Yoga for Runners – Tight Hips and Legs

yoga for runners image

Yoga is great for runners…especially runners with tight hips and legs. Let’s face it…as we get older we tend to become less active…and as they say…if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

The Hips

Our hips are densely constructed with muscles, ligaments and tendons. These stable yet mobile joints allow us to generate power, move fast, lift heavy objects, and jump high. Since they’re made up of so many moving parts, tightness is inevitable. With tightness comes restriction…and when there’s restriction…our movement patterns change.

The goal is to stay strong while reducing tightness in your hips through targeted stretching. Stretching is a great way to release the tension that builds up in the hip joint. When we combine it with rhythmic and slow breathing, the stretch becomes a yoga posture.

Yoga provides you with a deeper and more effective stretch, and that’s exactly what we want for the hips. The following yoga stretches will help you gain more flexibility and will open up the tightness and restriction you feel in your hips. Strong hips lead to strong legs, calves, and hamstrings…all very important for efficient running economy.

We will be doing these moves every Wednesday. Learn to love them…love the time you give yourself to stretch and feel all that tightness leaving your body.

Yoga for Runners:

Yoga Squat: Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.18.44 PM

  1. Start with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and you toes slightly pointed out.
  2. Drop your hips to the bottom of a squat while you keep your heels down.
  3. Press your palms together and lift your chest up.
  4. Hold for at least 5 long breaths, or about 30 seconds.

Lizard:

  1. Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.35.48 AMStart by stepping your right foot to the outside of your your right hand
  2. Keep your toes pointing forward
  3. As you sink your hips down, keep your chest extended forward
  4. Hold for at least 5 long breaths, or about 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on opposite side.

Twisted MonkeyScreen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.38.40 AM

  1. Start by stepping your right foot to the outside of your right hand.
  2. Drop your back knee down and turn your right toes out.
  3. Bend your back knee and grab your foot with the right hand.
  4. Hold for at least 5 long breaths, or about 30 seconds.
  5. Repeats on the opposite side.

Low Lunge Quad Stretch: This is similar to the Quad Stretch in our 7 Key Stretches for Runners expect it goes a little deeper by pulling the back leg up.

  1. Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.41.57 AMPlace your right knee on a ladder surface as you come into a lunge.
  2. Stack your hips over the right knee.
  3. Bend and grab your right foot with your right hand.
  4. Draw your tailbone down as you lift your chest up.
  5. Hold for at least 5 long breaths, or about 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.

Pigeon Pose: Hope you know and love this one already!

  1. Start with your right foot forward in a lunge and your hands on eScreen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.46.27 AMither side.
  2. Walk your right foot about 6 inches to the left.
  3. As you roll onto the outer edge of your right foot, keep it flexed.
  4. Reach your chest towards your front foot and walk your hands in front of your body.
  5. Hold for at least 5 long breaths, or about 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.

Super Pigeon Pose:

  1. Start by stepping your right foot forward between your hands. Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.49.30 AM
  2. Walk your right foot over to the left side and drop your shin down.
  3. Extend your left leg behind you as you roll towards the front of your left thigh. Fold forward from here.
  4. Hold for at least 5 long breaths, or about 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Extended Butterfly: 

  1. Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 5.55.35 AMStart seated with the soles of your feet together.
  2. Extend your feet away from you to create a diamond shape with your legs.
  3. Wrap your hands around the outer edges of your feet.
  4. Round your spine as you fold forward.
  5. Hold for 5 long breaths, or about 30 seconds.

Frog: I love this stretch! Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 6.00.36 AM

  1. Start on your hands and knees.
  2. Walk your knees away from each other until they reach their maximin width.
  3. Flex your feet and place the inner edges of your feet on the ground.
  4. Shift your hips back slightly so they’re in line with your knees.
  5. Hold for at least 5 long breaths, or about 30 seconds.

Additional Tips: 

  • Find a quiet space by yourself and allow 10-15 minutes without any distractions
  • The postures should be done in the order. They become more intense as you make your way through the list, and each one builds to the next.
  • Breathe slow in and out though your nose. Hold each pose for at least 5 long breaths…about 30 seconds.
  • Use props if you need them. Especially for the Twisted Monkey.
Advertisements