Yoga for Runners: The Ultimate Guide

With these simple additions to your training regime, your running can become more efficient, faster and injury-free

by Samantha Emory

Running is an obsessive sport and between bettering your pace and working on your stride, it’s easy to forget the stretches and strength training that help prevent your workouts from becoming a serious pain: in your legs, your feet or your hips. However with a few simple yoga-inspired exercises and routines from the Asana Rebel app, your running can quickly become more rewarding, more enjoyable, and—most importantly—free from injury.

1 Fail to Prepare = Prepare to Fail

man running on path between fields

Throwing your body into a run without first warming up is like jumping into a lake in the middle of winter: it’s a shock to the system. And research has found that many runners are forced out of their sport by injuries that could be easily avoided by proper attention paid to areas sensitive to the pressures of the running. So, think of your warm-up routine like your morning coffee or tea: an essential part of getting you and your body ready for what’s to come.

2 Preparing your Body

woman stretching before run

The most common parts of the body that suffer from running injuries are the knees, ankles, hamstrings, calves, and hips. A productive and time-saving warm-up should target these regions, without overstressing them. Keeping this in mind, your warm-up could include a round of squats; a few breaths in pigeon pose; a set of calf raises; a short burst of high knees, and, with your legs extended in front of you, a round of circles drawn with your toes.

The simple motions involved in these exercises bring strength and flexibility to these sensitive parts of the body:

  • Squats, for instance, build up the muscles in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, and increase the power and endurance of your stride.
  • While pigeon pose, for example, helps lengthen your hip flexor, and open your hip joint, to keep you loose during your run, and toe circles wake up your ankles.
  • Certain yoga routines, meanwhile, target all these regions in one go—such as sun salutations​: a cycle of movement designed to energize and strengthen, and one that is easily accessible on the Asana Rebel app.

And if avoidance of injury is not enough of a motivation, keep your eyes on the prize instead: recent studies have shown that a dynamic warm-up is also a powerful performance booster.

3 Cool Down

So you’ve done your warm-up and you’ve challenged yourself on your run. You’re feeling accomplished, and out of breath...now what? Once you’ve pushed your body, and your muscles are warm and pliable, take advantage of this chance to improve your flexibility. In your cool-down, make sure to target the same problem areas as in your warm-up through a repetition of your stretches or new ones, such as lunges or ​the Goddess Pose​. This pose stretches out your hips and groin—areas that tend to tighten up with running—and lights a bit of fire in your quads and inner thighs, rounding out your workout. The Goddess is also useful before a workout: by opening up your chest and easing your digestive tract, it can help prevent pesky stomach cramps. A low-impact ​vinyasa flow routine​ would also be a perfect alternative to help you cool down. These calming exercise help you focus on the rhythm of your breath, and bring your heart rate back to normal.

The Asana Rebel app, with its database of yoga routines and it’s easy-to-follow videos is the perfect running partner. With the app, warming up and cooling down are no longer hassles: they are fun and engaging elements of a holistic workout that helps you to avoid injuries, and keep improving. ​Join the millions of satisfied users who have found flexibility and strength through Asana Rebel​—​and keep on running.

What is Asana Rebel?

The Asana Rebel app is an excellent tool to help you reach and achieve your health and fitness goals. For your physical health, the app is filled with more than 200 workouts that you can do from anywhere in the world and no equipment is required. For improving your mental wellbeing you can find mindfulness, meditation, sleep podcasts and nutrition advice.

No wonder 10 million users around the world have stopped wasting money on the gym and started investing in yoga-inspired fitness. Asana Rebel does it the right way.