Stretching After The Run

3 Mar

I’m bad about stretching after running. That might seem strange to some of you considering the amount of Yoga I do, but my home practice of Yoga isn’t always about stretching. I’m usually working on balancing postures (Dancer’s Pose), strengthening poses (various arm balances) or core work,or all of the above.

I do, however always seem to gravitate toward a few poses and stretches post run that just feel good after pounding the pavement or skipping over rocks and tree stumps.  It is by no means a routine, just goofy looking poses that I do in a parking lot to embarrass my running buddies- actually they are usually doing them right next to me.

So this week, I have decided to put myself through a little Stretching Challenge, if you will. I will perform a stretching routine each day of at least 10 minutes. If it is on a day that I am running, I will do the stretching sequence post run. If it is a day I am not running, I will do it at some point throughout my day. Easy as that, right?!

Here are some great stretches for the hot spots that we runners tend to get. It is in the order that I do them, but feel free to change it up, add or omit any postures.

Frog Pose: This is usually the first pose I do after a run, especially a big run. It feels so good on my hips. I use my elbows to press my knees back too to get to my inner thighs. It also tends to help me gauge the creakiness of my knees an ankles. *Check out Stella looking for rabbits in the front yard.


Frog Pose

Forward Fold: This is another one that feels so so good to my hamstrings and lower back. I really bend my knees a lot in this pose to stretch out my lower back. Just let your neck hang too.

Forward Fold

Forward Fold

Forward Fold with a Twist: From my forward fold, I walk my feet about hip width apart and place one palm on the ground (bend your knees as much as you need to) and then I reach the other hand up to the sky twisting at my torso. I also try to let my gaze follow my hand up. Repeat this on each side.

Forward Fold with a Twist

Forward Fold with a Twist

Pyramid Pose: From my bend with a twist, I stand back up to Mountain Pose and get myself into Pyramid Pose. Now, when I’m first getting into this posture, I have both hands on the ground on each side of my foot because I usually don’t have good enough balance quite yet. Once I feel stable in the posture, then I advance it to placing both hands at my shin or ankle. Alignment check- both of my toes are pointing forward and my back heel is on the ground. This really gets after that front leg’s hamstring – Yowsa!

Pyramid Pose

Pyramid Pose

Triangle Pose: This one I have a love/hate relationship with. This is the pose that tells me when I have pushed my hip too far (during the run or training) and will scream at me. I have a tendency to sink in my hips during this pose. I know this because during class, the instructor will always pull me up by my raised arm and help me to think about the oppositions at work in this pose. Alignment check- front toe is forward, back toe is now at a 45 degree angle. This pose can be modified by using a block or something to support your hand at the bottom.

Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose

Runner’s Lunge or Kneeling Crescent to King Pigeon Pose: I like to start in a kneeling crescent, to warm up my hips first and then will attempt to pick up that back foot (depending how tight my quads are). Repeat on each side. I like to push back into a downward facing dog position to help me transition into the next pose.

King Pigeon Pose

King Pigeon Pose

Pigeon or Sleeping Pigeon: From down dog, I will position myself into pigeon and work on opening up that hip. Once I feel I can go a little deeper into that stretch, I will go onto my forearms or all the way down for Sleeping Pigeon. Lots of modifications for this one.

Pigeon Pose and Stella demonstrating the down dog

Pigeon Pose and Stella demonstrating down dog

One Leg Seated Forward Bend: Keeping just a slight bend in the knee, go ahead and fold over onto your knees. Yep, that’s about as far as this girl can go. So sad.

Seated Forward Bend

Seated Forward Bend- this pose is painful for me. yuck.

Happy Baby: I don’t recommend doing this in the middle of the gym or a parking lot, although me, Mary and Alyssa may have at one time or another sprawled ourselves out in the middle the parking lot at Table Mesa doing our embarrassing poses (this one included). Happy Baby just feels so so good on my back after running, after stretching, watching tv, whenevs! Lay on your back, lift your feet up, bend your knees as much as you would like, grab those feet and pull down. Your back will thank you.

Happy Baby

Happy Baby

And there you have it folks, my post-run Yoga Stretching Sequence.

What stretches do you like to do? If you don’t usually stretch post run want to join me in this little challenge for the week??





8 Responses to “Stretching After The Run”

  1. thecrazyrunnergirl March 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    Pigeon pose is a must for me after a run too! Otherwise my piriformis muscle gets tight. Great yoga pictures and I love that your dog got involved too, cute!😀

  2. Chocolate Covered Race Medals March 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    GREAT stretches — makes me crave some yoga. Pigeon is probably my favorite post-run stretch!

    • kandjcolorado March 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

      You should give a couple of them a go! So so good! I love frog pose. I usually sit there a bit but then it is kind of tough getting out of it 😳

  3. 365dayrunner March 4, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Thanks for demonstrating some good post run yoga moves! I am notoriously bad at “remembering” to stretch post run as well.

    • kandjcolorado March 4, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      Thanks! I figure a week is about all I can commit to of anything other than running. One week at a time I suppose.

  4. Dominick S. March 6, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    I need all this in my life more than the once a week I go to Yoga…frog, forward fold and happy baby all feel awesome for my achey bod. Stretchhhhhhhh!


  1. Active Warm Ups for Runners | KandJColorado - March 24, 2014

    […] I am essentially picking up where I left off with my training so I will be doing everything I can to prevent injury. These warm ups will help. My goal is to do them before every run this week. Followed by my stretch routine. […]

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