Runners are constantly trying to find better ways to take care of their bodies and prevent injuries. Too many runners suffer from bad backs and knees, often leading them to abandon running all together. Pounding the pavement on the road, trail or treadmill is a great way to stay in shape, but it can also puts you at risk for overuse injuries. Common issues for runners: shin splints, knee, foot problems, IT band syndrome, etc. Runners in general have very strong legs but weak upper bodies including core and arms, which may hurt your performance. Running is all forward and some backwards, and their is not a lot of: turning, swiveling, or lateral movements. You are essentially stuck in the same / repetitive position for however many miles you are going. The more you can strengthen your legs and improve balance, the less likely you are to twist an ankle or fall down when on a trail or any uneven pavement.

 

 

1. Pigeon Pose With A Quad Variation:

pigeon pose quad variation sketch

Pigeon Pose is a beloved pose for runner as it’s of the many keys to release the: hips, gluts, relieve sciatic pain, etc. Bending the back leg to add a quad stretch will open the quadricep plus deep hip flexor opening, increasing the range of motion in those joints and the body in general. Everything ties in, which can in turn alleviate stress on the back as well. Anytime you keep the hips open and supple, you will in turn decrease stress and strain on the all important knee joint.

 

 

2. Standing Forward Bend Against The Wall:

Forward Fold Against Wall Manrtra2

Most people will perform standard forward bends without the wall or seated. From experience working with Athletes, they end up make little or small progress over the years as they are doing it wrong or overstitching their backs. Stretching the hamstrings is very important to runners, folding over and leaning your back against the wall opens the hamstrings very deep and will lead to faster results if done as a longer / deeper hold for 2-4 minutes and build up the duration overtime.

 

 

3. Hero’s Pose Toes Tucked And Un-Tucked:

jason heros pose toes tucked

Kneeling in hero’s pose will help keep a nice flexion in the knees as well as a great stretch for the quadriceps. Keeping the toes un-tucked first and holding for 1-3 minutes will also provide a deep stretch into the shin which can be rather hard to access plus the top of the foot. This can lead to an increase in the range of motion in the ankle and for greater power to push off plus increased quickness. Doing this pose with the toes tucked will open the achilles tendon and planter facia (bottom of the foot, arch area) as well as the bottom of the toes, which can increase range of motion in the ankle and make for a much smoother, easier, enjoyable and effortless run.