Yoga warm up poses for running and High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are necessary to help your body cope with these two intense but effective exercises. Both demand your hundred percent effort since they require quick but targeted movements but very little time to breathe.
Yoga warm up poses for running and HIIT: Why bother?
Why should you do these yoga warm up poses? Aren’t stretching exercises enough? Regular stretching is like yoga anyways, right? Partly yes but mostly no. You see there’s really a huge difference between regular stretching and yoga.
The difference lies in how you command your body, actually. Let’s do two quick exercises.
First, raise your arms and reach as far as you can then put them down. You can immediately feel the stress on your shoulders and there’s quite a feeling of tightness, right?
Now, inhale as you raise your arms then exhale as you put them down. What did you feel? If you did it right, you probably felt freer movement, no stress, and no tightness.
By inhaling, you were able to focus on what your body needs – just the right Range of Motion (ROM) so you didn’t overstretch.
Yes, yoga is like a telecommunications device that helps you connect with your body, understand it better to be able to perform well – the ultimate mind-body connection. The exercise above is just one instance. Can you imagine how much power your body can unleash, how much speed you can acquire if you practice these yoga warm up poses?
How yoga warm up poses can help you perform better
To understand this, we must first know how the body works when running. The image below best illustrates it.
The muscles involved in HIIT workouts depend on the activities you do. Here are some illustrations to help you identify which muscles are used for each particular exercise:
You see which muscles are involved in running and HIIT? Not preparing these muscles will cause strain and even injuries in the long run. These will affect your speed and performance in time. Why let that happen when you can do the yoga warm up poses below?
Yoga Warm Up Poses for Running and HIIT Workout
Before doing any of these poses, we recommend doing some breathing exercises to calm the mind and prepare the body. And do not go over your Range of Motion (ROM). Doing so will not do you any good. With constant, focused practice, you’ll be able to master these yoga poses and ultimately, develop your stamina, increase your speed and enhance your performance.
1. Forward Fold
Benefits: The forward fold is a great yoga pose. It stretches the hip muscles, hamstrings, and calves while strengthening your thighs and knees. It’s a good exercise for the spine too – giving it more strength and flexibility. Best of all, it activates your abdominal muscles, thus strengthening your core.
2. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold With a Twist
Benefits: It’s a core, upper back and shoulder strengthener, and hamstrings, calves, hips, lower back and spine stretcher rolled into one! It flushes away toxins from the kidneys, liver, and other organs of the body.
3. Low Lunge
Benefits: Eases tension in the hip area, strengthens the knees and stretches the hamstrings, groin, and quads. Great for building mental focus too.
4. Half- split
Benefits: Perfect for strengthening the hips, lower back, hips and calves. Got sciatica? This yoga pose is the best one for you.
5. Wide-legged Forward Fold
Benefits:This pose not only stretches and strengthens the muscles for running. Using the arms for various positions also stretches the upper body, from your upper back to the shoulders all the way to your wrists.
6. Quad Stretch
Benefits: The quad stretch helps improve your balance, strengthen your quadriceps and ease the cramps and tensions that usually come with exercise. Boosts flexibility too.
7. Lizard Lunge
Benefits:It’s the perfect hip-opener and strengthener the hip flexors, muscles of the inner thigh and front leg. Releases tension from the chest, neck and shoulders.
8. Child’s Pose
Benefits: Lengthens and strengthens the spine, stretches the knee area, steadies breathing, while gently stretching the hips, thighs and ankles.
9. Downward Facing Dog
Benefits: Strengthens and stretches the arms, legs, shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands. It also boosts energy and calms the brain.
10. Sun Salutations
Benefits: Strengthens and stretches the quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, core and lower legs while relieving the tension in the neck, back and shoulders.
Check out this sun salutations video for more details.
Here’s a video of the full sequence of Yoga Warm Up Poses for Running and HIIT Workout:
Do these yoga warm up poses each time you plan to run or do an HIIT workout and you’ll develop speed, increase stamina, enhance performance without injuring your body.
You only have one body. Always give it the TLC that yoga can provide.
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