Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Training Tuesday

As runners, we can build a lot of tension in our bodies. Stretching your muscles is a great way to alleviate stiffness and create fluidity while running. Although it is important to stretch both before and after running, many of us runner do not take the time to do this. We will shamefully admit this. I have been trying to incorporate yoga into more of my training and weekly routines.

Yoga is a static-active routine that can increase flexibility and aid in recovery. When I say static, this means that it targets muscles that are stretched by the work of opposing or other muscles. Yoga is incredibly beneficial if you have an injury because it builds the opposing muscles that support the injured area. Yoga is great for runners as it improves their mental endurance, posture, breathing techniques, flexibility, muscles lengthening and strengthening in the areas that runners need it most. Many yoga poses focus on the feet as your primary point of balance during poses. This is especially helpful for runners as we identify that many injuries stem from poor foot placement during movement.

As I mentioned, I have been wanting to incorporate yoga into my weekly exercise and training routine, however, I have not taken the time to sign up for classes. Right now, I have been purchasing yoga videos off of Amazon until I find a studio or reasonably priced classes in my area. I find the videos useful to my personal routine because I can do them at any time of day that I would like. I also like the convenience of doing yoga comfortably in my own home. The instructors in the videos typically walk you through poses carefully so that you are doing them correctly. There are many resources online for yoga poses, however, remember to be careful doing these poses if you do not know what you are doing. You could injure yourself. Ideally, utilizing a yoga class with a personal instructor would be the best situation so that you can ensure you are doing poses and stretches efficiently and correctly.

Here are a few quick poses that runners can add into their daily routine before/after a run:

1. Triangle
Stretches the outer and inner hips and thighs; strengthens the core and legs.

2. Pyramid
Stretches the hips and hamstrings; strengthens the quads and core.

3. Quadriceps Stretch in Lunge
Stretches the front leg's hamstring and the back leg's hip flexors and quadriceps.

4. Pigeon Forward Fold
Stretches the hip muscles, including the piriformis, and the iliotibial band.

5. Happy Baby
Stretches the hamstrings and groin and helps release tension in the back.

Do you participate in Yoga? How do you incorporate it into your weekly routine? Have you ever considered Yoga? 
Have a wonderful Wednesday, all!

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