Reality check: running demands repetitive motion in just one plane of movement. Fail to step outside that dominant pattern and it’s only a matter of time before your bod protests.
The good news for all you run lovahs is that it doesn’t take much for your muscles to recall what else they’re capable of. We often recommend stretching with your legs separated further than your usual gait (abduction), however crossing your legs (adduction) is especially beneficial for post-run side-body stiffness that commonly lingers all the way up the IT band into the outer hips and even the low back.
So, it’s time to get crossed up! If this sesh feels a little awkward, no biggie. Stay with it — easing through the discomfort of the unfamiliar will help you to sustain balance and ward off injuries. After you pound the pavement, hold each pose for 5+ deep breaths before switching sides. Repeat the sequence daily and note the difference — to mix things up, alternate with our side body “Reset” from last month.
Criss-Cross Side Bend
- Cross your right leg in front of your left without locking either of your knees — try to distribute your weight as evenly as possible.
- Turn your palms forward, reach your arms overhead, and cross your right arm in front of your left, bringing the backs of your palms to touch.
- Reach high through your arms, then bend your torso the left — the bend should happen around the middle of your spine IE try not to let your lower body shift.
Crossed-Leg Forward Fold at the Wall
- Stand with your back to a wall, about two feet away from it.
- Keeping your knees bent, cross your right leg in front of your left, and fold forward.
- Lean your butt back into the wall — if it feels hard or like you can’t lean back, bring your feet a bit further away from the wall.
- Rest your hands on your shins or the floor, while keeping both knees bent slightly, and both feet flexed.
- Keep leaning back into the wall and drop your head to relax your neck.
Crossed-Leg Down Dog
- Come onto all fours with your shoulders over your wrists, hips over your knees — NOTE you can also enter this one by walking your hands forward from the previous pose.
- Tuck your toes and begin to straighten your legs as lift your hips up and back — keep your knees as deeply bent as needed to keep your spine long.
- Press down evenly through your hands (they should be flat on the floor) as you cross your right leg behind your left and try to get your feet even on the floor.
- Depending on how your hammies feel, you may need to keep your knees bent deeper (also the case if it feels tough on your shoulders), or if this pose pisses you off in general, just skip it and spend more time in Crossed-Leg Forward Fold.
- Reach your arms out wide with your palms facing up.
- Cross you right arm over your left, then bend your elbows so that your fingers point toward the sky.
- Cross your right wrist behind your left and bring your palms together — if that feels like a strain, try skipping the wrist cross and instead bring the backs of your palms together, or just put your hands onto opposite shoulders (keeping the elbows crossed).
- Lift your elbows up a little, and give your head a little bobble (shake) to encourage your neck to relax.
What else do you hOMegirls (and hOMeboys!) like to do to step outside your running range of movement? Tell us on Twitter @jasyoga.