off the floor and elongate the legs.

3. Bridge

Runners tend to concentrate on strengthening their lower bodies. It is easy to neglect the upper body and the core for this reason. Consequently, the bridge pose is great for a runner because it requires tightening the core to lift the hips off the ground.

  • Start on your back with your knees bent and hip-width apart.
  • Use your core to lift the hips off the ground and use your shoulder blades to push the chest towards your head.

4. Tree

Any yoga pose that focuses on balance is great for a runner because strengthening the legs will help prevent ankle and foot injuries.

  • Start with your feet together, and raise your right leg to rest on the thigh or calf of your left leg.
  • At the same time, lift your arms straight up and hold the pose. To prevent a knee injury, never rest your foot against the inner knee of the opposite leg.
  • Repeat the exercise on the other leg.

5. Low lunge

Great for improving flexibility in the groin, thighs and hamstrings, the low lunge is perfect for a runner.

  • Start with one foot bent forward and the other leg stretched flat behind you on the ground. Move the hands from the ground to above the head and hold.
  • Repeat the exercise on the other leg.
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