Should you do yoga before running?


I always thought yoga as a workout warm up was a big no-no, until I did run and yoga teacher SAnchia Legister’s 30 Minute Pre-Whistle Yoga Routine. Now I won’t run in the morning without it.

I’m not the type of person who can get out of bed and out onto the streets after a few minutes of lunges and squats – I need some time to calm my mind and body through the day. Ambassador Lululemon Legister’s routine does just that, plus gives me the ability to run harder and longer, with less post-run discomfort.

However, when I told a friend about my warm-up, they were horrified: “Yoga is for after running – you will injure yourself by stretching too far forward! They are right about the stretching part, but this is where a lot of people are confused – yoga is not stretching, and stretching is not yoga …

Yoga sequences can be “dynamic”

There is a common misconception that yoga is just static stretching. While there are many sequences that focus on long holds (like yin, which is great for releasing muscle tension after running), dynamic flows like Legister work every muscle in the body, increasing your heart rate, sweating and perfectly preparing you for your morning 5k.

So what makes yoga “dynamic”?

“In yoga, ‘dynamic’ means moving from one posture to another at a rapid pace,” explains Ruth Stone, Sweatband.comPT consultant and qualified yoga teacher. “In sun salutations, an inner breath corresponds to a posture, while the outer breath corresponds to the next posture and so on, giving a real rhythm to the practice of yoga.

“Transitions can also be dynamic. Switching from narrow feet in a mountain pose to wide feet in a warrior pose can place additional aerobic demand on the body when using yoga as a preparation practice for a run.

Why dynamic stretching is the perfect warm-up for a run

Why dynamic yoga might be more beneficial than other dynamic stretches

Yoga is more than just creating shapes. For this reason, doing a yoga warm-up on your faster, more traditional squats and lunges offers tons of additional benefits.

“On a physical level, I find that a dynamic yoga practice before my run makes the run more enjoyable,” says Legister.

“My body feels ready to do something so that the run isn’t such a shock to my system, and the post-workout DOMS is a bit smoother. I’m sure lunges and squats are great too, as most of us could do that by stretching our glutes a bit more, especially for running. However, you don’t just run with your legs – it’s your whole body – and yoga works and opens the whole body.

She goes on to explain that yoga offers an opportunity for “more”. For Legister, it’s an opportunity to check with herself, to recognize what she needs from her race and to listen to her body: “It’s a chance to connect my head, my heart and my guts, to breathe consciously and maybe also to have a more conscious stroke. “

I definitely find that my yoga practice helps my breathing technique when pushing myself on more difficult runs, so focusing on the breathing is essential.

“In yoga, the breath is prana, energy and life force. Using the ‘one breath, one posture’ principle increases the flow of this energy, ”Stone tells us. “The movements open up the joints which, when strained, block this flow and thus allow a more complete journey of energy and greater freedom of movement of the joints, thus reducing the risk of injury through the release of fluid. synovial.

“Using the breath and movement in a coordinated fashion is also a good habit for a runner to develop, so using yoga to define this principle before the race is a great way to develop awareness and control of the breath. ”

How to start practicing yoga before the race

There is no one size fits all when it comes to fitness (you should always listen to your body and do what works for you), but if you want to try pre-run yoga, Legister and Stone recommend sun salutations to warm up. your body (and your mind).

As Stone explains, “Sun salutations keep you mobile, stable, and strong, because every muscle action also has a counter-action. Running involves repetitive muscle movements, so pre-run sun salutations can help correct the imbalance in the body that running can create over time.

Fast preheating flow

If you are familiar with yoga asanas, she suggests the following short standing sequence, moving smoothly with your inhales and exhales. (If you’re new to yoga, it’s safer to follow a video like Legister’s.)

  1. Stand in the middle of your mat facing the long side
  2. Inhale in the mountain pose (standing with legs together, trunk engaged, arms at your sides)
  3. Exhale to bend forward
  4. Inspire towards the mountain
  5. Jump with wide feet on an exhale
  6. Inhale and lift your arms
  7. Exhale and bend the knees into a wide squat
  8. While staying low, inhale and turn the feet towards Warrior II with arms outstretched (front knee bent, back leg extended, face facing forward)
  9. Exhale in a triangle (straighten the front leg and lean forward to bring the same side hand to the floor, opposite arm extended above you)
  10. Inspire the Warrior II
  11. Exhale in a wide squat with arms raised
  12. Inhale and jump with your feet, land in a chair pose (knees bent, legs together, back straight with arms stretched slightly in front of you)
  13. Repeat on the other side

Keep flowing until you feel warm enough.

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