Thirteen Must Do Yoga Poses For Runners

by Coach Johnny B (MS, CFL3, LMT)

Ten years ago, I would’ve never written this. I used to think Yoga was BS. I believed that targeted mobility work and full range of motion strength was all one needed to be bendy. Why? Because to own a position, you have to be strong there. In Yoga, people tend to hang out on their ligaments and over-stretch into weakness, and I thought it was dumb.

Then I aged, started two businesses, and returned to grad school, all while training for an Ironman. The stress was crushing, and I started getting crazy neural tension that was taking pieces of my mobility despite all my “smart guy” attempts.

What fixed it?

Yoga. Deep stretching + intentional breathing pull me out of my state of fight into rest and digest.

Yeah, Yoga is the shit (duh, that’s why it’s been around for thousands of years). So this week, I’m sharing my thirteen favorite yoga poses for running recovery and isometric strength.

#1. Low Lunge (Crescent Variation) – This pose opens the hip flexors, gets the big toe in extension, gets your ankle to dorsiflex and knee into flexion. All things important to runners. Also it requires a bit of core stability.
#2 Hip & Groin Opener This pose opens up your adductors, gets the spine into some nice flexion and gets the shoulders into extension and internal rotation (really important for running).
#3 Horizon Lunge with Quad Stretch & Thoracic Rotation – More hip flexor opening this time we add a little quad stretch and add some thoracic spine rotation. This can be executed rotating either way.
#4 Elevated Pigeon Pose – This gets a nice stretch in the deep glutes, it also forces tibial & hip external rotation which are super important to runners.
#5 Supine Twist – This gets a nice stretch in the low back, thoracic spine and glutes. Hanging out here and taking a deep breath in and letting it out slowly is awesome.
#6 Supta Baddha Konasana – This gets your adductors opened up and is also a good place to get out of fight or flight and into some chiller head space. Demoed by Ashtine @yoga_tini_
#7 Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)  Holding this opens up your spine, hamstrings and gets your shoulder blades to protract.
#8 Cobra/Up Dog  This classic pose get get your hip flexors, sternum, pec minor, a little quads and gets your spine into some really nice extension. Great way to recover post run.
#9 Twisted Chair Pose  Great for thoracic rotation, a light glute stretch and a bit of dorsiflexion.
#10 Warrior III – Running requires balance. This pose challenges that physical feature in amazing way. It also requires core stability, peri scapular (muscles attached to shoulder blade strength) and shoulder flexion (aka overhead mobility). If you are a runner this is a pose you need to own. As you can see I am still a work in progress.
#11 Half Moon – This is another seriously hard yoga pose. Again it requires a ton of stability. This also adds thoracic rotation and hip internal rotation.
#12 Tree Pose – Great for opening hip external rotation while working on balance. I like this one pre-run. It helps me get dialed into balance and makes my hips feel more mobile.
#13 Side Plank – Is this even a Yoga pose? The internet says it is. I think it’s something that all runners need all the time to strengthen the lateral glutes obliques. So many of the issues we see in runners at ASR stem from poor strength with these muscles I had to include it.

If you are a runner, I challenge you to do one of these poses per day for 2-3 minutes for the next 13 days and see how you feel after.

If you are a runner looking for custom strength or mobility programming, hit me up! I am world-class at it and would love to help you with it. I will even include some yoga if you need it.

Scroll to Top