Is too much Yoga bad for runners? (Read 441 times)

    I used to think the more flexible of your muscles and ligaments, the less injury a runner can get. However, I read somewhere (can't remember where) saying flexible muscles and ligaments are actually fragile and more prone to injury, such as hamstring.  Is it true?


    Does practicing Yoga often increase the chance to get injury as a runner?

    5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - 6:10/mi for 4mi (08/14), FM - 3:03 (09/14)


      Given the stated condition as being 'too much', I consider it a problem by definition.

        Jay Dicharry talks about the flexibility topic in his book.

        Others have highly recommended it, and I do to. Great stuff in there.

          I don't know about flexible muscles and ligaments being more fragile and injury prone (and actually that just sounds like bullshit) but I do think that being really, really flexible and being really good at running are somewhat opposing values. Jay Dicchary even says in the book iirc, that beyond the amount of flexibility that you need for full mobility, being super flexible is not really good for running.


          Anecdotally, I have seen that when really flexible people (gymnasts, dancers) go out for cross country, they become less flexible. And when cross country runners go back to dance in the off season, they become slower.

          Runners run


            What is too much?


            I think Dr Tim Noakes says in the Lore of Running that a bit of tightness helps the spring effect of your muscles, though stretching and massage definitely help with injury prevention.


            However, if you run high mileage it probably doesn't matter how much yoga or stretching you do, your muscles will always be tight.


            It's all about balance.


            My legs feel like sponges after a good massage and I believe my race times have suffered when I've had a massage the day before..


            One of the other problems with total body flexibility I've read about, is that loose hips can increase side to side movement, impacting running economy, so it's beneficial for your hips to be a little tight.

            Certified Running Coach
            Crocked since 2013


              When it comes to stretching, it's an individual thing. Stretching can lead to injuries in some people. But yoga isn't necessarily all about stretching. There are hundreds of postures, and you can pick and choose and make up your own routine, and avoid certain stretches. You don't need any particular guru's method (there are plenty of these).  I've been doing yoga for years, but avoid any moves that stretches calves, as I would run into problems. Same with hamstrings. My quads get stretched a little when I sit on my haunches, but I never focus on stretching them too far. I mainly do postures that strengthen rather than stretch, except for ones that stretch and work the spine. If I don't do yoga, I run into lower back problems from the running. I need the strength balance in the core. When I do yoga, it's always after a run or walk. I go into it warmed up. I never stretch before a run, instead I focus on warming up the muscles, building up to training speed over 15-20 minutes. In final, a lot of yoga isn't bad, if you avoid postures that tend to make certain parts of you more injury-prone, and do the ones that keep you strong and in balance. Of course, this is always a personal thing. 

                Great comments.


                I do Yoga for runners (20 minutes) once or twice a week. I know that is certainly not too much at all. My flexibility has improved a lot.


                Maybe this guy would do too much Yoga. :-) Joseph Encinia 2011 USA international Yoga Asana champion. It is beautiful I think.

                5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14), Failed 10K trial - 6:10/mi for 4mi (08/14), FM - 3:03 (09/14)

                Prince of Fatness

                  But yoga isn't necessarily all about stretching.


                  I mainly do postures that strengthen rather than stretch


                  I was going to mentioned this but you beat me to it.  When I do yoga it is similar to this.  Focus on poses that strengthen,  Balancing poses are great.  If I stretch anything it is hips and back.


                  Also I sit all day at work so I am pretty sure that I will never have to worry about being too flexible.

                  Not at it at all. 


                  Old , Ugly and slow

                    Most runners are tight.


                    I do yoga and am still tighter than I would like to be.

                    first race sept 1977 last race sept 2007


                    2019  goals   1000  miles  , 190 pounds , deadlift 400 touch my toes

                    Just a dude.

                      I've read that there is an optimal amount of flexibility for runners. They want to be flexible enough that the running motion isn't inhibited. But the way the legs absorb and release the forces of each step is more efficient if the tendens and ligaments are pretty tight. If everything is really long and relaxed, there is no spring action.



                      Getting back in shape... Just need it to be a skinnier shape... 


                        Most runners are tight.





                        Runners run


                          I've done a version of yoga without any sideways movement. I can't remember what it's called but it involves doing the sun salute repeatedly. Vinyasa???

                          Certified Running Coach
                          Crocked since 2013


                            Stretch if it feels good.  Running does not require very much flexibility but it does require some.


                            Fast is better than long

                              Word! dawg.


                              Most runners are tight.

                              2017 Goals: Give up goals; they're stoopid


                              Give a man a fire and he'll be warm the rest of the night;
                              Set a man afire and he'll be warm the rest of his life.

                              What in the Jehu?

                                When I was a kid back in the last millennium I wrestled between xc and track seasons. In wrestling we did a crapload of stretching. I would go from very inflexible to almost average with a few months of stretching 5-6 days a week. I can't say it mattered to my running and I never got injured in track.


                                Of course you can get away with a lot of stuff when you are a kid that will screw you up as an adult.


                                Perhaps you should give minimal effort with yoga and just go to watch and socialize. That's my advice