Whether you are a competitive or recreational runner, tight and weak hamstrings can affect everyone and cause pain and injury among athletes. Yoga can be not only a relaxing and fun way to enhance your strength and release some muscle tension, it can also become a runner’s best friend. According to Katie Neitz of Runner’s World, “A simple yoga routine loosens tight spots, strengthens weak spots, and makes you a better, less injury-prone runner.”
The following pose provided by Kelle Walsh from Experience Life sets its focus on an athlete’s Adductor Magnus in order to “alleviate tightness, prevent hamstring injuries, and make it easier to activate the glutes.” This pose will allow runners to loosen up their muscles that are strained throughout their workout. Athletes can expect to see improvements both on and off the mat by participating in yoga. This pose designed specifically for runners along with many others can be a key component in bumping your workout performance up to the next level!
Target Area: Hamstrings
Pose: Standing Straddle Forward Fold
When to perform: Post-workout or during recovery.
How to do it:
- Step your feet wide apart (about a leg’s length), with your feet parallel.
- Walk your hands down your legs, and allow your torso to hang between your legs. You can bend your knees and rest your hands on the floor or a yoga block, if you choose.
- Bend and stretch your legs a few times, and press down evenly through the bottoms of your feet to gently deepen the stretch. Then be still, and hold for five breaths.
The next pose provided by Runner’s World aims at both stretching a commonly strained muscle as well as reducing the risk of injury.
Target Area: Shins and arches of feet
Pose: Toes Pose
Benefits: Prevention of plantar fasciitis—stretches out an athlete’s shins as well as the arches of the feet
How to do it:
- Kneel on your mat with your toes curled under.
- Sit back on your heels (you can place a yoga block or pillow between your heels and glutes).
- Breathe deeply for 10 counts.
- Point your toes, place your hands on the mat behind you, and lean back as you attempt to lift your knees off the mat. If your knees don’t come far up, don’t worry. You’ll still feel a nice stretch in your shins and arches.
Neitz, Katie. Runner’s World. “Yoga for Runners.” http://www.runnersworld.com/the-body-shop/yoga-for-runners
Walsh, Kelle. Experience Life. “Yoga for Athletes: There’s a Pose for That!” https://experiencelife.com/article/theres-pose-for-that/