What it does: Running tends to shorten the muscles in your legs, particularly your quads and hips. This pose helps lengthen those muscles and open up your hip area.
1. Stand comfortably with your hands by your sides. Lift your left foot behind you and take hold of your inner ankle with your left hand while extending your right arm forward.
2. Keeping your gaze out over your fingertips, exhale and lean your torso forward, gently lifting your left foot up and back while pressing it into your palm to open the leg. Focus on stretching and opening through the pose for four or five breaths. Repeat with the opposite leg.
What it does: The constant pounding of running puts extreme stress on your knees. This pose can help prevent one of the most common injuries, called runner's knee, in which the kneecap doesn't track properly over the joint.
1. Stand comfortably with your hands by your sides. Exhale and step your right leg forward about 3 to 4 feet. Inhale and raise your right arm straight ahead and your left arm straight back, palms facing downward. With your right foot pointing straight ahead, position your left foot at a 45-degree angle. Keep your hips and shoulders square.
2. Bend your right knee so that your thigh is close to parallel with the floor. Keep your knee in line with your ankle, not protruding out over your toes. Gaze over the tips of your right fingers. Hold for four or five breaths and then repeat on the other side.