How To Do Runner’s Lunge

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Runner’s Lunge provides a deep stretch for the hips, hip flexors, groin and legs. If you learn how to do Runner’s Lunge you will have a simple pose to help open your hips, relieve tension, and give your lower body a much needed stretch. Lunge poses in a yoga practice are often repeated many times. When you read the list of benefits you can likely see why, as much of what people search out in yoga is accomplished in this one pose.


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    How To Do Runner’s Lunge:

    1. Begin in a plank position with hands directly below shoulders.
    2.  Step your right foot forward to the outer edge of your mat next to your right pinky finger.
    3. Relax through your hips and back, letting them sink toward the ground.
    4. Breathe and hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides.

    As you start Runner’s Lunge try to release the hips into gravity. Many people make the mistake of trying to use their leg muscles to hold the hips ups. It is important to let go and release your hips so that you can experience a deep stretch. Runner’s Lunge is a remarkable stretch that everyone can enjoy.

    Benefits of Runner’s Lunge

    There are many benefits to the Runner’s Lunge and just as many reasons you should incorporate them into your workouts. Here are just a few:

    Warm Up For Your Workout

    Runner’s Lunge can be done in a slow but moving fashion to prepare your legs and hips for workout. It’s a great warm-up exercise as long as you keep moving. Start in a plank, step into a Runner’s Lunge, take a breath in, then step back to plank and exhale. Step into Runner’s Lunge again with the other foot coming forward, take a breath, then step back to plank once more. Do this a few times on each side. This is the proper way to use it in a warm-up. You should never warm up for a workout by holding stretches for a long time.

    Open The Front Of Your Hips

    Runner’s lunge is an excellent stretch to help you open your hips and hip flexors. This stretch, at the end of a workout, will “reset” your legs and hips and help you recover faster. Hip pain and tightness tops the list of complaints when it comes to tight areas on the body. Stretching the hip flexors doesn’t come easy and there are not as many poses available for this as there are for something like tight hamstrings. Runner’s Lunge allows you to rest your hands on the floor so that the legs aren’t working as hard as other lunges and you are able to sink the hips deeper into the stretch to achieve greater benefits.

    Improve Your Flexibility

    By adding Runner’s Lunge into your weekly movement, you are adding flexibility training and helping your body become more effective and efficient at every workout as well as your every day life. Stay flexible my friends!

    What Muscles Do Runner’s Lunges Work?

    Runner’s Lunge works your quads, glutes, core and, more importantly, is a deep stretch for your hips, hip flexors and lower back.

    How Many Calories Does Runner’s Lunge Burn?

    People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Most exercise will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working. Runner’s Lunge is not going to burn as many calories due to its place as a stretch. However, if you incorporate it into another workout or a yoga practice you will be burning calories at a higher rate. As in everything, the harder you work the more calories you burn. 

    Incorporating Runner’s Lunge Into Your Workouts

    Runner’s Lunge can be done on its own as a great stretch after any workout. But you could also incorporate the runner’s lunge into a plan with other exercises and make it part of a full workout.

    Use Runner’s Lunge In Your Warm-Up

    Because the runner’s lunge takes you through a full range of motion with your legs, hips and hip flexors, it serves as a good exercise to use during your warm-up to help prepare you for other workouts. Just make sure you don’t hold the lunge for a long time during warm-up. Make it a continual flow of movement, i.e. right foot front, step back to plank, left foot front, etc.

    Runner’s Lunge Warm-Up

    • 5 inchworms
    • 10 hip circles
    • 10 runner’s lunges
    • 10 arm circles forward
    • 10 arm circles backward
    • 10 yogi squats

    Use Runner’s Lunge As Part of A Yoga Flow Practice

    Yoga flows are a great way to move, exercise and stretch your muscles all at the same time. Try this simple flow that includes the Runner’s Lunge.

    Simple Yoga Flow

    Use Runner’s Lunge To Stretch and Recover

    Do not underestimate how important it is to stretch and recover after a workout. Runner’s lunge is a great way to stretch the hips and low back and help your body recover. Check this out:

    Runner’s Lunge Recovery

    After a workout, find a mat and do these poses:

    Other Exercises Similar to Runner’s Lunge

    Runner’s Lunge is a great way to stretch your hips, hip flexors and even your lower back. Try it out a few times a week and check out these movements that are similar:

    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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