Yoga for Runners & Cyclists
The reasons to include yoga in your running and/or cycling regime are varied and many, but sometimes it can prove difficult to make the find to fit the yoga and stretching in. Here are some reasons why it’s so important to make it a priority, and some easy stretches that you can do at home even when you’re short on time.
Quick & Easy Stretches
RULE NUMBER 1! NEVER STRETCH HARD BEFORE TRAINING! YOUR MUSCLES ARE COLD AND NOT READY. THE BEST WARM UP IS SIMPLY TO START YOUR ACTIVITY SLOWLY AND ALLOW THE BODY TO WARM UP NATURALLY. THEN, IF YOU WISH, YOU CAN SAFELY DO DYNAMIC, MOVING STRETCHES TO RELEASE FURTHER.
The following stretches are great to do either after training, or on your rest days. Don’t rush them, they are designed to be held for a little while so let them marinate and your body will thank you for it:
- Shin Stretch: – To avoid shin splints and keep your lower legs in good health, stretch your tibialis anterior muscle as often as possible, preferably every time you train. Kneel down and sit back on your heels, initially this might be quite strong on its own, but as you increase flexibility you can place a cushion or rolled up yoga mat under your knees. Stay here for a minute or two, or three! A great stretch to do some breathing exercises to!
- Foot Stretch: – From your kneeling position simply tuck your toes under and try to sit back onto your heels once again. Don’t force it, to protect your knees work slowly and support the weight of your body if the stretch doesn’t happen easily and naturally. A nice option here can be to place a rolled up blanket on top of your heels and under your sit bones. Breathe and relax!
- Iliotibial Band Release: – Lie on your back with your knees bent, bring your right ankle across your left knee and push the right knee away from you before reaching through to take behind your left thigh. Pull the left knee into the chest while actively trying to push your right knee away from you. Focus on keeping your back grounded all the time, resist lifting your sit bones off the floor. Repeat to the other side.
2 October 2013