Running is a great form of exercise! However, without proper stretching, it also makes you more prone to muscle strain and injuries.

If you always feel sore and tight after a run, you badly need to loosen and stretch those muscles out. Don’t worry, yoga has you covered. The right yoga poses will help you prevent muscle tightness and keep your muscles healthy.

Before starting this yoga routine, here are some important things to remember:

  • Make sure you don’t have any condition that is contraindicated with any of the poses. Get advice from your physician prior to doing them.
  • Perform this routine after a run or anytime. If you don’t have any run or workout and just want to do these poses, cardio is recommended to warm up the muscles.
  • Do the poses in a controlled manner, avoiding any force or bounce.
  • Stretch in a slow motion to the point of discomfort, not pain.
  • Hold each pose for 30 seconds or longer.
  • This routine is not recommended for pregnant women.

1. Standing Forward Bend Pose

The hamstrings are one of the key muscles for running. Stretch your hamstrings and open your hips with the standing forward bend pose.

To do it:

  • Stand with feet hip-distance apart and arms by the sides. Turn your toes slightly inward.
  • On an exhale, gently bend forward, slightly bending at knees (especially if the hamstrings are tight) and bringing your hands to the ground or a yoga block.
  • Make sure to pull your abs in. Take deep breaths.
  • Stay in the position for 30 seconds.

2. Crescent Lunge Pose

Aside from being a great opener, this dynamic standing yoga pose gives the quadriceps and hips flexors a wonderful stretch. Also called Anjaneyasana, it strengthens your upper and lower body while enhancing balance and stability.

To do this:

  • Stand on a mat, then come into a lunge, stepping your left foot forward so that your left knee is over your heel and your right knee lifted.
  • Gently drop the right knee, untucking toes so that your sole faces the ceiling.
  • Rest hands on top of the left thigh and align your shoulders over the hips.
  • Stay in the position for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

3. Bound Angle Pose

Also called butterfly pose, the bound angle pose stretches the inner thighs and opens the hips and groin.

To do it:

  • Sit on a mat, then bend your knees so that your soles are brought together.
  • Place your hands around the toes, interlacing your fingers.
  • Lengthen your spine and roll your shoulders back. Tip: Bend forward for a deeper stretch.
  • Take deep breaths, and stay in the position for 30 seconds.

4. Cow-face Pose

The cow-face pose is an excellent pose for runners, as it deeply opens the hips and knee joints. It also triggers the digestion and elimination, making it a great addition to your yoga for weight loss routine.

To do it:

  • Sit on a mat, then place your right foot back by the left hip.
  • Stack your left knee on top of the right, bringing your left foot by the right hip.
  • Hold feet with your hands, then slightly lean forward. Make sure your hips remain on the floor.
  • Tip: For a deeper stretch, place your hands on the mat in front of you and bend forward.
  • Stay in the position for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

5. Camel Pose

Besides opening your shoulders and chest, the camel pose is an excellent way to strengthen your back and stretch your abdomen, groin, and thighs.

To do it:

  • Kneel on a mat with your hands on the hips and knees in line with the shoulders, sole faced toward the ceiling.
  • On an inhale, arch your back and reach your hands over the feet until your arms are straight. Make sure to keep your neck in a neutral position to avoid strain.
  • Stay in the position for 30 seconds.

6. Seated Figure Four Pose

The seated figure four pose is a variation of the figure four stretch that opens the hips and stretches the inner thigh.

To do it:

  • Sit with your arms behind you for support, fingertips pointing forward, and your right knee bent towards the chest, the foot flat on the ground and as close to the butt as possible.
  • Cross your left ankle over the right thigh, resting the side of your foot on the thigh close to the knee.
  • Turn your hands around and push your chest forward. Maintain a straight back throughout the pose.
  • Stay in the position for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

7. Head-to-knee Forward Bend

Runners usually have tight hamstrings, which can hinder them from achieving their goals. The head-to-knee forward bend is an excellent pose to stretch the hamstrings and strengthen the back.

To do it:

  • Sit on a mat with legs extended out and abs braced.
  • Slide your left foot inside the right thigh so that the left knee is position at about 90 degrees.
  • Center your upper body over the extended right leg. On an exhale, gently lower your torso towards the right thigh.
  • Flex your right foot and reach for the toes. Tip: For support, you can use a towel as a yoga strap.
  • Stay in the position for 30 seconds before slowly rolling up. Repeat on the other side.

8. Seated Wide-angle Pose

The seated wide-angle pose develops the strength of the core and legs and stretches the hips and pelvis.

To do it:

  • Sit on a mat with your legs extended out in front and your hands at the sides.
  • Bring your legs apart as wide as you comfortably can.
  • Lengthen your spine, flex your feet, and engage your quadriceps to prevent knees from locking.
  • Slightly bend forward, placing your hands on the mat. Tip: If you’re feeling pain on your legs, bend your knees or bring them closer together.
  • Stay in the position for 30 seconds.

Running makes one more prone to muscle strain and injuries, that’s why it’s important to stretch your muscles before and after doing a run. Stretch your hamstrings, hip flexors, and other key muscles used in running with these amazing yoga poses!

Do you love to run? Which yoga pose is your favorite stretching move?