Yoga Prehab for Runners
Flexibility is the antidote to most running injuries. Let’s look at a few of the more common injuries that plague runners. Runner’s Knee, IT band pain, Plantars Fasciitis, and Piriformis syndrome. Each of these injuries is caused by tight muscles. Muscles that could be limbered up and treated with a regular yoga routine.
Cause and Symptoms – Runner’s knee can present itself as a dull or sharp pain under the kneecap or behind the knee. Often times, it will go away after warming up, only to return after the run is over. Tight hamstring and calf muscles put pressure on the knee, and weak quadriceps muscles can cause the patella to track out of alignment causing pain and discomfort.
Yoga Prescription – Downward Facing Dog
From hands and knees, tuck toes under and lift hips up and back, creating an inverted V with body. Hands should be shoulder-width apart, with palms flat on the ground. Feet should be hip-width apart, parallel to one another. Press chest back toward thighs and reach heels toward the floor.
IT Band Pain
Cause and Symptoms – Iliotibial Band Syndrome is a very common overuse injury that plagues runners. It’s quite common among high mileage athletes and those who are increasing their overall running time and distance for the first time. The pain is usually located on the outside edge of the knee. The IT band runs from the outside of the hip to the center of the shin, crossing the knee. Hip weakness, tight quads, and tight hip flexors all contribute to, and exacerbate this injury.
Yoga Prescription – Reclined Strap Stretch
Lay on back with both knees bent, feet on floor. Using a yoga strap, dress tie or long towel, wrap one end around heel of right foot and straighten right leg up toward sky. Left leg can stay bent or you can straighten. To deepen the stretch, lift shoulders off ground and bring belly toward right thigh.
Cause and Symptoms – Plantar fasciitis causes a sharp knife-like pain or deep ache in the middle of the heel or along the arch. The morning hobble from bed to bathroom is a hallmark of this common injury. The culprit is an extremely tight plantar fascia, the connective tissue running from the heel to the base of the toes. Most often the injury results from overuse, but can also be caused by poor running shoes, biomechanical issues, or running on hard or uneven surfaces.
Yoga Prescription – Child’s Pose
From hands and knees, bring knees close together. Tuck toes under, and send hips back toward heels, resting forehead on the floor. Press hands into floor to take hips further back for a deeper stretch. For a more relaxed pose, bring arms back by your sides and allow the shoulders to round forward.
Pictured: Gaiam Yoga Mat3 Simple Yoga Moves to Prevent PF, IT, and Runner's Knee Click To Tweet
Regular yoga practice is one of the ways that I’m improving my health and becoming a better athlete. Kohl’s has inspired me to share my story, and I hope that you’ll share yours as well. Look for the #MakeYourMove hashtag on social media and join the conversation.
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl’s.