Should you run before or after yoga?
It’s a good question. But one that requires a little exploration.
Because the truth is, it depends…
For the most part, you should workout before doing yoga. That goes with strength training, endurance, cardio, etc.
My rule of thumb is doing exercise modalities by higher-intensity rankings first (more on that in a moment).
One of the reasons you’ll likely want to run before doing yoga, is that in cases, static stretching has been shown to reduce performance. In fact, this study in particular concludes static passive stretching decreases sprint performance.
And while yoga most certainly is NOT stretching… The practice does stretch out your muscles and limber you up. It includes some passive stretching in certain poses, as well.
There is a caveat here…
Because dynamic stretching is actually ideal before exercise, you could argue that yoga would be beneficial before running?
And this is true. Problem is, yoga can be a workout itself. Demanding quite a bit from your legs (especially if you’re doing a lot of transitions involving warriors, lunges, etc). If you go through a vigorous 60-90 minute class, your legs might get tuckered out before your run!
But you could warm-up with something like sun salutes before you hit the road. Just leave out any long held postures that hold your muscles in a passive lengthening position.
Yoga and Running Same Day: Best Way To Do It
When considering should you run before or after yoga, remember to follow what works best for you!
There is no one-sized all approach. We all have different preferences, training, and lifestyles.
Some folks might prefer doing yoga first. Or maybe they like to practice yoga in the morning. Then going for a run in the evening.
Btw – that’s also a good strategy.
But if you were to do them back-to-back, my suggestion is running first.
Again, you are the master of your own lifestyle choices. I am only offering a suggestion that when used in conjunction with any exercise modalities–you save yoga for afterwards.
When I stack workouts/movement modalities, I base it on intensity.
For example, running is a higher intensity activity than yoga. Therefore running before yoga.
And if you were combining strength training with yoga and running, this would be the order I would do them in:
Weightlifting -> Running -> Yoga
Why Yoga is Perfect For Runners and Athletes
Yoga is amazing for athletes like runners.
The physical practice not only lengthens and stretches the muscles. But offers other advantages. And being the mindful practice that it is, yoga primes your body perfectly for “rest-and-recovery”. Through focused breathing, you calm the mind and turn off Sympathetic (fight-or-flight) activity from your Autonomic Nervous System. Putting you in a better state to rebuild muscle tissue stressed after running.
For this reason, yoga is INCREDIBLE for any post-workout active recovery!
I hope this article helped answer the question of if you should do yoga before or after running.
PS – When do you prefer to do yoga? Before or after you run?
Leave a comment below!