For months now I have told you about the stretching and yoga poses I do at night. A thought occurred to me that maybe not everyone has a routine they use to stretch and could use some guidance. All of the stretches I do have been through either research on tight hips or things I picked up from my old yoga class. While I don’t claim AT ALL to be an expert yogi or anything like that, these following poses I have found to be very helpful. Feel free to share your favorite as well!
Again, I’m not an expert so the photos show me as the work in progress that I am. To see how the poses should like on an expert click the links provided.
The pigeon—This is still a big work in progress for me but it really helps those tight hips. Check out this link here for a great tutorial on how to get into this position.
The frog—I have been doing this one on and off for a few years now and its just as hard as it was then. A constant work in progress and I have to modify (feet pointing in to make a triangle rather than the square pointing out. Here is a link to get in to the pose.
Downward Dog—So many benefits with the goal of your heels touching the ground. I am so much closer now than I used to be but clearly work still to be done here. Another easy pose to get into but just in case here is a link.
Low lunge with back knee down—My coach reminded me of this one and oh I love it. Gets those hip flexors right in the hard to get spots. Here is the link to get into this pose. I modify this with one hand down on the same side as the forward foot and reach over my head with the hand on the lunge foot. The further I reach the more it stretches.
Hand to Big Toe—This one I do before the next two to get ready. Here is the link to do the pose but I add on some things. Once in the pose I move my leg into a small circle 4 times clockwise and counter clockwise. Then I flex my foot up and down a few times then move into the next two poses.
Hip Opener—I do this one a lot and it stretches quite a few different muscles. I still have to use a strap with this but the goal is to be able to hold the arch of your foot when you do any of these. I don’t know the real name or have a link but here is how to do it the best I can describe. Lay on your back, with one leg flat extend you other leg up into a 90 degree angle. Grab the outside arch of your foot (or loop a strap and hold as far up as you can). With your grounded hip flat on the ground, slowly drop your hip out to the same side that the leg is on. Hold for 1 minute and slowly bring back to start. Switch legs.
Reverse Hip Opener—Similar to the one above but does great things for the IT band. Again I don’t know the name for this one but I’ll describe it the best I can. Lay on your back, with one leg flat extend the other leg up into a 90 degree angle. Grab your raised leg’s outside of the foot with the opposite hand (left leg up grab with right hand) or wrap a strap around the foot and grab the strap as high up as you can. Keep your grounded hip flat on the ground and slowly drop your leg across your body. The goal is to get your leg as close to your head as you can and hold on with your hand. Hold for 1 minute and slowly bring back to start. Switch legs.
Eye of the Needle—This is a great stretch for the glutes and does better work then the foam roller in my opinion. I keep this in the rotation but do it much more when I’ve done a lot of squats or hill work. Here is a link on how to do this pose.
Reclining Cow Face—This one isn’t my favorite but I keep it in the rotation. I don’t have many issues with the glutes yet so I keep it just to be on the safe side. Here is a link on how to do this pose.
CHIME IN!!! Are any of these in your stretching rotation? Are you a seasoned yogi? What poses did I miss?