Yogaaahhh

3 great poses to stretch your recovery time

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With another race season in the bank, most fair-weather athletes will turn their focus to recovery and regeneration in what is their transition phase.

Yoga can play a key role in allowing an athlete to enter their preparation phases of training next spring motivated and in good health.

Building yoga into a winter training plan can help insulate an athlete from injury, develop weaker muscles and refresh the mind.

Three common injuries that can plague cyclists, runners and triathletes include; IT band syndrome, patellofemoral syndrome and shoulder injuries.

The following three poses can help prevent these injuries by both strengthening and lengthening muscles that are not always focused on in the other phases of training.

Extended Child’s Pose (Balasana)

  • Goal: To release and strengthen the upper and mid-back muscles.
  • How to do it: Kneeling down, place your big toes together and your knees out wide. Bend forward from the hips extending the arms out in front of you feeling a stretch in both sides of the back. At the same time, press your fingertips into the ground and feel as if you are pulling the mat back toward your armpits. This should feel like the upper arm is being sucked back into the shoulder socket.
  • How long to hold: Pre-workout routine it should be held for approximately 30 seconds. Post-workout, it can be held from 30 seconds up to three minutes.
Extended Child's Pose (Balsana)
[/media-credit] Extended Child’s Pose (Balsana)
Photo: Lachlin and Emily Photography

Chair Pose (Utakasana)

  • Goal: To strengthen quadriceps, glutes and raise awareness in the shoulders.
  • How to do it: Connect strongly to the mat through your toes and heels. Inhale and raise arms overhead, ensuring the upper traps are relaxed and pull the shoulder blades back and down. Exhale and shift your weight bringing the hips back as if you were sitting into a chair. Keep your knees behind the toes and the upper body in a vertical position with the hips in a neutral position.
  • How long to hold: This pose can be held anywhere from 15 seconds to one minute. The length should be built up in a progressive manner.
Chair Pose (Utakasana)
[/media-credit] Chair Pose (Utakasana)
Photo: Lachlin and Emily Photography

Figure Four

  • Goal: To release tight glute muscles while strengthening the muscles that create hip abduction and external rotation.
  • How to do it: Lie on your back with the soles of the feet flat on the floor. Inhale and lift your left foot placing the left ankle on the right thigh. Exhale and bring the right knee into the chest, pushing the hips into the ground. Hold onto the back of the hamstrings and at the same time using the glute muscles on the left side to push the knees away from you.
  • How long to hold: Pre-workout routine it should be held for approximately 30 seconds. Post-workout, it can be held from 30 seconds up to three minutes.
Figure Four
[/media-credit] Figure Four
Photo: Lachlin and Emily Photography

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