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Three Yoga Poses for Runners to Improve Hip Mobility


Kathleen Brady, Yoga Teacher, Richmond, VAKathleen Brady has been teaching Yoga in Richmond for 4 years and practicing for over 11. Her teaching focuses on elucidating the body’s anatomy so we can all work to better understand the body and how to enjoy it from the inside out. She is a dancer, amateur runner and also enjoys swimming, urban hiking, commuting via bicycle and looking around at what's going on. Check out the website and feel free to contact her with any questions: km-yoga.com


In general, as runners we want to stretch the quadriceps (front of the thigh), the gluteal region (back and side of the hip), the adductors (inner thigh) and the hip flexors (front of the hip). Stretching is an essential component to muscle health, strength and longevity. We should also be aware that overall hip stability and running health can be augmented by complementary strengthening exercises for the hip flexors and abductors.

These stretches are ideal to practice after a run or on their own as long as the body is sufficiently warmed up. Start by holding the poses for 10-12 breaths. Eventually, work toward holding comfortably for up to 20-30 breaths.

Lunge with optional quadricep stretch


-front knee aimed towards the toes

-hips relatively level with one another, keeping the sacrum level

-back leg can be straight or the knee can bend and hand can reach back and hold foot or ankle 


-the lunging position provides an opening through the front of the hips (hip flexors) and quadricep region while also potentially stretching the hamstrings on the bent leg

-having hold of the foot will greatly deepen the stretch for the front of the thigh

Lunge Lunge - get fancy with quad stretch

Pigeon Pose


-again, looking for the hips to be relatively level, front leg bent to any degree (stretch will increase if you move the front foot incrementally away from the body)

-back leg extends directly behind the hip

-the upper body can remain upright or you can fold forward onto the forearms


-stretches the back and side of the hip, releasing tension from a complex region of muscles- external rotators, hip extensors, internal rotators, abductors (eg, glut max, glut med, piriformis, hamstrings)

-reinforces length and stretch through the front and side of the hip of the leg which is extended. behind (eg: psoas and TFL)

Pigeon Pose  Pigeon Pose - front view

Standing Wide Legged Forward Fold

Position: feet stepped widely apart, feet parallel or toes turned very slightly in

-upper body fully relaxed, head released, arms hanging

-if only feel stretch in back of legs, BEND KNEES until the stretch travels more into inner upper thighs and back of the hips

-be sure you have weight in the balls of the feet as well as the heels 


-releases tension from the low back and the back of the hips

-lengthens adductors and hamstrings

-releases tension from the spine and upper back and neck

Wide legged forward fold

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