Running and yoga are two great exercises that compliment each other well. These two also have a common complaint – tight hamstrings. Having tight and sore hamstrings is a real exercise mood killer. Luckily, there is a few yoga poses out there that can fix this issue.
Yoga and Hamstrings
Yoga and running compliment each other so well because they fill in the gaps that the other one lacks. Practicing a few yoga poses before and after a good run can help stretch and lengthen the hamstring muscles, which prevent soreness.
It’s not all about stretching either. One of the core focuses of yoga is breathing, which happens to be very important in running. Yoga can help improve breathing patterns and lung capacity. The increased oxygen will go to the muscles giving them a performance boost and prevent them from getting as tight.
3 Poses for Tight Hamstrings
If you have tight or sore hamstrings here are three yoga poses that can help alleviate that discomfort.
- Forward Fold
A simple forward fold is the most basic hamstring stretch in yoga and is accessible to all. It will help stretch out your central hamstring specifically. The pose helps softly release tension and lengthen the hamstring muscles. It also stretches the back and makes one feel calm.
Start off in mountain pose, inhale with the arms over your head and then on the exhale dive your torso over your legs. Your hands can rest wherever you feel most comfortable. The aim of this pose is to feel a stretch, but don’t go to the point of discomfort and strain. If your back starts to hurt you can ease the pain by bending your knees a bit.
- Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold
This pose will focus on stretching your inner hamstring. The wide-legged stance provides a deeper opening whilst stretching and lengthening out the spine. Simply take a wide stance with your toes pointing slightly inward. Bend forward and rest your hands on the floor. You can lift your knees to get an even deeper stretch.
- Pyramid Pose
The pyramid pose will work on stretching out your outer hamstring. This pose is great because it works to lengthen even the most stubborn of hamstrings. It also will improve your balance and leg strength!
Start in mountain pose, take a step back placing the right foot at a 60-degree angle. Make sure the hips are squared forward. As you exhale, fold over your torso, hinging the hips and keeping the spine nice and long.
Don’t let your hamstrings keep you from running! Adding these simple poses into your routine before and after a run can make a huge difference. Try it out and see for yourself! If you want more great poses to aid in your exercise routine, check out one of our amazing yoga classes. Yoga is the perfect compliment to any other form of exercise. See you soon, Namaste!