We all know the health benefits of running but incorporating yoga into your training regimen can drastically improve your performance.
Here are five major benefits of yoga for runners:
You may have heard the phrase “stretch right after running”. By stretching specific muscle groups, runners will increase flexibility as well as range of motion in the joints.
Muscle fascia is the third connective tissue that affects flexibility, and by far the most important. Fascia makes up as much as 30 percent of a muscle’s total mass, and, according to studies cited in Science of Flexibility, it accounts for approximately 41 percent of a muscle’s total resistance to movement. Fascia is the stuff that separates individual muscle fibers and bundles them into working units, providing structure and transmitting force.Many of the benefits derived from stretching—joint lubrication, improved healing, better circulation, and enhanced mobility—are related to the healthy stimulation of fascia.
– Science of Flexibility
Specific yoga poses to build strength. Incorporating yoga into your fitness regimen can decrease the chance of injury and increase performance.
Strengthening the upper body and core helps improve posture during daily activities and also while running. Moreover, a strong core allows the arms and legs to move more efficiently, creating better overall form, less fatigue, less weight impact on the legs, and a reduced risk of injury. A strong core creates a strong runner!
– Human Kenetics
Yoga will improve hand and eye coordination.
As a runner, being steady on your feet enables you to more efficiently transfer forces and absorb the impact to the spine of each footstrike, says Comana. And being able to right a misstep is an important skill to have out on the road, considering that many injuries are caused by falls. Which is why people are working on their balance more than ever: ACE (American College of Exercise) reports that balance training–improving your ability to control your body’s center of mass–is among the fastest growing and most popular exercise options for adult.
-Fabio Comana, Exercise Physiologist
Due to the repetitive nature of running, the risk of getting injured is much higher. No one wants to get injured! By stretching different muscle groups and stretching effectively you minimize the risk of injury.
Yoga immediately reveals and addresses the muscle imbalances that often lead to injury. By its very nature, yoga helps restore the body to balance and symmetry. Runners who take part in yoga are often surprised to discover the differences in strength and flexibility between their right and left sides. Likewise, many make the unexpected discovery that they have a weak upper body and core and learn that this can contribute to injury. But often most astonishing is the discovery that their legs may be strong for running but not overall, because they have not developed strength in all muscle groups.
– Human Kinetics
Yoga requires you to focus on breathing and moving throughout the flow.
Yoga can help improve your endurance because it can increase stamina on several different levels—physical, physiological, and mental. – Yoga Journal
The repeated inhalation increases lung capacity which helps deliver oxygen to the body.
Through constant repetition of yoga flows you will learn to focus and concentrate. This helps to improve performance and efficiency.
I recommend all runners incorporate yoga into their fitness regimen and training schedule. You can find yoga for runners videos on YouTube, MyYogaWorks, Peloton, and Runtastic.