For this years Go Girl Run training, I’ve been extremely mindful of the things I can do to keep my body healthy and injury free all with the greater idea to share those learnings with you guys.
Sharon Prothe, my birthday twin, offered to be part of my support system as my yoga and nutritional coach. Sharon is a seasoned yoga instructor local to Kansas City with 20 years of experience in health + wellness and has numerous yogi credentials. She’s also got a serious history with running–halfs, fulls, half iron mans, etc.
Together we created these 5 post-training run yoga stretches you can do with a buddy to help increase flexibility, speed up recovery time and help you get to the finish line feeling healthy & strong!
1. Downward facing dog
Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Benefits: Acts as check-in with your entire body, stretching your arms, back and legs. You can get a general feeling for the areas which are tighter than others while in Downward Dog. Pedal your heels toward the earth, you can open up the calves and hamstrings, stretch the feet and the achilles –this pose improves circulation throughout the body as the head is below the heart.
2. Sitting forward fold (straight)
Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana) or Seated wide angle (Upavistha konasana)
Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings and calves; the forward fold straightens and lengthens the spine. Stretches the entire back of the body, from the heels to the neck. Calms the nervous system.
3. Calf Stretch on stairs
Benefits: Your calf muscles simultaneously act as the gas and brake pedal on a run. Need to push up a steep hill. Need to slow it up during the descent on the other side? Your calves make sure you don’t face plant on the way down. Another great option it to use a roller along the back of your legs and calves to keep them from cramping.
4. Reclining Pigeon
Reclining Pigeon (Sucirandhrasana)
Benefits: Reclining pigeon is a gentler modification of pigeon pose, and perfect for tight hips. This pose is also excellent for stretching the connective tissue that runs along your outer thigh from your hip to your shin, the so called IT band. This yoga pose is also known for being preventative for knee problems because a tight IT Band could eventually lead to issues with the knee.
5. Standing forward fold
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
Benefits: This pose is a great opener for the calves, hips and hamstrings and helps to strengthen the quadriceps and knees. It’s important for everyone to have loose and flexible hamstrings. Tight hamstrings are likely the culprit of back pain and tension which can then transfer to problems with the knees and hips.
We’d love to race with you (5k & half)! Grab a buddy and join us at the 2016 Go Go Run September 4th! Click here to register. Use code GGRKirsten for 15% off.