If you work out regularly, I’m sure that by now you know how important stretching is. Flexibility of your muscles could be crucial for your workout progress.
Even though you may not be a fan of yoga, its positive effect on muscle flexibility cannot be denied and shouldn’t be disregarded. If you are a fan of yoga, that’s even better, but even if you find it boring and static, you should include some of its elements into your pre-workout routine in order to enhance the efficiency of the exercises as well as to prevent potential injuries.
Fitness professionals at Fit Athletic give us the five yoga stretches you shouldn’t skip doing those before every workout session.
What’s more, you can also do them independently, even if you’re not planning to exercise after that, as they encompass the entire body and activate all the major body parts, and can be practiced daily.
Before You Start
Before you start doing yoga or warmup, make sure that your clothes and shoes are comfortable enough to exercise in.
When it comes to shoes, be particularly careful that your laces are tight enough to keep your foot in place and prevent spraining your ankle, but not too tight so as to restrict movement.
Modified Pyramid for Hamstrings Stretching
Extend one leg to the front, and keep the back leg close enough so you can easily press the heel into the floor. In this way, the hamstring of the front leg can safely stretch as much as it feels comfortable, thanks to the anchoring provided by the back leg.
If you want to stretch your calf too, try flexing your foot while the toes are moving in the direction of your body.
Eagle Arms for Back Traps and Upper Spine
This is quite a short and simple exercise which implies following three rules.
The first rule is your shoulders need to be down. Next, your elbows must go forward. And finally, your forearms need to go up.
Then you need to intertwine your forearms. In this way, the pressure will be released from the back of your shoulders.
Forward Fold with Knees Bent for Low Spine
Having your knees bent while folding forward allows you to release the pressure from your lower back, without being limited by the flexibility of your hamstrings.
Lower spine is usually the spot where tension accumulates later during the day and definitely needs a release.
If you grip your elbows by the opposite hand, it will enable your spine to lengthen even more, by providing additional weight to the front part of your body.
Seated Pigeon for Hips
You can do this pose even if you are not passionate about working out, as it can be done on your couch while watching TV.
Bend your knees and then put one foot over the opposite thigh. Just make sure your foot is flexed in order to prevent putting additional pressure on the knee or ankle. The goal is to have a shape of the figure four.
Once you achieve that, breathe deeply for a few moments and try to improve your posture. Your shoulders should be low, and your heart high. If you start feeling any pain, just slowly go out of the pose.
Yogi Squat for Knees and Hips
If you feel the tension in your hips, you can try two options.
The first one is to sit on a block, and the second one is to take a wide stance. Your heels should set in the shoulder-width of your body, and your toes should be pointing out at 45 degrees.
After this, the goal is quite similar to the Seated Pigeon pose, meaning you should strive to keep your heart high and your shoulders low.
This squat is excellent for knees as it gives them full bend, without putting any actual pressure on the knee joints. If you sit a lot at work, or if you are a runner, this pose is perfect for you.
In order to warm up properly, you need to keep your heart rate high, but you shouldn’t exert your muscles before they are warmed up properly. That’s why yoga is such a great solution.
However, if you are looking for some more serious workout, you may consider taking up personal training in San Diego or any other major city with a strong fitness culture.