Flexibility and mobility are important for all runners. Being more flexible will help you avoid injuries and improve performance.
Yoga can be a great way to increase your flexibility and it is also a good exercise to include in your running routine.
Do I do yoga after or before running? This is an important question to answer as many runners are tempted to warm up with yoga before their run.
Continue reading to find out how to best incorporate yoga into a running training program and when to do it to get the best results.
Yoga is it helpful for runners?
Yoga is a great workout for runners.
As many poses are held for long periods of time, yoga helps keep the body flexible. This creates elasticity in the muscles, connective tissues and ligaments.
It will allow you to run more effectively and efficiently.
Running can cause muscle shortening or tightening. Yoga can reduce the physical strain of running, and it will help you to relax and strengthen your muscles.
Yoga’s breathwork will make you more conscious of your breathing when you are running. You can increase your oxygen intake and reduce anxiety by applying breathwork during your run.
Yoga will improve your alignment and your ability to focus. You’ll be able to better focus on your running and also more aware of your body’s messages.
Yoga movements are primarily focused on the hip flexors, hamstrings and calves. Yoga can also help you gain strength as it targets the muscles that are not used enough.
Yoga practice regularly will improve your running performance by strengthening these muscles.
Should I do yoga prior or post run?
It is better to do your yoga after you have run than before.
You should do dynamic yoga movements before you run, rather than holding a posture for a long time.
When you do yoga, and hold a pose for a while, the muscles stretch out and relax. Your muscles are like springs when you run. They’re tight, and they help propel you forward. Stretching and relaxing the muscles will reduce your running efficiency, as well cause injuries.
Yoga after a run can help you recover, as it relieves muscle tension, reduces pain and allows you to regain range of motion.
What if I enjoy running after yoga?
Yoga can be done before a run, as long as it is dynamic. This will help to activate inactive muscles, and make your body ready for fluid movements.
Although the following yoga poses may appear to be stretching, they are actually targeting the muscles that the runner is about to use.
Try the following yoga poses before you run:
Standing Side Stretch to Standing Back Bend
Standing March Hold
These moves will help you warm up your muscles and will take only 5 minutes before your run.
Muscle recovery is a great benefit of moves like Downward-facing Dog, Reclining Pigeon Pose, Toes Pose, and Reclining Cow Face. These poses are great for stretching and relaxing the muscles.
Why is it better to run before yoga?
It’s for a variety of reasons that it’s best to run before doing yoga. Yoga poses and deep breathing activate the parasympathetic system which allows your body to rest. This will allow your body to relax by reducing the heart rate and breathing rate.
When you run after yoga, your body will go from a relaxed to a stressful state. It will be a little shock to your body and you may release more stress hormones. This could impact on how well you run.
This will allow your muscles to warm up before you do yoga fully. You can then move into deeper yoga positions. This will reduce your risk of injury if you move from a bending pose into a twisting, lunging or twisting position.
Yoga can be used to achieve different goals, depending on whether you are aiming for strength, endurance or relaxation.
Ashtanga is a good choice if you want to improve your strength. It has a more rapid-paced sequence. Each pose will emphasize strength, and every move will strengthen your core – think of the Boat Pose.
Hot yoga will help you increase your endurance. The class temperature ranges from 90 to 105°F. You’ll be doing a variety poses such as the Runner Lunge and Pigeon Pose.
Restorative Yoga calms both the body and mind. The poses are slower in sequence and help to stretch and relax muscles.
Yoga can help relax and stretch those tight hamstrings and quads as well as hip flexors and back muscles after a run or an intense training session. Stretching and relaxing your muscles will allow them to recover faster, while also increasing your range of movement. You can run faster the next day or even better your PR.
A longer session of yoga: before, or after?
It’s best to practice yoga after your run if you want it to last longer. You will be able to stay in a relaxed and calm state for a longer period of time. Your muscles can also recover, allowing you to get a better night’s rest.
Do some yoga or light stretching before you run. After you return home, do your yoga session.
Tips for Yoga
1. Refuse the urge to compete
Yoga requires patience and practice to master. Running is a challenge and you can compete with other runners. Yoga poses may look simple to the person next to you, but that person has probably been practicing yoga for a longer time.
Remember, this is not a race.
Focus on getting your body in the best position so that you can feel the effect of the pose. Be sure to breathe comfortably through the entire range of motion.
2. Adjust your yoga practice to your running season
Look at your training schedule and adapt the type of yoga that you will be doing to it. Consider adding restorative sessions to your yoga routine if you are planning on doing intense training for a few months before a race.
Power yoga, also known as Vinyasa Yoga, is a great option for the off-season when you are doing low-intensity running. Power yoga is fast-paced and has creative moves. It’s also guaranteed to raise your heart rate.
You will be able to run without pain and increase your strength.
3. Dynamic yoga over long holds
Every runner tries to improve his or her running economy. In a small study, it was found that runners with less flexibility had better running economy.
Yoga is good for stretching stiff muscles, but dynamic yoga movements are better. This will prevent overstretching and reduce the chance of injury.