Casey Jade


5 must do yoga poses for runners

For all you runners out there this post is for you! We are focusing on five stretches that work deeply into the hips and hamstrings, areas that get extremely tight in runners. Loads of injuries come from muscles that are tight and stuck and by releasing and stretching into these muscles you will gain a greater range of movement and flexibility.

These particular stretches are held for a couple of minutes at a time which allows you to stretch into the connective tissue within the body brining about greater lubrication of the joints and length in the muscles. You need to find a place in the stretch where you can physically hold it for several minutes, so don’t come as deeply into the stretch as you possibly can, this will only stress the body and create greater tension. You might find that you want to come out of the poses after a few seconds but just continue to focus on your breathe and allow yourself to enjoy being still and stretching into the body. It will have an amazing impact on your body and will keep you injury free so you can carry on running!

1. Janu Shirshasana (head to knee pose) – stretches the hamstrings, hips and groin


  • Start by stretching both legs out on front of you. Bend you left knee and bring the left foot to the inner thigh of the right leg
  • Square your body to the outstretched right leg and fold forward over the leg
  • Before folding forward, lift up through the body so there is no collapse and then begin to forward fold over the leg keeping the right foot flexed
  • Depending on your flexibility, you can either place your hands on either side of the leg or you can grab the outstretched leg or foot
  • When you reach your edge you can bow your head towards the leg
  • Hold the stretch for a couple of minutes, taking deep breaths before changing sides

2. Reclining pigeon – stretches the outer hip and lower back


  • Start by lying on your back with the soles of your feet flat on the ground hips width distance apart
  • Bend the right knee and bring the ankle to rest just above the left knee
  • Thread your right arm through the space between the legs and clasp your hands together behind either your left thigh or left shin
  • Draw the left knee towards your chest and breathe deeply into the stretch
  • Hold for a couple of minutes and change sides

3. Frog – stretches the abductors, groin and glutes


  • Begin this stretch on your hands and knees (you will need to pad your knees with a folded mat or towels)
  • Begin to take your knees as wide as feels comfortable
  • Knees and hips should be in line and knees and ankles should be in line with you feet turned outwards
  • Start to sink into the hips and walk your arms as far forward as possible
  • Take deep breaths and hold for 1-2 minutes

Tips – There is an intensity to the stretch that at times will make you feel frustrated. There will be times when you won’t want to stay in the pose. Keep breathing deeply and see if you can stay for the full amount of time. It’s an amazing stretch and well worth a few minutes of discomfort

4. Supine hamstring stretch with strap – stretches hamstrings and lower back


  • Begin by lying on your back with your legs outstretched
  • Take the strap or a towel and place it in the arch of the right foot
  • Grip the strap with both hands and slowly take the right leg up to the sky, keeping the leg as straight as you can
  • Draw the leg towards to chest, breathing deeply into the hamstring and hold for one minute before changing sides

5. Double pigeon – stretches into the hips, groin and lower back


  • Start by sitting down with your legs stretched out in front of you, sitting up tall so you’re not collapsed in the body
  • Bend your right knee so the shin is parallel to the top of your mat or towel. The shin should be at a 90 degree angle
  • Bend the left knee and stack the ankle on top of the right knee with the intention of stacking both shins so they are parallel, keeping the feet flexed to protect the knee
  • Breath deeply and hold for one minute on each side

Tip – if it’s too challenging to stack both legs on top of each other, place one leg on the mat so the shins are crossed or leave one leg outstretched

Get stretching! All it takes is a few minutes and it will help to keep you injury free so you can carry on running!


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