Yoga is the perfect exercise partner to running. Doing yoga in conjunction with running can make you a better runner. The right yoga poses help ease pain, eliminate physical stress and make it easier to run efficiently. Combining yoga with running builds up strength and flexibility, working your hamstrings, hip flexors, core and quads. So if you’re a runner what yoga poses should you be doing?
One of the best yoga poses for runners is the classic downward and upward facing dog. Whilst downward facing helps to stretch the hamstrings and the calves, upward helps to expand the chest and the shoulders, which can contribute to better breathing.
The twisting chair pose involves bending your knees as if sitting in a chair, pressing your palms together and rotating to the right, and then to the left. This pose should be held for between five and ten breaths and can really do wonders for your core, your glutes and your arms.
The head to knee pose is another classic pose that involves a lot of stretching of the legs which is perfect for easing the aches and pains of a runner. The great thing about the head to knee pose is that not only does it relax your legs, but it also relaxes your entire body.
The figure 4 pose is the best pose to do if you want to concentrate on stretching and bringing relief to the outside of your hips and your inner thighs. These can be problem areas for runners, so by learning to complete this pose effectively you can put your body in better shape for potentially punishing distances.
This pose is great for if you are seeking something a little more intense for your hip muscles and to relieve built up hamstring tension without having to put too much strain on your lower back. Any poses that can be done in a seated position will always be less taxing on the back.
The low lunge, or lizard pose as it is sometimes known, is fantastic for runners as stretches both the front and the back of the legs as well as opening up the hips and helping to strengthen your core.
The half lord of the fishes is not only one of the best-named yoga poses, it is definitely one of the best for runners! Making sure to twist from your belly, not your neck, the pose helps to open up the shoulders, hips and neck and helps to stretch your IT band.
The reclining pigeon pose is the perfect pose to practice if your life is split between sitting in an office during the day and running at night. It helps to gently stretch all of the vital running muscles and gets you ready for a training session free from injury.
It might sound like an insult, but the cow face pose is actually a great seated pose that you can do to open up the outside of your hips and relieve some of the pressure that might build up as a result of your running.
Now all you runners out there have a great excuse to do exercise other than pound the pavement.
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