Strength & Flexibility for Athletes
Updated: Nov 13, 2020
This mini-sequence will create strength and open up the upper and lower body.
(this is for informational purposes only - not responsible for any injuries)
Start in Table and warm up with a few cat/cows - connect with your breath. Move into Down Dog and pedal out the legs - get into your calves. Come back to table and take the elbows down to where the hands were to set up dolphin. Curl the toes under and send the hips back - keeping a slight bend in the knees if the hamstrings are tight. Press your chest gently towards your thighs. This is great pose for opening the shoulder area.
2. Plank Core Work
Lower the knees to come out of dolphin and step back into plank. Move through a couple rounds of Plank --> Down Dog --> 1 leg plank bringing knee toward your elbow. This will start to fire up your core and work the arms.
3. Wide Low Lunge
Step forward into a Wide Low Lunge - taking the foot outside of the hand and turning the foot on a diagonal. let time and gravity open up your hips and inner legs here - don't force your way into anything too deep.
4. Wide Low Lunge with Quad Stretch
From the Low Lunge drop the back knee and bend it bringing the heel toward your hips. If you can, hold the foot to get into the quad and front of hip. Keep the chest lifted here and only go as far as your edge - you don't want to muscle your way into flexibility.
Repeat 2-4 on the second side.
5. Chair Figure 4
Move through a Vinyasa and come to Mountain pose at the top of your mat. Standing with your feet hip width apart, take one ankle on top of your other knee coming into a figure 4 stretch. Sit the hips back, chest up, and breath steady, taking a moment to break up tension.
6. Warrior 2 w/ Shoulder Series
Come into Warrior 2 and take the time to set up your legs - a strong foundation is important. Then move through the following shoulder series to open up the upper body:
a. Eagle Arms - 1 elbow on top of the other, crossing at the forearms and bringing the palms together. Bring the elbows up in line with the shoulders, squeeze the forearms and feel the space you're creating in between the shoulder blades
b. Goal Post Arms (shown) - press the elbows back, squeeze the shoulder blades together and draw the front ribs together and in.
c. Cow Face Arms - take one palm between the shoulder blades and the other hand to the elbow, draw elbow in and back. If you're looking for a little more go for full cow face arms (set up the same way but take second hand to low back and reach up to clasp fingers of other hand at shoulder blades) Keep ribs drawing back.
Repeat 5-6 on the second side.
Take the time to connect with your body and add any other poses that you feel you need... tune in. End your practice with Legs up the Wall, Seated Meditation or Savasana.