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7 Yoga Poses All Runners Should Practice Every Day

Yoga is a must for every runner. (Photo by Artem Beliaikin via pexels)
Yoga is a must for every runner. (Photo by Artem Beliaikin via pexels)

As a runner, it is essential to perform yoga to improve your mobility, flexibility and overall running performance.

Regular yoga can also have a great impact on your blood circulation, bone density and breathing, and can even help you develop your muscles.

Moreover, it is great for calming and warming up your body before and after a workout and promotes after-run recovery. So, whether you’ve just started running or are an experienced runner, yoga can be your best running partner.

In this article, we’ll guide you through some of the best yoga poses (asanas) that you can include in your cool-down or warm-up sessions to enhance your running skills.


Best yoga poses all runners should do every day

1) Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

The downward facing dog pose helps in lengthening and strengthening your muscles. This yoga pose is great for strengthening your back, shoulders and quad muscles and also helps improve your hamstring, lats, glutes, ankles, feet and calves.

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Step-by-step instructions:

  • Take a position on your knees and hands. Keep your wrists under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  • Push your body through your hands, straighten your legs and then curl your toes so that you can lift your hips off the floor into the air.
  • Spread your fingertips, and push down your body through your hands.
  • Engage your thigh muscles (quads) to take your body weight off your arms.
  • Keep your shoulders away from your ears, and keep your head stable.
  • Make sure to keep your sit bone high, and put your heels to the floor.
  • Remember to keep your hands at a shoulder-width and your feet at your hip-width distance.

2) Forward fold (Uttanasana)

Running regularly can tighten your hamstrings and reduce your running pace. To avoid that, consider practicing the forward fold in yoga to have more flexibility.

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Step-by-step instructions:

  • Stand straight with your feet at hip distance.
  • Slowly bend your body at your hips, while keeping your back absolutely flat and straight.
  • Bend both your elbows, and hold each other with your opposite hand. Make sure to keep your head stable.
  • Press your heels into the ground, and gently lift your sit bones.
  • With each inhale, lift, and lengthen your torso.
  • As you exhale, try to stretch deeper.

3) Reclined big toe (Supta Padangusthasana)

The reclined big toe is a great yoga pose for runners, as it targets and strengthens the calves and hamstring muscles.

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Step-by-step instructions:

  • Lie down on your back, with both your legs stretched out.
  • Hug your left leg into your chest while bending your left knee.
  • Place a resistance band around the ball of your left foot, and hold the edges of the band with each hand.
  • Straighten your left leg towards the ceiling, and hold the band tightly.
  • Stretch your left leg up with your foot bend, but try to keep the ball of your hip joint and both sides of your buttocks resting equally on the ground.
  • Keep your right foot bent and your right leg pressing firmly towards the ground.
  • Point your left toes for a deeper stretch.
  • Hold your leg in the upward direction for a few seconds.
  • To come out of the pose, bend your left knee back towards your chest, and bring your right knee near to it to give both your legs a hug.
  • Perform at least eight to ten stretches for each leg.

4) Lizard lunge (Utthan Pristhasana)

The lizard lunge is one of the best yoga poses for post-run recovery. This asana is great for stretching your hip flexors, hamstrings and quads, and also helps maintain your mobility.

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Step-by-step instructions:

  • Take a downward dog position. Bring your left foot up, and put it on the outside of your left hand so that you are in a lunge position.
  • Lower your right knee to the ground, and press through your hips.
  • Your front heel should be directly below or in front of your knee to avoid straining your knee.
  • Lower your forearms to the floor, and keep your back flat and head straight with your spine.
  • Straighten your right leg, and press up on the ball of your foot.

5) Low lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Low lunge pose is one of the most effective yoga poses for your glutes. It is a powerful move that helps build stamina and develop endurance in your glute muscles to help you complete a long-distance run.

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Step-by-step instructions:

  • Take a low lunge position, and from there place your right knee on the floor. You can place a blanket or cushion under your knee for more cushioning.
  • Bring your hands onto your left knee, and make sure your left knee is directly over your left ankle.
  • Raise both your arms overhead, and keep your arms in a straight line with your ears.
  • Press gently into your feet, and allow your hips to move forward. To avoid bending into your joints, you may hug your inner thighs towards one another and create adduction.
  • Exhale, and release your hands down.
  • Switch sides, and repeat.

6) Half pigeon (Ardha Kapotasana)

The half pigeon pose is one of the best hip openers in yoga. All the repetitive movements of running can potentially lead to tightness in your hips, but incorporating the half pigeon pose can fix that.

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Step-by-step instructions:

  • Take a downward-facing dog position on your toes and hand, and bring your left foot to your left wrist.
  • Lay your left knee and shin on the floor.
  • Straighten your right leg onto the floor so that your legs look like number seven.
  • Now try to move your heel as far as you can away from your groin. Simultaneously, move your shin so that it becomes parallel to the floor.
  • Align your left knee with your left hip, and bend your left foot.
  • Keep both your hands as forward as you can, and try to lower your forehead onto the floor.

7) The bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

The bridge pose in yoga helps alleviate lower back pain by keeping your glutes activated, your abs bent and your sit bones tucked under to maintain a stable spine position.

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Step-by-step position:

  • Lie down on your back, with your feet on the floor and knees bent.
  • Bring your feet as close as you can to your sit bones.
  • Put your arms on the ground; breathe easily, and slowly lift your hips off the floor, keeping your thighs and feet parallel.
  • Your hands should be together under your pelvis so that you can stay on top of your shoulders comfortably.
  • Lift your hips again till your thighs get parallel to the ground while keeping your knees directly over your heels.
  • Make sure to keep your neck long and stable and your chin slightly away from your chest.

Takeaway

Incorporating yoga into your everyday workout routine can help you prepare better for a run, keep your form up and also assist you in recovering from a run.

Overall, it can improve your running performance in every possible way. Just add a couple of the poses listed above to your fitness routine and see how they improve and enhance your running endurance.

Edited by Bhargav
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