Being both a runner and cyclist, I know the beating your body can take from both of these activities. Aches and pains in the knees, feet and ankles, tight hips and hamstrings, and stiffness in the back and quads. Whew! Why do we do this to ourselves again?
Both Yoga and Pilates have really allowed me to recover faster from all the aches, tightness and stiffness from running and biking. More and more athletes (professional ball players included) are taking notice of the benefits of incorporating a Yoga or Pilates practice as part of cross training. These can offer you not only increased strength and flexibility, but can actually help you perform better on the road or bike. Pilates and Yoga help to improve core strength, posture, balance and flexibility in the back, hips and hamstrings giving you more efficiency in the legs for running and biking.
When I decided to do a post on Yoga poses for Runners/Cyclists, I thought of the poses that I love to do after each run or ride. I narrowed it down to the 8 best poses for you. Originally I thought this would just be one HUGE ass post full of Yoga poses, but then I thought “Eh, probably better to not overwhelm anyone. Let’s just ease into this!” So this is the first in a series of “7 Yoga Poses for Runners and Cyclists”!
Each Friday there will be another pose featured. I thought this way you could have one pose to really focus on, and given that most of us do our long runs/rides on the weekends, you can benefit from having each pose before the weekend even starts. This also gives you a whole week to really get to know this pose, make friends with it, take it out for coffee, introduce it to your other friends. The more time you spend on the pose, the easier it gets, the more familiar you get with it and the better you get at it. They don’t call it a “Yoga Practice” for nothing.
Now enroll that mat, and let’s get to work!
Pose #1: Baddha Konasana or Bound Angle Pose
- improves circulation
- stretches hips, thighs and inner groin
- releases lower back and spine
- come to sit in a comfortable position on the floor
- sit up nice and tall on the sit bones
- bring the soles of the feet together and open knees out to the side like a book
- ground the sit bones down into the earth and lengthen the spine all the way up
- sit here for a few breaths or take it deeper by folding forward and bringing the heart towards your feet
- you can use props like pillows, a rolled up blanket, or yoga blocks under the knees for support
Don’t forget to check back next Friday for Pose #2!