best yoga poses stretches for runners

Yoga for Runners: 7 Best Stretches to Do Before and After Running

Give your run a fresh boost every time with these easy yoga stretches

Yoga stretches and poses can help runners recover and loosen stiffness, whether it is before or after running.

Yoga helps runners loosen tight muscles, and hips, and stimulate a free flow of energy during a run. 

When done right, the best yoga stretch and poses help runners target commonly injury-prone muscles. For example, hip flexors, hamstrings, shoulders, and psoas. 

As a runner, yoga stretches and poses can help you feel elongated, flexible, and restored as well. 


In this post, we’ll discuss some of the best yoga poses and stretches for that runners – and you can do these before or after running.

Let’s get started.

1. Yoga Downward Dog

This running yoga pose involves stretching of the calves, hamstrings, and foot arches while strengthening the shoulder.

It requires you to align your wrists under the shoulders. Then do the same for the knees under your hips. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Press into your palms while spreading your fingers
  • The toes need to get tucked and lifted off the floor 
  • Try to gently straighten the legs while raising your hips into an inverted V-shape. 

Take deep ten breaths profoundly and as your muscles loosen, try straightening your legs more and let your heels sink towards the mat. 

2. Yoga Low Lunge

The low lunge yoga pose is one of the best stretches to do if you’re a runner.

Here, the hip flexors get stretched as the quads and hamstrings get strengthened.

This running yoga stretch involves putting your right foot forward between the hands. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lower the left knee while the right one gets kept in place. You need to slide the left one at the back.  
  • Turn the left foot to the top as you lift the toes upright. 
  • Then sweep your arms out to the sides while being overhead in the upward direction. 

The tailbone then gets dropped towards the floor while you focus on looking up.


You can now hold for breath for ten seconds, release, and do a repetition of the same while on the side. 

3. The Yoga Toes Pose

This yoga stretch will help runners prevent plantar fasciitis by allowing the shins to stretch and the feet to arches.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Kneel on the mat while your toes curl under. Gently sit back on the heels. 
  • Start taking deep breaths for ten counts. Your toes need to get pointed while the hands get placed on the mat behind you. 
  • Lean back as you try to lift the knees off your mat.

Whenever you notice that the knees don’t get to come that far up, you need to stretch a little in your arches and shins.

4. Reclining the hand to the big toe

This yoga exercise aims to stretch the hamstrings.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lay on the back while both of your legs get extended. 
  • Loop a yoga strap behind your right knee and around the right foot arch. Here, both hands need to get held at both ends of the belt with your right hand. 
  • Try straightening your right knee as your hamstrings get loose. 

Avoid straining excessively. A good stretch will be okay, and it should get done down at the back of the thigh. 

Finally, hold ten breaths and engage in the repetition while using the other leg. 

5. Yoga Reclining Pigeon

The yoga exercise helps to release any tension and tightness in your hips.

Here’s how to do it:

  • You need to lie on your back as your knees are bent. 
  • Your thighs then need to be parallel and distantly apart at the hip level.
  • Cross your ankle at the left over to the one at the right leg.
  • Then, clamp your hands below the right knee and flex the foot on the left. 

It’s best if you use a pillow to support the head from behind in case it comes off the mat. Hold now ten breaths while repeating it with the other leg.  

Related: These Hip Exercises Will Make Your Lower Body Strong

6. The Yoga Reclining Cow face

Our list of the best yoga poses for runners will not be complete without the Cow face.

In this yoga post, you aim to improve the range of motion in the hip area. It also helps to loosen up the tight glutes and hamstrings.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on your back then make a cross of your knees as you send the feet out to the sides. 
  • Take your left hand and hold on to your foot on the right. 
  • Do the same thing for the left foot with your other hand. You can hold your shins if you find them more comfortable. 
  • Pull your heels in towards the body and out to the sides and slightly up. 

Breathe deeply ten times as you reverse the position of the leg. Repeat the following process for the session.  

7. Yoga Reclining Spinal Twist

This yoga helps to relax the lower back while the glutes stretch.


Here’s how to do it:

  • Lower the legs and make a twist to the left while intertwining your legs. 
  • Extend both arms out to the sides as you turn the head to the right and take deep ten breaths as you relax. 
  • Switch sides after you are done.

Related: 5 Easy Yoga Poses for More Energy


Running is a full-body activity, which will also primarily put stress on the body. 

This list of the best yoga poses for runners we’ve discussed can make a difference.

They are suitable for runners as they open up the body and strengthen it.