Woman at a lake standing on a paddle board in a yoga pose while wearing Shokz OpenMove wireless headphones
Woman at a lake standing on a paddle board in a yoga pose while wearing Shokz OpenMove wireless headphones
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5 Cross-Training Activities That Help Improve Flexibility

Stiffness is one of every runner’s enemies, and when not treated properly and frequently, the condition can lead to an increased chance of injury. If you’re finding yourself in need of expanding your range of motion and staying as limber as possible, we’re here to help! Stretching the possibilities of your flexibility can be easy when you add these cross-training activities and products to your workout and running regimen.

Practicing Yoga

This activity may seem like a given to some, but for those who haven’t tried striking a few yoga poses two to three times per week this is your sign to start. In addition to the increased flexibility you’ll likely see the more you practice a yoga routine, you’re also more likely to be actively fighting against future injury. Doing yoga can also offer up the perfect opportunity for self-reflection and mindfulness moments, making it a workout that exercises the mind, body, and soul. 

Taking Ice Baths

It may seem counterintuitive that taking ice baths would help you improve your flexibility, but you’d be surprised! The benefits of taking ice baths regularly are significant and include muscle relaxation, decreased inflammation, and improved circulation. Pack your tub with a few bags of ice (the water temperature should be between 50º and 59º F) and settle in for some much-needed rest and recovery for 15 minutes maximum.

Incorporating Foam Rollers

Do you find yourself feeling stiff after a run or a workout? Foam rolling can help you get back to your loose and limber self! Studies have shown evidence that using foam rollers can result in an increased range of motion, which is ideal for people who suffer from stiff hips or for those looking to elongate their running stride. For best results, try foam rolling after your workouts. 

Using a Theragun

Meet your new favourite on-demand masseuse. Features like 120-minute battery life and QuietForce Technology™ mean you can work out all your kinks without reaching for a charging cable or interrupting roommates or partners during your early morning or late-night workouts. An array of settings and ergonomic grips enable you to get the most out of Theragun’s percussive massage for recovery, performance, sleep, mobility, and stress. Shop the Shokz Team-test and Shokz Team-approved Theragun Elite + here

Trying Pilates

For the days when you’d prefer to take a break from your running or gym schedule, consider trying a pilates class for maximum cross-training benefits. Pilates primarily focus on strengthening muscles while also engaging the core to promote balance, according to fitness experts and certified pilates instructors like Ellen Barrett. This means that although the movements may be slow and more relaxed, you’re still bound to get an intense workout out of a session. Try joining a local pilates studio or paying for a class pass and experience the benefits of pilates for yourself. If the price of joining a studio is a bit steep, try downloading a fitness app like FitOn for free pilates workouts that you can do from the comfort of home. 

Did you like these suggestions for how to improve flexibility? Read this roundup on Common Causes of Runner Injuries next!