Runners… start your engines!
No matter how fast you are, you can’t go from 0 to 60. Taking a few minutes to warm-up will not only optimize your running ability, but also help prevent tweaks, strains, and pains. Lucky for you, yoga can hook you up with a great dynamic warm-up, and it doesn’t take long. Hit up this four-pose sequence to wake up your legs and core, align your stride, and help you establish a deep breath pattern —boosting your endurance and helping you run with more ease and efficiency.
It should only take about five minutes. Do the entire sequence one side before switching to the other leg. Hold each pose for three – five breaths.
Even, Balanced Standing
1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms along your sides.
2. Rock your weight around on your feet and find what feels like your perfect center — that means even weight across the balls of your feet and your heels.
3. Try to engage your quads and glutes both about 25 percent (rather than letting your quads take over).
4. Breathe deeply and feel for a sense of balance.
5. This would also be a great time to focus on your goal for your run!
Single Leg Balance
1. Bring your hands to your waist and engage your core as you draw your navel toward your spine (as if you’re cinching up your waist).
2. Keep your core engaged as you lift your right knee up to waist-height, bending your knee to a 90-degree angle.
3. Hold here as you balance on your left leg, keeping that standing knee slightly bent. Make sure to keep your weight even on your left foot, even between left quad and glutes.
1. From your Single Leg Balance, slowly step your right leg back into a lunge.
2. Make sure your stride is long—just slightly out of your comfort zone so that you can gain some flexibility and cover more ground.
3. Keep your front knee bent at 90 degrees, tracking directly over the ankle.
4. Make your back leg straight and strong, without locking the knee (if that feels too hard, you can drop the back knee to the ground).
5. Soften common tension spots like your shoulders, neck, and jaw.
6. Scan your body and practice being as efficient as possible, engaging the muscles you need and relaxing everything else so that you can take that ease into your run.
1. From your Runner’s Lunge, bring your hands to ground to frame your front foot.
2. Inhaling, straighten your front leg as much as possible.
3. Exhaling, bend your front knee back over your ankle to return to your lunge.
4. Continue moving to the rhythm of your breath, moving the stretch between your hip flexors and hamstrings as you warm up your legs.
And now, the main event — enjoy your run! And don’t forget to put your legs up the wall afterward!
For more pre-run warm-up ideas, check out Jasyoga’s YouTube Channel.