Lots of people are in the midst of marathon training plans and other incredible running schedules at the moment. A few people have asked me for yoga stretches for runners so here are some of my favourite yoga poses that might help, focused on the legs and hips.
It’s important not to overstretch and injure yourself – you know your body best so start of slow and gentle and never go past your edge. You can hold these stretches for as long as you like, repeat ones your like or skip the ones that aren’t doing it for you.
1. Cross legs and fold forward – delicious on the IT band. Repeat other side.
2. Point and flex your toes to get into your ankles and feet.
3. Reach up and then fold forward – this is a BIG stretch on the back of your legs which may be tight – you don’t have to touch your toes and you can bend your knees if you like.
4. Plant hands and step back to downward facing dog which opens up the shoulders and if another big stretch for the hammys and calfs.
5. Put your knees down and step one foot forward between hands, reach up up low lunge to work into the hip flexor and quad.
6. Send body weight back straightening front leg to runners lunge – this can be quite intense so don’t go too far and bend your knee if it feels better.
7. Brings hands back to frame front foot and slide knee towards the same wrist, bringing the foot toward other wrist for pigeon pose which opens the hip flexors and gets into the side hip too. Repeat steps 5, 6 & 7 on other side.
8. Swing legs round, bend one leg and tuck in foot by body. Lie back (but not too far) for a big quad stretch, repeat other side.
9. Lie down (yay) put right foot on left knee and thread hands around left leg, pull legs in towards you and hold left calf or thigh – reclining pigeon pose is lovely on the IT band and glutes – repeat other side.
10. Wriggle your feet over to one side and cross the outside foot over the other one. Reach arms up and similarly wriggle then over to the side – it’s called bananasana and because you make a banana shape with your body 🍌it’s lovely on IT band and whole of side body
Finally lie down and feel awesome 👏Let me know how you get on and if there are any other poses you love for pre/post running.