Running. No doubt the most commonly practiced and least expensive way to get fit. And pretty convenient too.
Whether you want to get toned, shed some body fat or build some muscles. Either as a whole or as a supplementary workout, running and cardio are the essential part of any fitness routine.
But beware! A wise man once said, “running is easy, keep on running is damn hard.”
Because if you are not doing anything else other than running to maintain your form, there are about 80% chances that will get stuck by an injury within a year.
Because while running you putting too much and too frequent pressure on your legs. Which not only impact knee and ankle joints but also tightens the calve and hamstring muscles.
And if you are not giving your legs a proper stretch, running with tight hamstrings and claves is an open invitation to ER.
Because in running these two muscle groups are used predominantly and if they don’t perform optimally then you are putting pressure on other supporting muscle groups and asking them for heavy labor which they are not meant to do.
Just seven whole-body stretches which not only recover the muscles from constant beating. But also stretches and strengthens them. Which not only quickens healing but also strengthens the joints for better performance every time.All you need is a quick 10 mins session after every run and feel the difference by yourself.
Benefits: Basic hip opener pose with enormous other benefits. Stimulate internal organs which improve digestion and detox. Relive you from all day muscle fatigue enhance hip flexibility for more loose hips and more fluid change of direction motions in your lower body. A great meditations pose to flush out all day stress.
1. From a seated position, press the soles of the feet together and grip the outsides of the feet.
2. Drop the shoulders down and back and open the chest.
3. Pull heels in toward the groin.
4. Use lower body strength to press your knees toward the ground.
5, Close your eyes and focus on your breaths
6. Hold for the pose 5 deep breaths.
Tips: For a more relaxed version to stretch the lower back, pull the body forward to lengthen the spine, and then fold your head toward the ground.
Benefits: an excellent recovery pose that stretches the spine, shoulders and hamstring muscles. Stimulates abdominal organs such as stomach livers and kidney for better digestion endocrine and urinary systems. Clams your brain and relieves mild depression anxiety and fatigue. Great for people with high blood pressure and insomnia. A great stretch for athletes of all kind.
1. Begin in a seated position with both legs stretched out in front of you.
2. Fold one of the legs and bring the foot closer to you.
3. Plant the foot inside of your extended thigh and lower your knee to the floor.
4. Erect your spine and raise both hands up towards the ceiling.
5. Fold forward taking hold of your extended leg with both hands.
6. Relax your spine and bring your head closer to extended led.
7. Stretch and reach for the foot of extended leg.
8. Hold the foot and maintain the pose for 5 deep breaths.
Tips: If you cannot reach for the foot with your hand use a strap to stretch yourself towards the foot. Go slow with the stretch; go more in-depth on every exhale.
Benefits: A excellent hip opening pose that strengthens your thighs, groin, hips, ankles, and torso mussels. Improve your squat balance, concentration, and focus. Tones your abdominal muscles and improves the function of the colon to help with elimination. Enhances blood circulation in the pelvic region, which helps in regulating sexual energy.
1. Start by standing straight with feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Bring your heels a bit closer while toes maintain the same distance.
3. Go to a deep squat and spread your knees apart.
4. Keep chest upright and heels firmly planted.
5. Form a straight line with your forearms by pressing both to each other.
6. Tuck your elbows inside your knees.
7. Flatten the back and make the chest as broad as possible.
8. Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths (50 seconds.)
Tips: Knees pressing inwards toward elbows, elbows pushing outwards towards knees to create tension. Avoid this Pose if you are having knee or lower back pain. Keep bowels empty before you practice this asana.
Benefits: Often known as the king of hip openers, this pose provides numerous benefits to yoga practitioners from all backgrounds. Pigeon pose not only relieves stress from legs due to the excessive labor of legs during sports, physical training or daily routines but also stretches your lower back muscles. Not only relaxes your mind and body but also prevents you from sports-related injuries.
1. Start from high plank or downward dog and bring your knee to your chest.
2. Place your knee on the mat right under your chest.
3. Move your foot toward your other hand and extend your leg back behind you.
4. Lower your shoulder by placing your elbows on the mat.
5, Lower your hips and make sure that extended foot is in line with the same hip.
6. Extend both arms forward, palms to the floor, and relax your forehead toward or onto the mat.
7. Hold for 10 to 20 breaths.
8. Repeat the pose on the other side.
Tips: Press the hips down and in the direction of the bent leg, to rest the thigh as close as possible to the ground. Avoid pressure in your knee. Stay away from knee pain in the pose. If pain does occur, come out of this pose immediately.
Benefits: Low Lunge is a great pose to stretch your legs muscles while improving balance, range of motion, concentration and core awareness. Perfect posture for athletes such as runners and cyclists, as well as those who sit at desks all day to improve all aspects of lower body performance and reduce the risk of hip injury.
1. Take a step forward and bend your front foot knee.
2. Place the knee over the ankle of the front foot, and the back knee relaxed on the ground.
3. Push down through the heel of the front foot and squeeze the back hip forward to square the hips up to the front.
4. Pull the butt under the torso and squeeze the core tight while lifting the chest.
5. Extend the arms overhead, internally rotated so that the palms face one another.
6. Pull the shoulders down and back, away from the ears.7. Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths (50 seconds.)
Tips: Press your hips forward for a deeper stretch, but make sure that you are maintaining proper core engagement, forming a straight line from pubic bone to shoulders to prevent arching in the lower back. If you are feeling too much pressure on the back leg, Place a blanket under the back knee to cushion and protect the knee.
Benefits: Half Splits Pose stretches the thighs, hamstrings, lower back and groins. Which not only reduces the chance of injury but also release the buildup tension in the leg due to all day labor. Great pose for athletes to improve their running and squat ability.
1. Step a foot forward and lower yourself by placing the other knee to the ground.
2. Extend the front leg forward; toes flex toward the face and heel on the ground.
3. Place your both hand on sides of the extended leg.
4. Curl the toes of your back leg, and shift your hips back toward the heel of the back leg.
5, move your chest toward the front foot, keeping back as flat as possible.
6. Front quad engages, knee slightly bent.
7. Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths.
8, Repeat from the pose from another side.
Tips: Keep your head away from your shoulders and try to push your chest forward, instead of bringing your head to your knees so that you may feel the stretch in your lower back along with hamstrings and calves. If flexibility is an issue, keep the front leg slightly bent and don't push your hips too hard.
Benefits: A passive yet very efficient pose to relieve stress and relax your mind and body. Gently stretches your hamstring and lower back. Reduces edema in legs and feet and increases blood flow towards upper body and brain, which helps to calm down your nervous system and relieves lower back tension.
Tips: If your hamstrings are tight, lie on your back with your hips a few inches away from the wall and your legs up the wall with both knees bent. Plant your feet on the wall. For tight hamstrings, add a yoga block or blanket under your hips to elevate them.
Thanks for staying till here.
And by the way, if you are thinking of buying a yoga mat. Do check out our ultimate guide to buying the best yoga mats.
Take good care of yourself