Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Post run yoga

People are always asking what yoga poses are most helpful for runners. I was really sore this weekend after my runs, and I took my mat outside on the deck, as I often do this time of year, to stretch it all out. I have a pretty comprehensive post run yoga routine that I like to do, and I thought I'd share it here on the blog. This sequences of poses hits all the high points--the hips and hamstrings, of course, but also the calves, the IT band, and the low back. These are poses that everyone can do, and I'll talk about modifications for people who can't access the poses fully. I could have downloaded images from the internet, but wanted to show you how I do them. As I like to "keep it real", you get to really appreciate how tight my hips and hamstrings are when you see the pictures!

Some days are like this.
So no excuses! Yoga is for everyone, not just flexible people! Remember this, no matter how deep you get into the pose, you are getting benefits.

For all the poses, hold each one for 5 breaths.

Start with 10 sun salutations, or what I like to, modified caterpillars. Caterpillars are meant to be done moving across the floor, like a caterpillar,  but I slip too much, and so I like to do them this way on my mat.

Start in forward fold at the back of your mat.


Step forward into plank. Keep those hips up! Push back on your toes to get that calf stretch. Don't hunch your shoulders.


Push back into downward facing dog. Push your hips up and back.


Return to forward fold and repeat this sequence x 10 reps. After your last downward dog, step your right leg forward between your hands into low lunge. Push forward with your hips. You can keep your hands on the ground, place them on your knee, or push them into your low back.


Push back as you straighten your front leg. Try to keep your front foot on the ground. Fold forward over your straightened leg.


Push forward into low lunge again; then repeat the hamstring stretch. On this second one, curl your toes back towards your face. Fold forward again over your straightened leg. Push forward into low lunge again, then lift your back knee off the ground for a runner's lunge.


Optional: You can straighten the front leg for an additional hamstring stretch; fold over your straight leg. Push forward into your runner's lunge again.

Move your right hand to the instep of your right foot. Lower down to the mat onto your forearms into lizard lunge. You can place a block under your forearms if you can't get down to the mat. You can also drop the back knee down to the mat. Or you can just stay up on your hands.


Push back up and straighten your arms, lower your back knee, and slide your front leg underneath you for pigeon forward fold. Once you're in position, take a back bend and fold forward over your pigeon leg. Hold for as long as you want.


Push back up into a backbend, straighten up, and come to your knees. Repeat the sequence from low lunge to pigeon forward fold on the opposite side.

After you've completed both sides, come to your knees again. You can sit on your knees for modified hero's pose, you can sit on your toes for broken toe pose, or you can sit between your knees (on a block or on your mat) for the full pose. After your hips open up, you can also go into the backbend for a quad stretch.


Slide your legs around front for seated forward fold. Feel free to use a strap if you can't touch your toes. Remember to lean forward from your hips. It's not how far you go forward; it's about folding from the hips.


Slide your right leg back with your foot on your thigh for one legged forward fold. Try to grab the extended foot. You can also grab the foot, twist it towards your left and pull it towards you for a soleus stretch. Repeat on the opposite side.


Open your legs wide for wide legged forward bend. Again, bend forward from the hips. You can lean forward and place your hands on the mat or you can peace lock your big toes.


Slide your legs together; cross your left foot over your right knee. You can either keep your right leg straight or bend it and place your right foot next to your left hip. Make sure both hips are on the ground, otherwise keep a straight bottom leg. Slowly twist to the left and either wrap your right arm around your left leg or push into your left leg with your right elbow. You can also take a bind. Repeat on the opposite side.


Straighten both legs. Repeat the twist on the opposite side. 

Sometimes I throw in a cowface pose, just for fun...it's like the twist, only both legs are crossed. The goal is to get the knees on top of each other. Maybe in my next life...grab both feet and gently pull the feet outward as you lean forward over your folded legs. Straighten both legs again. Repeat on the opposite side. 

And now you're done.



You can lay back for savasana if you wish!

This entire sequence should take about 15 minutes; you can hold the poses longer if you want. You will feel refreshed and so much less sore after this routine. 

Do you do any stretching or yoga after a run? What are your favorite poses? Anything you'd add to my sequence?



63 comments :

  1. Thank you for posting that! Although I just do a DVD usually. Actually, I have a few stretches I do post run & then some exercises for hips I do . . . yoga is usually earlier or later in the day. I can get my knees down for cow - I'm fairly flexible there; wonder if it contributes to my hip problems?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a really good question! I blame my inflexibility on my hip issues...maybe flexibility has nothing to do with it at all! I do know that the strength work I do with Becky has helped a ton!

      Delete
  2. If I have time I always do 15 minutes of yoga post-run! I like pigeon pose to stretch those hip flexors and quads.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You've inspired me to do some post run yoga. I always say I'm going to then I end up just doing a few stretches. I love pigeon and cowface! For some reason, as tight as I am in most places, my hips are as limber as a 20 year old! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Mine are as tight as they were in my 20s!

      Delete
  4. THAT CARTOON...:) love it!! I am sooo guilty of rushing through stretching...time is so precious and not much to myself with the boys that I miss stretching though I KNOW HOW GOOD IT FEELS ...I need to get back into my PIYO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is what I like to do, I'm guilty of rushing or gasp--skipping it so often!

      Delete
  5. So I have been saying that I'm going to do post-run yoga for like a year now and rarely ever do. It's mostly because I feel much like that tin man....absolutely NOT flexible and I end up getting frustrated. Thanks so much for sharing this and for linking up! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm the least flexible person I know...but all I can say is how great I feel when I do this!

      Delete
  6. I feel so much better when I add yoga into my post workout routine. I fall off of the wagon a lot :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I take a yoga class once or twice a week, and I do a few of those stretches after my runs..... and when I'm really tired, sometimes I just get off the couch and do a downward dog and then feel so much better!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Boy do I wish I was as flexible as you. You would laugh if you saw me in any of those poses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I just got home from yoga and flexibility is all relative...

      Delete
  9. You rock lady!!! Even after a couple years of stretching and doing yoga once a week, I can't make ANY of those poses look correct, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was doing pretty good about yoga poses several times a week but then I fell off the wagon! About time to get back on! Thanks! I love the pigeon forward fold even though I can't get down that low but it still gives a good stretch! All of these are great and don't take that long!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try to hit all the high points with this sequence! All easy and effective poses for us runners!

      Delete
  11. Ooooh I love this! I always do a few of these after running (like pigeon for like 3 minutes on each leg!) and it helps so much. Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are my go-to post run stretches! I always feel so much better when I'm done.

      Delete
  12. Lizard and pigeon are my two favorite ones! I have little to no flexibility in my hips and those just help a lot! They are also good for an IT band stretch too! Great pics for the poses!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are all my favorites--works like a charm every time!

      Delete
  13. You make it look so pretty... I have a look of grimace & pain when I do it :)
    LOVE that cartoon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, these are my faves, so I'm happy when I'm doing them!

      Delete
  14. I have been wanting to go to this specific yoga class for months now but the instructor has never called me back. ( it's an invite only thing). So frustrating!

    ReplyDelete
  15. The sequence is great and thanks for the lesson :) I always say I don't do Yoga, but a few of those are part of my standard "stretch routine" , go figure:)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Not a runner but have been doing yoga once or twice a week for my active rest days.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for sharing! I need to get back to a once/week yoga practice. I love pigeon and all the hip openers.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really need to do some yoga - I'm as stiff as a board!!

    I know it will benefit me. GGGgrrrrghhhh OK - I'll put it on my 'To Do' list.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think pigeon is my favorite. I try and make sure to do it after all of my runs, but I'm definitely not as flexible as you are with it!! My hips hate me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love pigeon pose too! Yesterday we did a variation in class called swan. Who knew?

      Delete
  20. I have to have pigeon pose in there, somewhere, Wendy; it's my fave! I local friend and yoga instructor recently posted her favorite post-run sequence on her Facebook page; I love it. I also subscribe to online videos with Jasyoga, yoga geared toward athletes; I think it is really beneficial for recovery!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard about Jasyoga--it looks really good!

      Delete
  21. Great series! I love doing that last pose. At first I could barely do it and it felt like I was tearing my muscles haha but now I can get into the pose and it feels great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll probably never get into it fully, but it's fun to look at these pictures and see how far I've come!

      Delete
  22. Love this! I always make sure I stretch and so do my runners after we run. Pigeon is my favorite!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am terrible about stretching after a run! and yes I am the cousin of that tin man! I love my yoga class and I can almost touch my toes (legs still need to bend a little)- I can see my progress it makes me smile!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And did I take my own advice today? No...but the day is young...

      Delete
  24. Great yoga moves for the porch! I really do need to add more of these stretches on a daily basis.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm no expert! I don't claim to be, but I have been doing yoga for almost 20 years and I know what helps me. But it's always good to check in with a certified teacher.

      Delete
  26. This is great, Wendy! I've wondered what your yoga routine involved. I need to start doing this - those lunges are so good for your hips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a great post run routine! I always feel so much better after doing all these poses!

      Delete
  27. Great pics! I so love my yoga class and we do many of these poses. I am the tinman, could not touch my toes when I started! I can tell when I miss my weekly class, I need to be disciplined enough to practice some on my own but I am not there yet :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After almost 20 years of yoga, I am still the tinman!

      Delete
  28. So great! I have such a love/hate relationship with yoga. As in, I can only give it so much attention before I start to disconnect. There's a "yoga for athletes" workshop at my gym in a few weeks. Totally thinking about doing it, though. Because it would be so good for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should so do it! I bet they'll keep you moving so you won't disconnect!

      Delete
  29. The pigeon pose and deep lunge are my favorite post-run stretches (and most necessary for me!). Great stretching routine - thanks for sharing!
    Amy @ http://www.livinglifetruth.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it! This one hits all the spots!

      Delete
  30. Such a thorough post - pics, descriptions, instructions and humor! I was seriously laughing so hard at the Tin Man pic. BAH! Thanks so much for linking up, Wendy. You rock, legit crazy rock. Can't wait to try this out, and tweeted it 'cause mo' peeps need this! #fitfamlove #thefitdish

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww thanks, Jessica! I only wish I was more flexible!

      Delete