We have already established in the previous article that yoga is most of the time compatible with running, hiking, cycling, etc. It even improves muscle recovery. Now is time to take action! I would like to introduce 20 yoga stretches for runners and for all aficionados of physical activities that require strength in the legs. These yoga stretches for runners mainly target leg muscles (calves, hamstrings, quads, IT band, adductors), as well as glute muscles and hip muscles (including the psoas).
Yoga stretches for the legs, buttock and hips
Here are your 2 options:
Watch the 25-min video below that I have recorded in my living room (after moving the table and 6 chairs… that was a good biceps and core workout). You can view the video directly on YouTube by clicking here.
Practice the stretches on your own and pick the ones you like based on the below pictures. I have sorted them per category of stretches: front of the leg, back of the leg, etc.
In fact, these yoga stretches for runners often target different group muscles, for example: the back of the legs AND the inside of the legs, the inside of the legs AND the hips, etc.
But it does not matter. It gives you an idea of what you are going to stretch. And the best way to know which muscles you are stretching is to feel the stretch yourself!
So, put on your most beautiful legging or running shorts and let’s do it!
Video of yoga stretches for runners
Here is the 25-min stretching video! You will also have access to this video on my YouTube channel. Subscribe to the channel to have access to all of my yoga videos!
20 yoga poses and strecthes for runners
These poses are mainly forward bends. It means that not only as they beneficial for your legs but also for your lower back.
Stretching the back of the legs
To stretch the calves and hamstrings:
Forward fold from a standing position. 3 variations:
Bend one knee, then the other
One foot on a block, heel on the mat. The other foot is on the mat.
Pyramid: one foot in front of the other, legs are straight, fold forward
Downward facing dog. 2 variations
Heels on the mat (or towards the mat)
Paddle your feet
Stand on your knees and straighten one leg forward. Forward fold if you are comfortable.
Stretching the outer part of the legs and buttock
To stretch the IT band and the glutes:
Forward fold with your legs crossed
Revolved triangle: right leg forward and left hand on the mat (repeat to the other side)
Sit crossed-legged or in half-lotus and fold forward
Pigeon: sit with you right knee forward and left leg straight behind your buttock. Lay down forward.
Stretching the inner part of the legs and the hips
To stretch the adductors and open the hips:
Stand with your legs open and fold forward
Same pose, grab one leg with both hands. Repeat to the other side.
Triangle: right leg forward, right hand on the right leg, hips facing to the side
Spider: squat with the legs open and lean your torso parallel to the mat
Squat with one leg straight to the side, toes upward. Repeat to the other side
Butterfly: sit with your knees bent and sole of the feet together. Move your legs up and down.
Stretching the front of the legs and the psoas
To stretch the quads and the psoas:
Low lunge: stand on your knees and bring one foot forward; lower the hips
Same pose, grab your back foot with one hand, bring it closer to your buttock. The chest faces the mat
Same pose, rotate your chest to your front knee and look back