Written By: Gwen Lawrence
It is obvious that avid runners need to be particularly carful of taking care of their legs. Probably the most important focus should lay in the care and maintenance of the vulnerable knee joint, as well the ankles and feet. What often does go unnoticed for runners is the importance of back health.
Whether you are a long distance runner, a sprinter or a weekend warrior it is important to keep up these areas of your body:
Extension of the spine
Posture usually held during a run is a that of a forward motion, even a hunched look, a runner must look to open the chest and back to maintain spinal health good posture and optimum breath.
Depression of the shoulders
Keep a long line when running and reduce tension in the neck for long distance jaunts with less neck strain
There are orthopedic studies showing the more flexible and open the hips are the less stress and strain on the vulnerable knee joint, a joint that takes undo pounding for a runner
Flexible hamstrings and quadriceps
Keeping the legs flexible and strong will give great strength to the run, as well such demand is put on the legs that they easily get tight without effort to stretching them. It is also important to maintain equal strength and flexibility with the front AND backs of each leg for greatest symmetry and ease of stride
For most favorable stride with the least effort your focus should be to keep the ankles as flexible as possible, giving the most power to push with each step
Open toes and feet
To reduce the incidence of plantar fasciitis, cramping and ankle stress it is a great addition to your routine to work on the toes and feet
Incorporating yoga into your already packed running training could be the missing piece of the puzzle and key to getting to the next leve. Before starting any Yoga routine, research a properly trained teacher. Try these critical poses 1-3 times per week:
Check out power yoga for sports for more information on Power Yoga for Runners programs.
Gwen Lawrence BS,LMT, E-Ryt 500, Registered Yoga Therapist