If you’ve been pounding the pavement for years as a runner, an achiness may have crept into your 8-minute mile. Whether it’s soreness in the knee, tightness in the hips and groin, or an upset ankle, missteps taken along the running path can be alleviated with the right set of yoga poses.
Often, with runners, it’s a weakness in certain muscle groups that places too much strain on the joints resulting in overuse. By stabilizing and strengthening these muscles, your body will realign, perform better, and stop hurting.
While checking in with your doctor is always a good idea for pain that lingers, consider adding these yoga poses into your post-run routine for more efficient use of your muscles, and less injuries along the way.
This is the ultimate runners’ stretch! In addition to releasing tension in the hips, it opens up the quads, hamstrings and groin while strengthening the knee. Hold each side for five to 10 breaths after every run, and you will notice a shift in your running stance.
As you stand on one leg, you’ll strengthen the ankle and stabilize the glute muscles surrounding the hips, which are often subjected to overuse. By balancing and extending your other leg outward, you’ll engage your core, which is key for keeping a steady gait during your runs.
Another weight-bearing posture that encourages activation of the glutes, this balance posture will build your core strength, and provide a quad stretch to help align and protect the knee.
The constant flexing position of the foot while running can tighten the tendons and ligaments on the front of the ankle. While this pose will counteract that position and bring some relief, it will also lengthen the quads. Be warned, many runners find this pose super intense so you may want to start off sitting on a prop.
Instead of doing crunches, which can shorten and tighten the psoas, consider doing this pose, which helps lengthen and tone the abdomen. Additionally, when you extend your legs off the ground, and engage your hip flexors, it relieves stress from the groin.
So if your runner highs are followed by the lows of aches and pains, try adding in these yoga poses to retrain your muscles and get your body back up to speed.
Which yoga poses do you incorporate after your run? —Elysha