After the London Marathon, it is not uncommon for runners to experience tightness in the hamstrings, hips and gluteus muscles. ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) is a common overuse injury amongst runners.
Stretching can aide recovery and further minimise the risk of injury. Here are The Private Yogi’s 4 favourites poses for stretching post-race.
Anjaneyasana (Low lunge)
This Asana stretches the hip flexors and strengthens the quadriceps and gluteus muscles.
From downward dog step the right foot between the hands coming to a low lunge with the right foot at the front of the mat, the back knee releases onto the mat, inhale and raise the arms above the head palms facing each other, the gaze (Drishti) is between the hands.
With each exhales deeper into the stretch. Hold for at least 5 breaths.
Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard pose)
From a low lunge, lower the body forward placing forearms on the mat as you move the front leg out towards the side. Turning the front foot outwards and flexing the toes increases the stretch in the outer hip. Keep the head and neck aligned with the spine. Exhale and sink the weight deeper into the hips.
Lizard pose stretches the hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps targeting the outer hip and gluteus medius. Hold for at least 8 breaths.
Adho mukha śvānāsana (Downward Facing Dog)
This stretches and strengthens the hamstrings, calves, and Achilles tendon. The downward facing dog also stretches the entire spine allowing for decompression and tension release.
From a table top position hands shoulder width apart, fingers spread and knees hip-width apart, tuck the toes and lift the hips forming a ‘V’ shape, bending one knee and then the other to “walk the dog”.
Hold until you find stillness in the pose with the heels pushing towards the ground. Hold for 5 breaths.
Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved triangle pose)
From Tadasana (mountain pose) step the right foot forward and the left foot comes to 45 degrees finding a strong foundation through the feet, right and left heels aligned. Inhale and raise the arms parallel to the floor, exhale hands to hips and rotate the torso towards the right leaning over the front leg, bring the left hand to the floor or a block next to the outside of the right foot.
The right shoulder should stack above the left and the right hand can rise towards the sky or option to support the lower back. Hold the pose for at least 5 breaths.
Revolved triangle pose stretches the hips, hamstrings, and spine and is a good IT band stretch.