The running special continues!
Taking time to stretch after a run pays off massively long term. So many runners are a bit lazy and simply can't be bothered with the stretching bit... But with faster recovery and lesser chance of injury, taking the time to stretch after a run means that you will ultimately have more time to spend running. It's a no brainer!
My dear friend Eva is back today with her top three poses to practice after a run to keep your body happy, healthy and strong:
EVA'S TOP 3
Hello, it's Eva here again! As promised, here are my top three yoga poses for a speedy recovery following a hard training session that set you up for success -– and reset your body ready for your next run.
Remember that you don’t want to stretch too much if you’ve just done a hard session! Your muscles have done enough, it’s time to relax. So don’t go too far, just find a place where you are comfortable.
If you feel any discomfort at any point, back off a little. And if you feel any pain, back out of the pose completely. Maybe even have it looked at by your physio or an experienced yoga teacher.
HIP FLEXOR BLISS BOMB (Lunge)
Probably THE best posture ever to get deep into the hip flexors, the muscles you contract with every stride forward.
♥ Step into a lunge
♥ Place your left knee on the floor
♥ Right knee tracks right above the ankle
♥ Keep upper body upright
♥ Place your hands either on top of your thighs
♥ Or lean forward to place them onto blocks, sturdy water bottles or some books to help your spine lengthen and prevent your lower back from slouching
Keep drawing your right thigh bone back into the hip socket to keep your hips parallel to the mat. By doing this we replicate the forward plane of movement that we are in when we’re running, toning our muscles equally to eliminate as much as necessary any sideways movements that prevent us from propelling ourselves forward.
Really sink into the lunge and just let go. Tell your muscles to stop resisting and let your pelvis get really heavy.
Take 5 long breaths here.
HAMSTRING HEAVEN (Half Split)
You get what it says on the tin :)
From your lunge position, gently move your hips over your back knee, so the front leg straightens up a little – or a lot! But it doesn’t really matter whether your front leg is straight. The aim isn’t to bring your nose to your knee, the aim is to find length – both in your hamstrings and in your spine.
Again, work with bringing your hips parallel to the front.
Take five long breaths here.
GLUTEAL GOODNESS (Pigeon pose)
This is a powerful stretch for your glutes –- but your ITB, thighs and groins are going to feel the bliss too.
♥ Come to all fours
♥ Bring your right knee to the outside or just behind your right hand
♥ Keep your right foot flexed and close to your hips
♥ Straighten your left leg back, release your toes and thigh to the floor
♥ Again, keep squaring your hips to the front!
♥ Engage your core, lift your spine out of your pelvis and gently lower your torso towards the floor
Stay on your hands, or come down onto your forearms, or for the more advanced (don’t let this tease you!) stretch out all the way down. But ONLY if your hips are comfortable and still within their healthy relationship to the spine.
Give yourself good 15 minutes to complete all the exercises. Finish with lying on your back in savasana for at least 2-5 minutes (or as long as you like!). Breathe, let your body process the activity and reap the benefits of your practice.
What are your favourite post run stretches? Let us know and stay tuned for more running goodness.
My run is coming up in a few weeks so I am all about running at the moment. And fundraising! Remember my cause? Cat related, of course...
Just a quick reminder: I am running the British 10k London run in July in support of the Mayhew Animal Home. If you are an animal lover and would like to donate some cash, please make your way over to my Just Giving page. Beaming gratitude your way!
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