Tuesday, October 25, 2011

After A Run

Stretch! It doesn't matter if the run was 1 mile or 22 miles, if you stretch after a run you will be less tight and recover faster. Your muscles will be so happy! I have put together a quick yoga sequence that is great for after a run and will take less than 5 minutes. My camera is currently taking a sabbatical so I am going to use pictures from Yoga Journal's website. The people look so much calmer anyway...which is probably because they are in that all white room. Except wouldn't that make you feel a little insane? I feel a little bad about hijacking their pictures so here is the link to their Pose Guide. Yoga journal pictures do tend to look like the people don't have bones in their bodies so I'll give my own descriptions, for the more realistic versions of the poses!

So you've just come inside or stepped off the treadmill. It's important to let your breath and heart rate slow a little bit so you don't pass out or vom when you start folding. Just walk it off or shake out the arms and legs for about a minute till you catch your breath.

 Quick Post-Run Yoga 

Forward Fold: Feet together or about 3 inches apart. Bend at the hips, keeping the legs straight. Let the arms and head hang heavy or place the hands on the thighs, shins, ankles or floor...whatever you can reach. Obviously Serena here is pretty flexible, don't worry about her. Just fold as far as you can. Hold this pose for 5 deep breaths then roll back up to standing. 

Wide Leg Forward Fold: Spread the feet wide, keeping them parallel to each other. Fold at the hips, again reaching the hands and head as far as you can. Mindy appears to have her head on the floor too. This is accomplished by simply removing the hamstrings, no problem OR practicing yoga for many years. Hold this pose for 5 deep breaths then pivot to the left, turning the feet. 

High Lunge: Both feet are pointing forward, the front knee is over the ankle. Extend the back foot and keep the leg straight with the knee lifted. Placing the hands on either side of the front foot, look forward  and try to lift the chest (to keep the core engaged, rather than just laying on the front leg). Hold this pose for 3 deep breaths then switch sides. Hold the other side for 3 deep breaths then stand up. 

Pyramid: With the right foot pointing forward, step the left foot back about two feet (a much shorter stance than the lunge). Turn the left toes out slightly to about a 45 degree angle. Keep both legs straight and the hips level as you bend over the front leg. If you are not quite as limber as Theresa here, you can rest your hands on your thigh, shin or the floor, again whatever you can reach. The point is to keep the legs straight so the stretch is in the front hamstring. Hold this pose for 3 deep breaths then switch sides. Hold the other side for 3 deep breaths then stand up. 

Wide Leg Prayer Squat: Standing up, spread the feet wider than the hips and turn the toes out slightly. Squat down as low as you can, with the goal being to bring the booty lower than the knees. Bring the hands together in front of your chest (like you're praying, hence the title) and use the elbow to slightly press the knees out. This does not have to be a hardcore, full body engaged squat even though it may appear that way. Once you get into the pose and find your balance, you can pretty much just hang out with the booty hovering over the ground. "Hanging" the booty like this stretches and releases tension in the lower back. Pressing the knees slightly helps to stretch the inner thighs. Hold this pose for 5 deep breaths then rock forward, place the hands on the floor and lay down on the belly. Laurel is so sassy here with her hair cut and that look on her face. Feel free to make your squat as sassy as you'd like. 

Bow Pose: The point of this pose is to stretch the quads- the front of the thighs. If you'd like to go with the standard standing on one leg, pulling the lifted foot into the butt while the knee points to the floor, go for it! That is a great stretch. Bow pose is just another option to mix it up. Laying on your belly, bend up both knees and reach the arms around to grab the outsides of the ankles. Pull the feet up to arch the back and stretch the front of the body. Lance has got this pose DOWN. But if you need a less intense option to start, try doing one side at a time. Rest the left forearm on the floor in front of your face, keep the left leg straight and laying on the floor, and just pull up the right ankle. Hold this pose for 3 deep breaths (if you are doing one side at a time, hold each side for 3 breaths). Release the ankles and lay flat on the belly. 

Child's Pose: From the belly, push back on the hands to bring the booty over the feet. Lay down over the thighs bringing the forehead to the floor. The arms can reach out long in front of you, fold in front of you to place the head on the hands or reach down the sides of the body like Theresa is demonstrating. If your body won't touch your thighs put a pillow or folded up blanket between your booty and feet. The lift should allow the chest to come lower. If your chest is laying on your thighs and you'd like a deeper stretch, scoot the knees apart and allow the chest to lay on the floor between the knees. Hold this pose until you fall asleep, get hungry or your Stout Boyz come jump on you! :) 

What do you think? Do you usually stretch after running? Is there anything you would add?

Obviously I made up all the names in this post and all the information about the models. I don't know them and they certainly do not know me.


  1. Was this directed at me? If I get in that sassy booty hanging pose, I'm going to need some help getting out of it. Thanks.

  2. Haha well not directly at you but you know it shocks me that you don't stretch :) Try this- from the booty hanging squat just roll back onto your butt and fall out of it instead of trying to stand up. That's more fun anyway!

  3. I need a new hair cut to be so sassy but I'm going to give these a try!! And how did you know that any attempts to stretch in my house get ruined by the Stout Boyz?!