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5-Pose Yoga Sequence for Runners

Fitday Editor

Whether you're new to running or a running expert, cross-training and stretching are important factors in improving your run and reducing your risk of injury. Practicing yoga is an efficient way to both strengthen and stretch your muscle tissues. You'll reach muscles that you might not tap into while running, but that would help you move further and faster. In a yoga practice, you'll also release deep tension built up within your tissues that could otherwise tug and tear from overuse while running.

  1. Low Lunge

    Low lunge will help strengthen and stretch your thighs, as well as release your psoas and tight hip flexors. Stand with your feet together and fold forward, releasing your hands to the ground. Step your left foot far behind you and release your knee to the ground. Stack your right knee above your ankle and press your pelvis slightly forward and down. Make sure your back knee is lengthened out from under your hips so you are not putting pressure on your knee cap. Lengthen your spine, keeping your fingertips on the ground. Hold for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Half Split

    Half splits help to stretch tired hamstrings after a run. From a low lunge, shift your hips back, stacking your back hips over your back knee. Lengthen your front leg and flex your foot as you fold over your leg. To deepen further, flex your foot further to stretch the back of your leg, and reach your rib cage away from your waist to lengthen your spine. Hold for 2-3 minutes.

  3. Pigeon

    When you run, or even when you sit still after an intense or lengthy run, your hips can tighten up, causing pain in your back, sciatic nerve and knees. Pigeon pose can help to stress the hips and release tension. From your half split, shift back forward into a lunge. Lower your right knee to outside of your right wrist and side your foot across the mat. Your shin will be somewhat parallel to the front of your mat. Center yourself over your pelvis, not leaning to the right or left, and slowly fold forward as far as you can. Hold for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Standing Splits

    Strengthening the hamstring is just as important as stretching to improve your run and prevent injury. Standing splits help to both deeply strengthen and stretch as you reach the legs in opposing directions. From Pigeon, come back to your low lunge. Tuck your back toes under and lift your back knee off the ground. Shift your weight into your front foot, straighten your front leg, and lift your back leg off the ground and into the air. Fold your torso in towards your bottom shin. Point your toes to reach your top leg as high as you can. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

  5. Warrior 3

    Strengthening not only the legs but he core is important to run safely and efficiently. A strong core will help you balance and stability, while powering through the legs. Warrior 3 will help you develop the connection and stability from your core to your legs. From standing splits, lower your lifted leg to hip height. Bring your hands to your hips and lift your torso to hip height. Your body will make a "T" shape. Engage your core to support the body and level out your hips. Flex your back foot to squeeze your thigh and engage the lifted leg. Hold for 5-10 breaths before stepping back into a forward fold.

Repeat the entire sequence on the opposite side. After the last pose, rest on your mat in Child's Pose, sitting your hips on your heels and folding forward for 10 breaths.

Kick Your Treadmill Workout Up a Notch

Jessi Andricks isn't just passionate about healthy living, she's made healthy living her life. Through her training in Health Coaching, Yoga and Fitness, she is able to blend together the best of all worlds, creating innovative online wellness programs and Detox Yoga Workshops, as well as teaching daily yoga, barre and fusion fitness classes. Jessi uses her knowledge to help others live healthy, happy lives. Look for her upcoming book, Detox 101, and check out more at

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