If you run, it’s not unusual to experience back pain at some point. This pain can be caused by tense upper back muscles and shoulders, weak abs, tight hamstrings and hips, or a combination. You’ll be amazed at how a regular stretching routine can help! Sleep better and tie your shoes with ease by going through this 11-pose yoga sequence after every run.
Target your hips and lower back with Butterfly pose.
1. Begin on your mat and bend your knees so the soles of your feet are touching. Use your hands to open your feet up like a book.
2. Inhale with a straight spine, and exhale as you fold forward, pressing your elbows against your inner thighs to deepen the stretch.
3. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and stay like this for five breaths.
A tried and true pose to target the abs and increase hamstring flexibility, Boat pose is the perfect complement to running.
1. From Butterfly, inhale to lift the legs and extend them in the air in front of you to make a V shape with your body. If it’s too difficult to keep the legs straight, bend the knees.
2. Keeping the spine long and the chest lifted, hold for five complete breaths.
Since tight hips and hamstrings can cause lower-back pain, do this relaxing Seated Wide-Legged Straddle to stretch the backs of your legs and your lower back at the same time.
1. From Boat, release your legs to the floor so there’s about three to four feet between your heels. Inhale to lengthen your spine, and on an exhale, slowly fold forward as far as you can with a flat back, making sure your toes and knees are pointing straight up.
2. Keep your spine long, and avoid hunching. Rest your hands on your feet, your legs, or on the floor in front of you. As you feel your body opening up, work on lowering your chest toward the ground.
3. Stay here for five breaths.
This variation of Pigeon pose opens your hips, hip flexors, and the lower belly, and will increase flexibility in the spine.
1. From Seated Straddle, sit up, bend your left knee, and extend your right leg behind you.
2. Place your hands on your hips, and gently arch your back. You should feel a nice stretch in the front of your left hip, but if this variation is painful, then lean forward, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.
3. Hold for five or more breaths, and then repeat this pose with the right knee forward.
Source: www.fitsugar.com; Jenny Sugar; July 15, 2013.