Most runners usually are told that yoga is a good complement to their activity. Generic yoga classes are rather suitable to cope with recovery. However, a better solution for runners would be to apply yoga specifically in order to correct and prevent chronic issues including achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, knee discomfort, quad strains and hip pain.
The above stated conditions are rather common for runners. “Most runners’ issues are due to an inability to transfer their center of gravity out of their dominant side,” stated Mike Cantrell, president of the Cantrell Center for Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Warner Robins, Georgia, and a faculty member at the Postural Restoration Institute in Lincoln, Nebraska. If one does not acknowledge the problem, it can cause a cascade of mechanical breakdown, especially in elite runners. Here are a few yoga poses that can be incorporated into one’s overall training program or even used as a dynamic warm up to address the problem.
The first pose is lunges. In fact, this is quite commonly used in a warm up routine. From a standing position, inhale and raise your arms as you step forward with your right leg into a lunge. On exhale, hold the position. On the next inhale, step back to standing and lower your arms. Then, repeat the same motion on the left side. Upon completion, proceed to step-back lunges. Using the same breathing pattern, begin stepping back during inhalation and do the second set stepping back on the exhalation. Likewise, repeat the same motion on the other side.
The second pose is known as the flowing bridge. For this, you have to start on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, about hip-distance apart. Do ensure that your feet are pointed forward and aligned horizontally. Get your hips, knees and feet in proper alignment. On exhale, lift your hips and on inhale, release it to the ground. Repeat this motion between eight to twelve times.
The last pose is the windshield wipers. You can begin in a bridge position. However, your arms should be placed out to the sides and your feet should be wider than hip distance with your knees dropping inwards. When you exhale, allow both your knees and legs to drop to the right and as close to the ground as possible without any pain occurring. When you inhale, bring back your knees together again. Repeat the same thing for the left side. Do a total of 10 cycles or 5 on each side.
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