Fitness training isn’t just about treadmill running or weightlifting. A fit healthy body requires more than cardiovascular exercise and strength workouts.
It requires mobile, flexible joints.
The more flexible your body, the more other areas of your training regime will benefit. You’ll increase your active range of motion, decrease muscle stress, minimise your risk of injury and reduce any tension stress from other workouts.
Incorporate flexible yoga exercises into your weekly plan and you’ll benefit from a renewed mental focus too. You’ll improve your breathing, combat mental stress and even promote a healthy nervous system.
All of these gains will help you to train harder and more effectively when you get back to your strength and CV workouts.
It’s one of the beginner asanas because it helps warm up and flex your spine for more advanced poses. Great for boosting flexibility in your spine, neck and core. On all fours, keep your weight evenly balanced as you raise your spine to ceiling and tuck your neck under.
Standing forward fold
A great exercise for all over flexibility, and a great pose to track your improvements. Initially, you might struggle to fully straighten your legs as you ‘fold over’ at your waist, reaching down to grab your ankles. Don’t push, avoid pressure on your back.
Downward facing dog
One of the most common yoga exercises, downward facing dog is the perfect pose to support an entire body stretch – from the tops of your shoulders, down your back, hamstrings and right to your feet. Keep your hands and feet shoulder width apart.
From downward facing dog, a simple step with your right foot in between your hands digs deeper into your hips and hamstrings to build flexibility. Make sure your hips are lifted and both facing forwards, with your legs straight.
Pushing pyramid pose a little further, move into low lunge to loosen your hip flexors. They can be tight from heavy leg days or sitting at a desk all day. Sweep your arms in front of your leading leg and lower your rear leg in a controlled lunge.
Warrior I pose
Raise into Warrior 1, leaning into your forward leg and extending your rear one. Sink down so your front thigh is parallel to the floor and extend your arms and trunk straight up to the sky. It’s a great pose for flexible hips and arms.
Return to downward facing dog to try the pigeon pose, ideal for a deep glute stretch. Lean into your arms and bring your right knee into your right wrist, crossing your leg in front of your body so your right ankle meets your left wrist. Drop your back knee to lie on the floor, bending over and stretching forwards, chest on the floor.
These are just a small sample of yoga poses to help you get started. There are many more to try.
Looking to boost your flexibility further? Try a yoga class in our restorative Breathe space.