Injury Prevention in 4 Poses

I’ve been talking and thinking a lot about injury prevention recently. Not shockingly, my tendency is toward preventing running injuries, but with clients of all persuasions (and interests) it’s a good all-around topic.

What follows are four yoga poses completed with light weights for a bit of a challenge. I found this gem by Sage Rountree in a Runner’s World article several years ago and it’s still timely. Yoga + strength training is a great combo to mix up your workouts.

Start with lighter weights than you would for traditional strength training, then increase reps and/or weight as you get comfortable with the routine.

Horse Pose + Lateral Raise 


What It Works: opens hips; strengthens legs, arms, and shoulders

How It’s Done: Stand with feet wide apart, legs turned out at 45 degrees, light weights in both hands. Exhale while bending knees (think wide squat, do not lean forward). Raise arms to the side then overhead in a smooth motion as you squat. On inhale, lower weights and straighten legs.

How Many: 10 reps

Knee Lift to Backward Lunge


What It Works: Improves balance and hip mobility; strengthens back

How It’s Done: Stand with feet together. On inhale, lift right knee and curl left arm, press right arm back. On exhale, lunge back with right leg and alternate arms (curl right arm, press left arm back). Inhale and swing back through to a knee raise; exhale and step back into a lunge.

How Many: 10 reps, each leg

Half Chair to Chair


What It Works: Strengthens thighs, core, triceps, and shoulders

How It’s Done: Stand with feet together. On inhale, lower your hips and raise arms overhead. On exhale, lean forward and lower arms. Inhale again and extend arms back past your hips. Exhale again and squat deeper. Return to start.

How Many: 10

Warrior III (My personal favorite)


What It Works: Strengthens glutes, hip flexors, and upper back

How It’s Done: Stand with feet together. On inhale, raise arms to shoulder height in front. Exhale and shift weight to right leg, lean forward, and slowly riase your left leg behind you. Inhale and return to standing. Switch legs, repeat.

How Many: 10 reps

This is a simple routine you can add at the gym, at home, or in the park if you have a couple of hand weights or water bottles. Honestly, I always see people suggest water bottles and canned goods as light, home weights but I’ve never tried it. You do you though. Whatever works.

Finally, you HAVE to Google Horse Yoga. I was searching for pose images and it’s a bizarre gold mine. This one’s pretty.