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A full body Yoga flow for runners

Vinyasa Flow Yoga
35 minutes
Muscle groups
Legs & Abs

This Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class is great for runners. In this class we’re stretching all the muscles of the legs and we’re strengthening the core.

I know, I know, it’s always hard to find time to do some stretching. We have to run, we have to do strength training and most of us have a working life and a social life as well. So how to fit everything in? This class might just be the answer. In 35 minutes you will stretch your iliopsoas, your hamstrings, your quadriceps and your calf muscles.

The forgotten muscle

The iliopsoas is often the ‘forgotten’ muscle. Most stretching exercises are focussed on the quads, hamstrings and calves. Yet, the iliopsoas is our main running muscle, as it’s the muscle that lifts up our leg. So it needs some attention as well.

Actually, it needs a lot of attention, as it’s also the muscle that gets automatically activated when we’re stressed. See, when you’re in fight or flight modus, you either want to run away, or want to kick somebody. For both of those actions, you need the iliopsoas.

The problem is, when we’re stressed a lot, our iliopsoas are unconsciously constantly activated. A tight iliopsoas can lead to knee problems, hip problems, digestion problems, back problems, to just name a few. So it’s important to lengthen and relax this muscle as well. In this Vinyasa Flow yoga class for runners we’re doing that in High Lunge, Low Lunge and in Downward Facing Dog split. If you’ve never heard of these poses, don’t worry. You’ll be guided through them.

Strong core

As a runner we need a strong core as well. Most of us strength train, but the focus during those sessions is often on the legs, not on the abs. Yes, if you strengthen your legs, there is a big chance you’re strengthening your abs at the same time. I mean, if you have to keep your balance, you have no choice but to engage your abs. But a little extra core workout is good for all of us. That’s why in this class we will move to plank several times and we will hold Boat pose.

Last but not least, we’ll use our arms in trail running more than we think. When we sprint to the finish, we pomp with our arms. When we overtake another runner, we pomp with our arms. And when we use our hiking poles to get up those steep hills, we use our arms. So in this class we focus on our arms as well, by lowering down slowly from plank, by holding Downward Facing Dog and by keeping our arms parallel to the floor in Warrior II. It’s not a lot, but every bit counts.

So, if you want to work on your flexibility and core strength, just do this class two to three times a week.


The iliopsoas is often the forgotten muscle,
but it needs some attention as well

John Kraijenbrink

  • Iliopsoas
  • Quadriceps
  • Tibialis Anterior
  • Gastrocnemius
  • Soleus
  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Obliques
  • Transversus abdominis
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