Getting your daily runner’s high can come at a cost. As you hit your mileage goals, your muscles can start to tighten up, pain and discomfort pops up in certain areas, and soreness is something you kind of just learn to deal with. But if you do a yoga flow for runners, you’ll be able to loosen things up, allowing you to run faster and feel better.
In the latest episode of Good Moves, Traci Copeland, a Nike master trainer, runner, and yoga instructor, goes through a 15-minute series of poses that can help any runner get back to feeling their best. She says the poses—which range from downward dog split to low crescent lunge—are great to do after finishing up a hard run as they help soothe your body from head to toe. You’ll get some much-needed relief for your tight hips, IT bands, hamstrings, quads, and other areas that often need a little TLC when you’re a runner.
Aside from the standing poses that stretch your muscles out, you’ll also get to relax and lie down on your mat with the legs up the wall pose. (An imaginary wall, in this case.) “Getting that reverse blood flow is great for runners. One of the reasons we like to do inversions in yoga is that it gets the body flowing in the opposite direction, which is really great for circulation,” she says. Extra bonus: It’s also super relaxing, making every ounce of stress in your body disappear.
The cool thing about adding this yoga flow for runners to your routine is that it won’t just help improve blood circulation and loosen you up. It can also speed up your recovery and help prepare your body for your next run, as it both strengthens and elongates all the muscles you use to propel your body from point A to point B. Instead of waiting it out after pushing yourself too hard, your body will be loose, limber, and in consistently good shape to continue on your running journey.
So what are you waiting for? Press play after your next run and get ready to feel all that tightness go away.