The Power of Legs Up the Wall to Maximize Recovery

a simple strategy for Post-run recovery


The Importance of Recovery

As runners, we often focus intensely on our training plans, meticulously tracking miles, pace, and progression. However, equally important is planning our recovery. Effective recovery strategies can significantly impact performance, prevent injuries, and promote overall well-being. One of the simplest and most accessible recovery techniques is “Legs Up the Wall.”

Incorporating dedicated recovery strategies is crucial because, during intense training, our muscles undergo stress and micro-tears. Recovery allows these muscles to repair, grow stronger, and become more resilient. Without adequate recovery, runners risk overtraining, which can lead to injuries, burnout, and decreased performance. This makes recovery an indispensable part of any training regimen.

What is “Legs Up the Wall”?

“Legs Up the Wall” is a restorative yoga pose that involves lying on your back with your legs extended vertically against a wall. This position helps facilitate venous return, allowing blood to flow back to the heart more efficiently, which can aid in reducing swelling and improving circulation. It’s an excellent way to relax the legs after a long run or an intense workout.

The simplicity of this pose is one of its greatest strengths. Unlike other recovery methods that might require specialized equipment or a significant time investment, “Legs Up the Wall” can be done anywhere with minimal preparation. All you need is a clear wall space and a few minutes of your time.

Benefits of “Legs Up the Wall”

  1. Improved Circulation: Elevating the legs helps promote blood flow and reduces the pooling of blood in the lower extremities. This can alleviate swelling and aid in the recovery of sore muscles. Improved circulation also means more efficient removal of metabolic waste products, such as lactic acid, which can contribute to muscle soreness and fatigue.

  2. Relaxation: This pose encourages relaxation and reduces stress. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help lower heart rate and promote a sense of calm. In our fast-paced lives, finding moments to activate this relaxation response is essential for overall health and well-being.

  3. Flexibility and Range of Motion: Regular practice can help improve the flexibility of the hamstrings and lower back, contributing to better range of motion and overall mobility. Flexibility is a key component of injury prevention, as tight muscles are more prone to strains and other injuries.

  4. Reduced Muscle Fatigue: By facilitating the removal of metabolic waste products from the legs, “Legs Up the Wall” can help reduce muscle fatigue and soreness. This can be particularly beneficial after long runs or intense workouts, helping you recover faster and get back to training sooner.

How to Perform “Legs Up the Wall”

  1. Find a Wall: Locate a clear wall space and sit with one hip against it.
  2. Swing Legs Up: Gently lie back as you swing your legs up the wall. Your body should form an L shape.
  3. Adjust Position: Scoot your hips closer to the wall if needed, and ensure your lower back is comfortable.
  4. Relax: Rest your arms by your sides, palms facing up. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
  5. Hold: Stay in this position for 5-20 minutes, allowing your body to relax and benefit from the posture.

While in this position, focus on your breathing. Deep, slow breaths can enhance the relaxation effect and further promote recovery. If you find it difficult to relax, try listening to calming music or guided meditation.

Incorporating “Legs Up the Wall” into Your Routine

To maximize the benefits of this simple yet powerful recovery technique, consider incorporating it into your daily routine. After a run or workout, take a few minutes to practice “Legs Up the Wall.” It’s a free, easy, and effective way to enhance recovery and support your running goals.

Incorporating this pose into your evening routine can also help improve sleep quality, which is another crucial aspect of recovery. Quality sleep is when much of the body’s repair processes occur, making it indispensable for athletes.

Additionally, “Legs Up the Wall” can be a great addition to your pre-run routine. Performing this pose before a run can help wake up the legs and promote better circulation, setting the stage for a more effective and comfortable run.


By prioritizing recovery as much as training, you’ll set yourself up for improved performance, reduced injury risk, and a more enjoyable running experience. Try “Legs Up the Wall” today and experience the benefits for yourself!

For more detailed discussion, be sure to listen to our podcast episode “Maximizing Recovery for Runners: The Simple Power of Legs Up the Wall.”