Improve Your Lifting with These 7 Yoga Poses
I’ve made mention of mobility in the past two posts, so it seems like a good time to share a few things I do to stay healthy.
Most of this comes in the form of yoga poses post-workout. I try to spend 10-15 min per day in a few key stretches that I feel best address my weakness or range of motion issues. For weight lifters, a lot of this tends to be hips, shoulders, and thoracic spine.
- Downward Dog – I start here because it’s a nice gentle way to open up my shoulders. Good for ankle mobility and wrist extension as well.
- Pigeon – I move into this pose next – great for opening the hips, and since my right SI (sacroiliac) joint tends to be tight, I find this to be especially beneficial. The SI joint sits between the sacrum and the ilium of the pelvis. The illium supports the sacrum, which supports the spine. The main function is shock absorption, so it’s important to keep the ligaments moving properly.
- Lunge variations – since I sit at a desk all day, I spend a good amount of time in this pose to open my hips. Tight psoas = low back pain and poor squat mechanics.
- Low lunge with quad stretch – I’ve recently added this pose and it is currently my favorite. Obviously it’s good for the quads, but also for opening the shoulder and improving thoracic rotation.
- Warrior – while I’m loosening up my thoracic spine, I’ll do a quick warrior pose with a slight back bend for added extension.
- Extended side angle – best lat lengthening pose. This is also great for external hip rotation.
- Low pyramid – if my hamstrings and IT bands are tight I like to do this at the end. It’s great for a post-run as well. Simple, but very effective.
This is just a recap of my favorite poses/stretches. I am by no means a yoga instructor – I’m just sharing what works for me. I also like to take a yoga class here and there for active recovery. I’ve taken classes at Lifetime Fitness, LA Fitness, The Yoga Mat, 2Hot Yoga, and New Level Hot Yoga. I’ve found them all to be good, and will choose between a “normal” yoga class and hot yoga depending on my mood and how my body feels. Everyone’s needs are different, so I encourage you to explore what works best for you.