I run about three times a week. As runners know, the second we’re done pounding the pavement, treadmill, or sand (if you’re a lucky West Coaster), one could bounce a quarter off our hamstrings and calves because they get so tight. Our lower backs and shoulders also tend to take a beating from the repetitive motion of the legs moving back and forth and the arms swinging.

After a good run, to stretch and balance out the key muscles that have been stressed, I immediately do a few yoga poses. Often, I am pressed for time so I put together a short and sweet sequence such as the one below targeting the important areas. If I have more time, I indulge in a longer more advanced sequence which you can view in the post, 25 Minute Runner’s Sequence.

Try this 7 minute sequence after your next run!

*As in all yoga sequences, be sure to do each pose on both sides if the pose is asymmetrical.

Download PDF for your Ipad, cell phone, or computer here.

Down Dog– Stretches the entire back of the legs including hamstrings, back of knees, calves and the Achilles, as well as the ball of the foot and toes.

Low Lunge to Forward Bend Over Front Leg on Breath– 3x then hold the last one for 5 counts (on forward bend, flex front foot to get deeper into calf and Achilles tendon). The lunge begins to stretch the hip flexors and aligns the ankle, knee, and hip joints. The moving forward bend over one leg contracts and releases the hamstring of that leg.

Vinyasa– Opens up shoulders and back which tend to tighten due to the repetitive arm swinging that running requires. The Vinyasa starts with down dog, moves through plank,  chatturanga, updog, and back to down dog. The series of postures stretches and tones the entire body and builds internal heat.

Walk you hands back to your feet.

Simple Forward Bend with Hand Clasp– Releases the muscles along the entire length of the spine (bend your knees if your legs or lower back is tight). Opens up entire back of leg and Achilles tendon.

Roll up to a stand.

Mountain Pose– Allows you to find correct standing posture lining up the 7 segments of your body (Legs, pelvic bowl, core, rib cage and arms, neck, head, and crown of head).

Fan– Opens hamstrings and shoulders.

Triangle– Stretches upper inner hamstring of front leg and the outer hip of the back leg. Add a half bind to open shoulder and then extend arm along side ear palm down for a deeper stretch of hip and intercostal muscles.

Mountain With Hand Clasp- Releases spine and opens legs. Hand clasp adds a stretch to shoulders and chest.

Camel– Opens chest muscles and abdominals as well as quads and hip flexors.

Split Prep or Full Split– The ultimate hamstring, calf, and Achilles stretch of front leg and hip flexor, quadrocep, top of shin and tops of feet of back leg.

Child’s Pose-Lengthens of all back muscles and a wonderful relaxing way to complete the practice.

Corpse– Balances nervous system.