This short yoga sequence for runners will help you stretch out your muscles -- even those you might not realize are sore!
1. Pigeon Pose
Pigeon pose is a yoga pose for runners that is especially soothing because it stretches hip flexors and glutes; two commonly sore areas. This is a relaxing pose to hang out in after completing your run and can be modified based on how tight your muscles feel.
To get into pigeon pose, start in a high plank and then bring one leg in toward your chest, positioning it on your yoga mat so your knee is bent and your foot is angled out toward the opposite side of your body. Rest your other leg on your yoga mat so it is laying straight behind you. You can stay in this position with your torso upright, lean forward and lower yourself onto your forearms, or, if it is comfortable, lower so your chest is touching the ground. How deep you get into this stretch depends on how flexible you are.
Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds before switching legs. If you are feeling particularly sore, you can repeat this stretch multiple times. Just make sure you stretch both legs equally!
2. Heroes Pose
Heroes pose is a great post-run yoga pose for runners because it stretches quads and those hard-to-reach shin muscles. This is another pose that requires little effort to hold, which makes it perfect for post-run recovery.
To get into heroes pose, sit with your knees bent in front of you. Your knees should be close together and your feet should be wide (you should not be sitting on your feet). With your heels near or touching your hips, straighten your torso.
Hold this pose for about 30 seconds. If you want to spend more time stretching in this position, do a few sets by taking yourself out of the position for a few minutes before returning to the pose
3. Warrior I
Warrior I is another yoga pose for runners that stretches hip flexors, which tend to be tight. You'll also feel a stretch through your chest, shoulders and upper back. While this is a simple pose, it does require more balance than the previous two poses we went over.
To get into this yoga pose, start in a lunge position. Straighten your back knee (but don't lock it!) and keep your front knee bent. Raise your arms so they are above your head, with your shoulders and upper arms positioned close to your ears. Lift your chin and chest up toward the sky. You can modify this pose by keeping your back knee bent in a lunge position or by resting that back knee on your yoga mat.
Hold this position for about 30 seconds before switching legs. Repeat this stretch on each leg if desired, making sure to stretch both sides evenly.
Adding this simple yoga sequence for runners to your cool-down routine can help alleviate soreness and prevent injuries that could result from tight muscles.