Yoga is often recommended as a recovery activity for runners. With benefits of relieving soreness, improving range of motion and preventing injury, yoga can assist with stretching and loosening the hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and calves.
The four yoga poses below have been shared by our very own Territory Health Fund Marketing Manager Pennie Burke, who is also a qualified yoga teacher.
This yoga information is generic in nature and does not take into account your individual circumstances. Before starting any exercise program, please seek advice from an appropriately qualified health care professional.
Great starting pose which stretches hamstrings, calves, lengthens the spine and opens the shoulders
To Do Begin on your hands and knees. Wrists shoulder distance apart and slightly ahead of the shoulders, knees under your hips. Spread your fingers wide and gently press your hands into the floor as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor. Aim to straighten your legs and raise your hips into an inverted V. Breathe deeply for 5 breaths. As your hamstrings release aim to sink your heels closer to the mat. Aim to have your weight evenly balanced between your hands and feet.
Stretches hip flexors; strengthens hamstrings and quads
To Do: Step your right foot forward from Downward dog, knee aligned over ankle. Lower your left knee to the mat. You can keep your hands on the mat either sided of your right knee or place your hands on the right thigh. Lean slightly forward whilst you drop your tailbone towards the floor. Hold for 5 deep breaths. To deepen the stretch, activate the left glute strongly. Step back to downward dog and repeat on the other side.
Reclining Hand to Big Toe
Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and glutes
To Do: Lie on your back with both legs extended. Raise the right leg towards 90 degrees keeping it straight, pistol grip your big toe. If you can’t reach your big toe with a straight leg, place a belt over the ball of the foot and hold both ends of the strap in your right hand. Place your left hand on the top of the left leg as a reminder to keep it straight and active. On an inhalation aim the heel of the foot towards the ceiling and on an exhalation gently pull the leg closer to your face. Take 5 -10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Stretches the back of the hips and glutes
To Do: Whilst lying on your back bend your knees. Place the right ankle over the left knee. Reach through and clasp your hands over your left shin, if you can’t reach comfortably hold the back of the left thigh. Your head should still touch the mat. Take 5 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Repeat the set of four stretches after each run or whenever you feel tight.