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Practice These 9 Pre-Run Yoga Poses Before You Hit the Pavement

If pre-run yoga poses are something you already incorporate into your running routine, then good on you! You are already taking care of your body to help ensure it can carry you on your runs or jogs for years to come. 🙂 And if not, read on because we’ve got the perfect pre-run poses for you!

According to statistics, almost 60 million people in the United States reported regularly running or jogging.

From reducing stress to improving cardiovascular health, running offers participants both mental and physical benefits. However, as with all activities, it is important to properly prepare before hitting the treadmill, trails, or pavement.

Enter: pre-run yoga, which gives you all the proper warm-up you need to prepare your body for the vigors of either short sprints or long-distance runs.


Use These 9 Pre-Run Yoga Poses to Fully Prepare Your Body to Run:

Here are a few easy stretches to do before you run.

1. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Bound Angle Butterfly Pose
Begin your warm-up with this gentle hip opener.

Let’s try it:

  • Begin your warm-up by finding a comfortable seat
  • Bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to splay out to each side
  • Gently flutter your legs up and down to create some movement in your hips, eventually settling your thumbs inside your feet with your fingers reaching over the top of each foot
  • As you inhale, lengthen through your spine
  • On your exhale, peel the bottoms of your feet toward the ceiling (almost as if you were opening a book)
  • Allow your elbows to gently push into your legs, creating more space in your hips and inner thighs

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2. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Promote proper posture while you run with this full-body yoga pose.

Let’s try it:

  • From Bound Angle Pose, cross your feet and find your way onto all fours
  • Spread your fingers wide and root your palms evenly into the ground
  • Send your hips up and back as you bring your head in line with your shoulders
  • Gently pedal out your feet and turn the eyes of your elbows toward the front of your mat
  • When you’re ready, straighten your legs and take your gaze toward your shins
  • As you breathe, lengthen your tailbone to create space in your chest and back


3. Crescent Lunge with Overhead Stretch (Anjaneyasana)

mens low lunge
Open your front body while stretching and strengthening your legs with this pre-run yoga pose.

Let’s try it:

  • Start to transition your right foot forward into a Low Lunge
  • Gently drop your back left knee to the floor
  • On your inhale lift your chest to remove your hands from the floor
  • Reach your arms overhead and continue lifting your chest upward
  • On your next round of breath, lengthen through your spine
  • On your exhale, drop into the pose


4. Lizard With Dynamic Movement (Utthan Pristhasana Variation)

Lizard Pose
Try this next pre-run yoga stretch before you run to further open your hips and hamstrings.

Let’s try it:

  • Once you’ve completed a few cycles of breath in your Low Lunge, release your arms down inside your front foot
  • As your hands come to the floor, they should be in line with your toes
  • Lift your back knee off the ground and wiggle your hip forward and back
  • Feel free to place your forearms down in place of your hands if that feels accessible to you
  • After you’ve settled into the pose, place your left knee back onto the floor
  • Next, begin to incorporate some dynamic movement by slowly bending and straightening your front knee
  • Repeat your Low Lunge and Lizard on the left side

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5. Garland Pose (Malasana)

Fire up your metabolism, improve your posture, and deeply stretch your groin with this challenging pre-run yoga pose. This powerhouse pose will help to stretch your groin, hips, thighs, and ankles – all of which are incredibly important for a healthy runner!

Let’s try it:

  • From a standing position, bring your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, turning your heels in and your toes out
  • Taking your hands to your heart, settle your seat toward the floor, coming into a deep squat
  • Widen your stance until both heels can reach the floor


6. Toe Pose

toe balance
Strengthen the joints in your knees and stretch your ankles and toes with this powerhouse, pre-run yoga pose.

Let’s try it:

  • Begin on the floor with your knees together and your seat resting on your feet
  • As you inhale, tuck your toes under, setting the balls of your feet onto the ground
  • To intensify the pose further, take your knees off of the floor, coming to balance on just the balls of your feet, eventually bringing your hands into a prayer position
  • Release your feet as you come to stand, rolling out each ankle as needed



7. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Now that you’ve completed a series of floor poses, you should be feeling a bit more open throughout the body. However, before you begin your run, we recommend incorporating just a few standing stretches, starting with Tree Pose.

This stretch is incredible for runners (and just about everyone else) because it not only challenges your balance, but also helps to fire up your core.

Let’s try it:

  • Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Next, root firmly into your right foot
  • Bring your left foot inside your right leg, settling it on either your ankle, calf, or thigh
  • Take your hands to your heart or extend them up
  • Settle your gaze in front of you
  • Hold for a few breaths, release, and repeat on the other side


8. Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana)

Bring all aspects of your warm-up together with your peak standing pose: Natarajasana.

This fun, pre-run yoga pose will challenge your balance, open your front body, stretch your hip flexors and shoulders, and strengthen your core, back, legs, ankles, and feet.

Let’s try it:

  • Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Press into your right foot and engage your core
  • Lift your left foot toward your glute
  • Reach for the outside of your foot with your left hand, making sure that your elbow is open
  • Lengthen your spine as you inhale
  • On your exhale, kick your left foot into your left hand
  • Eventually bring your left thigh parallel with the floor
  • Continue to engage your standing, right leg
  • Take a few rounds of breath then gently release your left leg, and repeat on the right side

Runners, You Need This Online Yoga Class In Your Life

9. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

forward fold
Do this final stretch before you run to ensure your hamstrings are warmed up and ready to go!

Let’s try it:

  • From standing, bring your feet together and deeply bend your knees
  • Fold your chest forward and let your ribs rest on your thighs
  • With every inhale, allow your tailbone to lengthen toward the sky, perhaps beginning to ever-so-slightly straighten your legs
  • Challenge yourself to maintain this connection between your upper and lower body by refusing to let your ribs separate from your thighs
  • Let your head hang heavy and release any final tension that may still be lingering
  • Hold for a few deep breaths


Practice Pre-Run Yoga Before You Hit the Pavement for All the Benefits

All nine of these yoga poses are great stretches to do before you run because they are designed to help prevent injury, enhance mobility, and increase endurance.

So, when you’re ready, slowly roll up, shake out your shoulders, and give your laces one final tug. It’s time to hit the pavement!

Ready for Some Pre-Run Yoga?

Practice Yoga for Runners with Louise Boyd on YA Classes!

Yoga Class
With Louise Boyd
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wonderful comments!

Samantha Maracic

Sam Maracic is a freelance wellness writer and yoga teacher based in New York. Her work has been featured on CBS, MindBodyGreen, Bustle and more. Sam's first book "We Are Like Wells" is available now on

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