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The 5 Best Post-Run Yoga Stretches for Runners Cooldown

Yoga for Runners Injury Prevention Focused

Interested in yoga for runners with a major focus on injury prevention?

Want to spend less time injured? Interested in improving your running efficiency? Would you like to get back to running more quickly with less soreness? These 5 stretches are my personal favorite stretches for after a run. They will help you improve mobility, reduce your risk of injury, recover more quickly, and (over time) even make you a better runner!

Watch the video or scroll down to read the full description for my 5 best post-run stretches for runners.

#1 – Reclined Quadriceps Stretch

Yoga for Runners Injury Prevention - Quad Stretch

The reclined quadriceps stretch is a fantastic post-running stretch for runners that helps to prevent knee injury, relieve tightness in the knees and thighs, and reduce soreness the next day. It speeds up your recovery, so you can get back to running more quickly, and it ultimately builds the potential strength in your quadricep for more endurance, faster miles, and a smoother ride! Hold for 45-60 seconds on both sides for the best results.

#2 – Half Split

Yoga for Runners Injury Prevention - Half Split

Half split is one of my favorites for after a run, because in addition to stretching your hamstrings and calves (this would be enough if these two were the only benefits!) it also helps to relieve tightness in your spine. This helps to relieve lower-back discomfort or pain caused by the pound and ground of stride after stride, whether you run on the pavement, grass, trail, or treadmill. This one is essential to taking care of your ankles, knees, hips, and spine! Make sure to keep your chest upright for this one. Hold for 45-60 seconds on both sides.

#3 – Pigeon

Yoga for Runners Injury Prevention - Pigeon

Pigeon is fantastic run for helping to reduce pressure or discomfort in your lower back caused by hip tightness. It’s a stretch that most runners don’t do, but a surprisingly regular culprit of lower-back pain. Pigeon targets your external hip rotators (your glutes, or your butt muscles), and this is important because your external hip rotators affect the feeling of tightness in your lower-back. Stretch these muscles, and you reduce the pressure caused by these muscles pulling on your lower-back. Great for after any workout – not just running! And an awesome cure for lower-back pain in general. Do pigeon on both sides for 45-60 seconds.

#4 – Lizard

Yoga for Runners Injury Prevention - Lizard

This stretch is all about your hip flexors. As runners, we tend to get tight in the hips from the repetitive stride. You can be very fast, strong runner, and STILL have tight hips. Stretching your hip flexors allows you to keep these important muscles that connect your legs to your spine happy, and using the lizard position shown here helps you get an even deeper, more satisfying stretch. Try it out! You can use any prop you have handy to help get your chest higher off the ground, and thus get a better stretch for the hip flexor. Hold lizard for a minimum of 45 seconds, and up to 90 seconds.

#5 – Wide-legged Forward Fold (with groin stretches)

Yoga for Runners Injury Prevention - Wide Legged Forward Fold

 

This combo is great for helping to stretch the muscles that connect to your hips and spine. Starting in a wide-legged position with forward fold, slowly bent into one knee while keeping the other straight, and then switch every few seconds or so. This helps to stretch your inner thighs, groin, spine, and even your ankles! Doing this will help you take care of every joint in your body from the waist-down, and will also help you get back to running more quickly by speeding up your recovery time. Spend a minimum of 60 seconds in this pose, and up to 90 seconds.

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Additional Resources

About the author, Dean Pohlman, Founder & CEO of Man Flow Yoga, Author of Yoga Fitness for Men, Expert on Yoga Fitness for Men.

Dean Pohlman is an E-RYT 200 certified yoga instructor and the founder of Man Flow Yoga. Dean is widely considered to be an authority on Yoga for Men. He has worked with physical therapists to create yoga programs for back health and spinal recovery. His workouts and programs have been used by professional and collegiate athletes, athletic trainers, and personal trainers; and have been recommended by physical therapists, doctors, chiropractors, and other medical professionals.

Dean is a successfully published author through DK Publishing (Yoga Fitness for Men), selling 35,000 copies worldwide in English, French, and German; in addition to being a co-producer of the Body by Yoga DVD Series, which has sold over 40,000 copies on Amazon since its release in 2016.

Man Flow Yoga has been featured in Muscle & Fitness Magazine, Mens’ Health, The Chicago Sun, New York Magazine, and many more major news media outlets.

Dean And Dog

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