Hip-Opener Yoga Poses for Runners
Yoga is a fantastic stretching and strengthening activity for runners. It allows us time to slow down, regroup, and reset all of those sneaky, tight muscles that are often overused. For runners especially, tight hips can create a host of problems and put you at risk for injury. Keep your hips and your body happy by practicing these simple hip-opener yoga poses for runners (and non-runners!)
Related: Strengthening Yoga Poses for Runners
5 Hip-Opener Yoga Poses for Runners
There are dozens of hip-opener yoga poses out there. Below are five of simple hip-opener poses perfect for beginner and experienced yogis alike.
Easy pose is, well, easy! In addition to stretching the back, knees, and ankles, this pose opens the hips, groin, and outer thighs.
How-to: Start by coming to a comfortable seat on a mat or folded blanket. With your knees wide, place each foot beneath the opposite knee. Fold your legs into toward your torso and place your hands on your knees with palms facing down. If your hips are extra tight, prop yourself up on a blanket or bolster.
Bound Angle Pose
Bound Angle Pose is one of the easiest and best hip-opening yoga poses. It stretches the hips, groins, knees, and inner thighs.
How-to: Come to a comfortable seat on a mat or folded blanket. Bring the bottoms of your feet together with the knees bent out to the sides, and interlace the fingers around the toes. Press the hips down, drop the shoulders down and back, and press the chest towards the front. Press the knees down towards the floor to open the hips.
Reclined Bound Angle Pose
Similar to Bound Angle, Reclined Bound Angle pose is both a fantastic hip-opener and deeply relaxing – perfect for resetting the body and mind before or after a hard effort.
How-to: Follow the steps above to get your legs into Bound Angle Pose position. Then, lower your torso all the way to the floor, supporting your head and neck on a mat, blanket, or bolster if needed. Press the knees down towards the floor to open hips.
Often overlooked as a hip-opener, Tree Pose stretches the thighs, groins, torso, and shoulders. It helps to develop balance and stability – great for runners of all kinds!
How-to: Stand tall on a yoga mat with your feet firmly planted hip-width apart. Shift your weight slightly onto one foot and bend your opposite knee. Reach down, clasp the ankle, and draw your foot up and place the sole against the inner groin, thigh, or calf (anywhere except your knee) with your toes pointing toward the floor. Repeat on opposite side.
Pigeon Pose is the king of hip-openers and is considered one of the more intense poses. Be sure to warm-up your hips with a few easier stretches or poses before attempting this deep stretch.
How-to: Come onto your hands and knees on a yoga mat. Bring your right knee forward and place it behind your right wrist. Place your ankle in front of your left hip. The more your lower leg is parallel to the front of the mat, the more intense the hip opener. Slide your left leg back, straighten the knee, and point the toes. Gently lower your upper body to the floor and rest your forearms and forehead on the mat. Breathe deeply and hold for 3-5 breaths. Repeat on opposite side.
If you’re new to yoga, seek out a few beginner classes or online videos to get started, and of course feel free to drop me a line if you have questions! Additionally, a great online resource is yogajournal.com. They offer great instructions, tutorials, and sequences. Happy stretching and hip-opening!