5 Pre-Run Yoga Poses for Better Running

Upgrade your stretches and watch your times drop

Whether you’re donning your first pair of trail kicks or training for your fifth marathon, adding a little yoga to your routine is a great way to amp up your run. Seattle University Village store ambassador, Erin Jasmine Taylor, shows us a five-minute, pre-run Jasyoga sequence that will help warm you up, align your stride and prevent injuries.

Five Pre-Run Poses to Warm Up Your Engine
For maximum benefit, complete the entire sequence in order and hold each pose for 5–10 deep breaths, engaging the muscles you need and relaxing the ones you don’t.

Interlace and Fold

opens chest and shoulders, stretches hamstrings
• start by standing hip-width apart. On your inhale, bring your arms overhead.
• exhale as you reach your arms out and back, interlacing your fingers behind you—use a strap or towel between your hands if it’s a struggle. Take a few breaths here to broaden the chest.
• fold forward, taking your arms up and overhead, keeping bend in your knees.
• shake out your head and relax your neck. Eventually release the interlace and drop your hands toward the ground for the last few breaths.

High Runner’s Lunge (from forward fold)

trains the knees to stabilize, strengthens and lengthens stride
• take a long step back with your left leg and come into a lunge with your front knee at 90 degrees, tracking directly over the ankle.
• keep your back leg straight and your front knee stable over the ankle as you raise your arms overhead.
• find your balance, relax your neck and shoulders and breathe deeply—think less effort and more ease!

High Runner’s Lunge with Side Bend (from high lunge)

lengthens side body, stretches top of the IT band and improves balance
• place your right hand on your right hip, bend your torso to the right and reach your left arm overhead and to the right—stretching the left side of your body.
• remember to keep that right knee stable over that ankle!

Warrior III (from high lunge)

strengthens ankles, legs, core and improves proprioception
• balance on your right leg and lift your left leg behind you as you drop your torso parallel to the ground.
• keep your arms out like airplane wings, or reach them forward.

Low Lunge Twist (from warrior III)

stretches hips and twists spine
• step your left leg back into a lunge, dropping that knee to the ground and releasing your hands to the ground.
• put your right hand on your right thigh as you rotate your chest to the right, while keeping your left hand on the ground.
• reach your right arm up and look skyward.
and repeat...

Return to your standing forward bend and repeat poses 2–5 with the opposite foot forward…

Now you’re ready to get sweaty and hit the ground running!

Erin Jasmine Taylor is the owner and head coach of Jasyoga, a mobile yoga studio that helps athletes around Seattle—from rec soccer players to NBA basketball players—find their flow. Special thanks to Nate Burgher for all the amazing photography!

This story originally appeared on the lululemon blog