Yoga can be a great way to cool down and stretch after any sort of cardio. Using yoga like this can help prevent injury and calm your mind before you get on with the rest of the day. However, we know it can be hard to fit in a whole yoga routine after you’ve just done a whole workout. So, if you're looking for a quick cool down here are five of our favourite yoga poses to make sure you stretch all the right muscles.
To get into a low lunge position it’s easiest to start with a downward-facing dog and then step your right foot forward in between your legs. Lower down onto your left knee and flatten the top of your foot onto the surface of the ground. It’s important that your right knee is stacked over your right ankle. Feel free to remain with your hands placed on either side. For a more advanced move, come into a crescent lunge. Do this by putting your hand on top of your front thigh and align your shoulders over your hips. Let your back thigh relax downward.
You can move into this pose from a crescent lunge. Drop your back knee down, untuck the toes and lay your foot against the matt. Then move your front foot that was in a lunge back and straighten as much as you can. Place your hands on either side of your leg using a block if you can’t reach. Great for stretching your legs and hips and will take the pressure off your knees.
Warrior pose will help strengthen the muscles you use as a runner, including your ankles, legs, shoulders and back. The lengthening of the limbs will help stretch out your muscles and improve balance for the future. From a standing position, step your left foot to the back of your mat and lower the inside of your foot so that your back foot is at an angle. Bend your right knee 90 degrees and straighten your back leg. Reach arms overhead and keep torso facing the front.
Begin by squatting with your feet as close together as possible. Separate your thighs slightly wider than your torso. With your torso forward and fit snugly between your thighs. Press your elbows against your inner knees, bringing your palms to together push your inner knees in against your elbows for support. This move will stretch your ankles, groin, and back torso.
This move is slightly more advanced and should only be done if you have experience with yoga or are doing it within a class. To get into this pose start off in a lunge as we described earlier and then move your front foot to your opposite wrist, lower your hip until you feel a stretch in your hamstring and glutes. Keep your hips squared and your back leg in line with your front leg. This is a great hip opener and if done regularly after a run will help keep the pressure off your knees.
All of these moves will work on problematic areas for any athlete and will help you perform better by keeping your muscles and joints safe. If you want to learn more moves come down to Victoria Park Pool where we hold great yoga classes every day of the week. Sign up here.
Yoga can be a handy tool to integrate into the rest of your workout regime. Learn how with this article.
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