Current Issue: Monday, April 9th, 2018

Interrobang

Interrobang Archives

"Yoga"na wanna try these stretches


Jessica Eden | Interrobang | Lifestyles | January 8th, 2018




Stretches are an essential part of your workout. They energize and restore muscles to prevent injuries. Incorporating some stretches into your routine, especially after you workout will help release tension, elongate your frame and improve flexibility. Many of these poses are incorporated into yoga routines. Hold each pose for 30 seconds to two minutes and you’re all set to go.

Downward facing dog

To do this stretch, start on your hands and knees with your hands aligned with your shoulders and knees aligned with your hips. Stretch your fingers out wide and gently lift your knees from the ground. Straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees. Straighten your back so that your body resembles the shape of an upside-down “v”. Relax your head so that you are looking bet ween your legs. Do not worry about your heels touching the ground as it is better that the angle of your body is wider. This stretch will specifically engage your hamstrings, calves, shoulders and spine.

Upward facing dog

For this stretch, start by laying on your stomach, face down. Place hands so that the top of your hand is in line with the bottom of your chest. Straighten out your arms and expand your chest upwards. Look straight ahead of you or slightly tilt your head upwards. This stretch will open up your chest and shoulders while stretching your abs and hips.

Child pose

For this pose start in a kneeling position and slowly lean back so that you are sitting on your heels. Make sure that your knees are approximately hip length apart and that your big toes are touching. Gently bring your stomach to your thighs, reaching forward to the ground with your arms. Make sure your glutes are still touching the heels of your feet. If this is too difficult, place a blanket between your calves and thighs. This stretch will relax your back and neck and engage your hips, hamstrings and ankles.

Camel

For this stretch, start in a kneeling position with your knees hip-width apart. Lean back, pointing your chest upwards and support yourself by reaching your hands to touch your heels. If you cannot reach your heels, curl your toes in so that it’s easier to reach your heels. You should be able to feel this stretch all throughout the front of your body.

Seated forward fold

For this stretch, start by sitting on the ground with your legs straight in front of you. Slowly bring your torso to your thighs and hold onto your feet. If you cannot reach your toes then just go as far as you can without hurting yourself. This is an excellent stretch for your hamstrings.

Cat-cow alternating pose

For this pose, start on your hands and knees. Make sure your hands are in line with your shoulders and your knees are in line with your hips. Relax your back so that your torso arches in a “u” shape and you are looking forward. Alternate by lifting your back towards the ceiling, creating an upside-down “u” shape and tucking your head in so that you are looking at your navel.

Butterfly stretch

For this stretch, sit with the soles of your feet together and your knees bent outwards. Bring your feet as close to your body without it being uncomfortable. Holding your feet together with your hands, slowly lean forward so that your chest meets your feet. If this is too difficult just lean forward until you feel the stretch in your inner thighs, glutes and hamstrings. You can also place a blanket underneath your glutes.

Seated neck release

For this stretch, sit cross legged with your right hand resting on the ground beside you, arm straight. Lift your left arm over your head and gently put pressure on the right side of your head with your hand so that it tilts left. Hold for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.

Credit: Melissa Novacaska


RELATED ARTICLES

Health and Fitness: Use it or lose it
Starting something new is never easy, but starting over can be worse. When you take time off or not consistently training, your muscles atrophy (muscle cells shrink) and your motor neurons begin to 'forget' the action they need to do. Read more

Nahm'sayin? Kombucha is a waste of time, money and taste buds
If you're looking to improve your health by drinking Kombucha, don't. If you feel like you need to ingest millions of bacteria in a bottle of disappointment, just eat some expired yogurt and save yourself the trouble. Read more

Health and Fitness: Understanding your personal fitness journey
How much should I weigh and how many calories should I be taking in? These are two very common and related questions we as fitness trainers get asked every day. Read more

Health and Fitness: Put your back into it
Your back needs your care and attention. With so many muscles extending to and from your back, this is the epicenter of movement and posture for your body. Read more

Health and Fitness: What to do when you're about to eat your stress away
You need to study right now, but instead you find yourself in the kitchen staring into the refrigerator hoping the eating will make you smarter for your big test tomorrow. Read more