As the Hong Kong Standard Chartered marathon is coming up next weekend, it inspired me to write this post. I was a avid runner for years and found that I was constantly hurting my joints, so I have a lot of respect for runners and also want to provide some tips to help cure or prevent running injuries. Whether you're a seasoned, avid or recreational runner, the following yoga stretches will help you keep your muscles and joints healthy!
Here are the first five stretches for runners! Remember, you have two legs, so don't just stretch one side ;) stay 5-10 breaths on each leg.
Low lunge for your hip flexor
How to do: kneel down on one side, make sure the hip on that side is stacked on top of your knee, your other leg in front with the knee also bent at a 90 degree angle stacked on top of the front ankle. Sink your hips down to the mat and you will start feeling your hip flexor on your back leg. Make sure your tail bone is tucked in to avoid lower back pain.
Half split for your hamstring
How to do: from your low lunge (above) slide your hips backwards until your front leg is straight, you can hold onto blocks or on your shin and keep your spine straight, if you are not feeling much, then gently pull yourself forward like you're about to reach your front foot. Never curve your back to reach your foot. Keep your hips in the same plane. The key is to stretch forward and not down.