Runners are well-conditioned, strong athletes—and that’s across the board from sprinters to marathoners. However, that same repetitive running motion can also compress joints and stresses the body. Not only do these two disciplines counteract the other, but yoga is critical in helping runners build upper body strength and prevent injury, too.
Interestingly, yoga is also able to help show runners where they have any muscle imbalances and and weaknesses in the body. “Unlike running, which favors the larger, more dominant muscle groups like the quads, glutes and hamstrings, many yoga poses have you actively recruit smaller, often ignored muscle groups,” says Laurenn Cutshaw, VP of Marketing and Branding for Yoga Six in San Diego. We spoke to Cutshaw, along with Yoga Instructor and Endurance Sports Coach Sage Rountree and Yoga Instructor and Lycored Brand Ambassador Kristin McGee for the best yoga poses for runners. Try these moves after your next run, and aim to do them all at least three times a week.
Acting like a child is typically discouraged in the day-to-day grind of adult life. Not so in yoga, which is like a grown-up Chuck E. Cheese's. But we'll need you to put down that slice for a second and get into a kneeling position. Then lay your stomach on your thighs and put your head on the ground. Your arms can be lengthened in front of you or simply rest, fingers pointed behind, next to your legs. You should feel lengthening through the back and stretching in the hips, thighs, ankles, and feet. This is a resting position, so you can hold for 10 breaths or stay longer.
Benefits: Child's Pose is a mild stretch for the lower body. It should also help with focus and relieve tension.
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