Best Yoga Poses for Runners

Most runners agree that: stretching sucks. Yes, it is necessary and important. No, we don’t always do it because let’s face it, we feel amazing post-run. But, after coming down from that runner’s high in the middle of enjoying brunch (our fave meal ever) you begin to notice that your muscles feel tight and stiff. Why? Because you did not you did not stretch.

Personally, I suck at stretching on my own but thanks to practicing yoga, I make stretching a post-run priority. I’ve been a fan-girl of CorePower Yoga for almost eight years. There is just something about the high-intensity, heart beating, sweat dripping classes, that just make me say om. CorePower offers an intensely physical workout, rooted in the mindfulness of yoga.

Cortney and I originally started attending classes at CorePower because our dear friend Morgan was an instructor there. It didn’t matter if we went out the night before, Morgan would “force” us to join her in the morning. But that’s ok with us, because we liked it!

It was during these classes and other CorePower classes, that I began to see how yoga improved my performance on my runs. My hips and IT bands hurt less and I wasn’t as sore or stiff post-run. This stretching stuff was having a real (positive) impact on my body.

We’d love to go to yoga all day every day. But, because of that whole adulting thing we aren’t always able to make it to the studio. But not to worry! Kada O’Connor, studio manager at CorePower, was kind of enough to share some of the best yoga poses for runners that you can do at home or the office.

Lounging Lizard This pose stretches your IT bands. For many runners, the IT band can be a source of nagging pain. The IT band runs along the outside of the thigh, from just above the top to just below the knee. The IT band is not a muscle, but actually of fascia, an elastic connective tissue. Kind of similar to tendons. In Lounging Lizard, you start in a low lunge with your right leg forward, lift your right arm to the sky then roll to the knife edges of your feet and drop your hip to the earth. Extend your lifted arm behind you. Repeat on both sides. Pro tip: press your weight into your grounded fingertips to avoid pressure in your wrist. 

Lounging Lizard

This pose stretches your IT bands. For many runners, the IT band can be a source of nagging pain. The IT band runs along the outside of the thigh, from just above the top to just below the knee. The IT band is not a muscle, but actually of fascia, an elastic connective tissue. Kind of similar to tendons. In Lounging Lizard, you start in a low lunge with your right leg forward, lift your right arm to the sky then roll to the knife edges of your feet and drop your hip to the earth. Extend your lifted arm behind you. Repeat on both sides. Pro tip: press your weight into your grounded fingertips to avoid pressure in your wrist. 

Standing Figure Four More focus on that IT band here. Standing Figure Four stretches your IT band and strengthens stabilizing muscles for balance. From Mountain Pose, elevate your right knee up to hip height and balance on your left foot. Then, rotate at your hip and cross your ankle over your knee. Sit back into a chair position and place your hands at heart center. Sit back into a chair position and place your hands at heart center. Repeat on both sides. Pro tip: Remember to flex your lifted toes to protect your knee joint. 

Standing Figure Four

More focus on that IT band here. Standing Figure Four stretches your IT band and strengthens stabilizing muscles for balance. From Mountain Pose, elevate your right knee up to hip height and balance on your left foot. Then, rotate at your hip and cross your ankle over your knee. Sit back into a chair position and place your hands at heart center. Sit back into a chair position and place your hands at heart center. Repeat on both sides. Pro tip: Remember to flex your lifted toes to protect your knee joint. 

Standing Splits When we are running, our hamstrings take a lot of abuse and that is why Stranding Splits is such a great position. From a standing forward fold, plant your left foot to the mat, lift your right leg up and back. Pro tip: Flex your lifted toes and allow a soft bend in your standing leg. If you can’t reach the ground, use a block. 

Standing Splits

When we are running, our hamstrings take a lot of abuse and that is why Stranding Splits is such a great position. From a standing forward fold, plant your left foot to the mat, lift your right leg up and back. Pro tip: Flex your lifted toes and allow a soft bend in your standing leg. If you can’t reach the ground, use a block. 

Low Lunge Twist Our legs and obliques need strength to help us run faster and low lunge twist will strengthen your legs and stretch out your obliques. From low lunge with your right leg forward, plant your left hand down and reach your right arm to the sky. Repeat on both sides. Pro tip: Press the mat away with your grounded palm to stabilize your shoulder joint. 

Low Lunge Twist

Our legs and obliques need strength to help us run faster and low lunge twist will strengthen your legs and stretch out your obliques. From low lunge with your right leg forward, plant your left hand down and reach your right arm to the sky. Repeat on both sides. Pro tip: Press the mat away with your grounded palm to stabilize your shoulder joint. 

Runner’s Lunge As the name implies, this pose is for runners! Runner’s Lunge will stretch out those hip flexors. From a low lunge position, step your palms in between your legs and toe-heel your front foot up and out. Repeat on both sides. Pro tip: Stack your knee over, or slight behind your ankle to protect your knee joint. You can also modify this position by dropping down to your back knee and forearms. 

Runner’s Lunge

As the name implies, this pose is for runners! Runner’s Lunge will stretch out those hip flexors. From a low lunge position, step your palms in between your legs and toe-heel your front foot up and out. Repeat on both sides. Pro tip: Stack your knee over, or slight behind your ankle to protect your knee joint. You can also modify this position by dropping down to your back knee and forearms. 

Plank Your entire body, especially your core, needs to be strong. To get into plank start in a table top position, step your feet back. Press into your hands and the ball mounds of your feet. Pro tip: Stack your shoulders over wrists and press weight into your fingertips to avoid grinding your joints. 

Plank

Your entire body, especially your core, needs to be strong. To get into plank start in a table top position, step your feet back. Press into your hands and the ball mounds of your feet. Pro tip: Stack your shoulders over wrists and press weight into your fingertips to avoid grinding your joints. 

Child’s Pose Running also works your upper body and as a result, you need to open up your chest. Child’s Pose is amazing. From table top, open your knees wide and press your hips to your heels. Extend your arms long in front of you and breathe! Pro tip: Soften into this posture. 

Child’s Pose

Running also works your upper body and as a result, you need to open up your chest. Child’s Pose is amazing. From table top, open your knees wide and press your hips to your heels. Extend your arms long in front of you and breathe! Pro tip: Soften into this posture. 

Thank you so much to CorePower for having us in and teaching us some moves!