five pre-run poses for better running

yoga - run

Whether you’re donning your first pair of trail kicks or training for your fifth marathon, adding a little yoga to your routine is a great way to amp up your run. Seattle University Village store ambassador, Erin Jasmine Taylor, shows us a five-minute, pre-run Jasyoga sequence that will help warm you up, align your stride and prevent injuries.

five pre-run poses to warm up your engine

For maximum benefit, complete the entire sequence in order and hold each pose for 5–10 deep breaths, engaging the muscles you need and relaxing the ones you don’t.

interlace and fold

opens chest and shoulders, stretches hamstrings

• start by standing hip-width apart. On your inhale, bring your arms overhead.
• exhale as you reach your arms out and back, interlacing your fingers behind you—use a strap or towel between your hands if it’s a struggle. Take a few breaths here to broaden the chest.
• fold forward, taking your arms up and overhead, keeping bend in your knees.
• shake out your head and relax your neck. Eventually release the interlace and drop your hands toward the ground for the last few breaths.

high runner’s lunge

(from forward fold)

trains the knees to stabilize, strengthens and lengthens stride

• take a long step back with your left leg and come into a lunge with your front knee at 90 degrees, tracking directly over the ankle.
• keep your back leg straight and your front knee stable over the ankle as you raise your arms overhead.
• find your balance, relax your neck and shoulders and breathe deeply—think less effort and more ease!

high runner’s lunge with side bend

(from high lunge)

lengthens side body, stretches top of the IT band and improves balance

• place your right hand on your right hip, bend your torso to the right and reach your left arm overhead and to the right—stretching the left side of your body.
• remember to keep that right knee stable over that ankle!

warrior III

(from high lunge)

strengthens ankles, legs, core and improves proprioception

• balance on your right leg and lift your left leg behind you as you drop your torso parallel to the ground.
• keep your arms out like airplane wings, or reach them forward.

low lunge twist

(from warrior III)

stretches hips and twists spine

• step your left leg back into a lunge, dropping that knee to the ground and releasing your hands to the ground.
• put your right hand on your right thigh as you rotate your chest to the right, while keeping your left hand on the ground.
• reach your right arm up and look skyward.

and repeat...

Return to your standing forward bend and repeat poses 2–5 with the opposite foot forward…

Now you’re ready to get sweaty and hit the ground running!

Erin Jasmine Taylor is the owner and head coach of Jasyoga, a mobile yoga studio that helps athletes around Seattle—from rec soccer players to NBA basketball players—find their flow. Special thanks to Nate Burgher for all the amazing photography!

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Love this series of poses. It’s similar to what I do in the morning just to stretch and wake up my body in the morning. Your model for the poses looks like Kristin Davis from SATC! Cute!

Comment by erin @WELLinLA — May 10, 2012 @ 10:41 am

Yay! Thanks Erin! Will definitely try this sequence out before my next run!

Comment by Tessa Haynes — May 10, 2012 @ 10:54 am

This is perfect! I love incorporating yoga into my pre- and post-run routine :)

Comment by Sara Hamil — May 10, 2012 @ 11:42 am

It will b nice if you can provide some after running stretching sequences. Tx

Comment by Eileen — May 10, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

These poses are very similar to the dynamic movements that I have found to best prepare me for my runs! The last one, low lunge with twist is by far my fav on how it feels! Thanks

Comment by Nick Outlaw — May 10, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

some of my favorite stretches….didn’t think of them as Yoga poses but LOVE that Yoga can be part of my running! thanks for the ideas :D

Comment by Julie — May 10, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

These are great! I’ll definitely be sharing them with friends!

Comment by Jess — May 10, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

wow, so amazing, for the past time i just learn tai chi, but recent days i love yoga. thanks for your share.

Comment by tai chi — May 10, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

Love this blog about stretches :) These are great ones that I will be implementing into my running routines!

Comment by Amanda — May 11, 2012 @ 7:54 am

@Eileen, check back in a few weeks for 5 post-run poses coming your way!

lululemon blog editor

Comment by allessia — May 11, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

That blurb on Jasyoga should be updated, considering there is no NBA team in Seattle any more.

Comment by Rose — May 15, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

Yay Erin! I wouldn’t be running as fast or far as I am today without Erin’s classes (and Jasyoga!)

Comment by Robyn — May 18, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

How would you do the Interlace and Fold if you can’t bend beyond 90* yet? Just go as far as you can at the time?

Comment by Kerstin — May 24, 2012 @ 7:22 am

Many of my friends have prevented injury’s when working out by stretching.

Comment by Mike — September 1, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

If you are not a trained yoga individual, trying to perform these poses prior to a run will significantly decrease your endurance that day as they require a tremendous amount of muscle activity to maintain the pose. Do not try these on race day!

Comment by Mark — November 8, 2012 @ 8:10 am

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