You know that strength training and yoga are good for runners, but finding the time to fit in these two extra workouts can be a challenge. Which is the genius of Iron Yoga – it melds the benefits of both disciplines into one routine. By holding light dumbbells while performing a series of yoga poses, you get a full-body strength workout, says Sally Mitchell, a certified Iron Yoga instructor, running coach, and marathoner. Iron Yoga also increases flexibility, improves running economy, and trains you to breathe better and feel more relaxed while running, she says. Runners should perform the routine two times a week on non-running, non-consecutive days. Keep each movement slow and controlled.
Works core, back, arms, shoulders, hips, hamstrings
To do: Start on your hands and knees. Grab a dumbbell in your left hand. Inhale as you raise your left arm up to shoulder height. Extend your right leg back behind you and exhale. Inhale and extend your right leg out to the right side, in line with your right hip (shown here). Switch to the other side and repeat.
WARRIOR II WITH ARM RAISE AND CURL
Works arms, legs, hips
To do: Step your right foot back, pointing it in 30 degrees. Bend your left knee. Extend arms at shoulder height. Lower left arm down, inhale, and raise it back up. Inhale and curl right arm in (shown here). Exhale. Return to start, arms out. Do the arm raise and curl at the same time. Repeat sequence on other side.
EAGLE POSE WITH CHEST PRESS
Increases hip flexibility
To do: Wrap your left leg around your right leg, sinking into hips. Extend both dumbbells straight forward to shoulder height. Inhale and pull back the right dumbbell to the side of your chest (shown here). Exhale and press the right dumbbell forward. Repeat with left dumbbell. Repeat with both at the same time.
CRESCENT LUNGE WITH TWIST
Works the core and hips for better posture and stability
To do: Step your left foot back, staying on the ball of your back foot. Bend your right knee. Extend your arms out in front of your waist, holding the dumbbells together. Inhale and rotate to the right (shown here). Exhale and rotate your torso back to the start position. Repeat on the left side.
CHAIR WITH REAR LATERAL RAISE
Strengthens core, back, hips, shoulders, quads
To do: Bend knees and sink hips down into chair pose. Lower dumbbells in front of shins. Inhale and raise the right dumbbell out to the side to shoulder height. Exhale and return to start position. Repeat with left arm (shown here). Repeat with both arms at the same time.