Yoga Stretch for Crossfit - 2016.08.20
A week of workouts full of upper body work, and as always the major muscles of the thighs and hips need attention too. This sequence is designed for length and strength in the glutes and hamstrings, as well as chest opening and releases in the traps, lats, and delts.
Strap or medium tension band
Foam roller or lax ball
Downward facing-dog at the wall : Standing about an arm's length from the wall, place the hands about shoulder height. Press into the hands and lower the torso toward parallel. Lengthen the spine (and the hips may move back). Release the head between the hands. Hold for 60-90 seconds, release for 30 seconds. Repeat 1x.
Supine crescent moon : Lying on the back, cross right ankle over the top of the left. Take arms over the head and interlace the fingers with pointer fingers forming a steeple-like shape. Draw the ankles toward the left side of the mat and the arms toward the left -- beginning to form the shape of a C with the body. Relax the backs of the shoulders and breathe into the full side-body. Hold for 60 - 90 seconds. Return to center. Switch the cross of the ankles and move to the right with arms & legs. Hold here for 60 - 90 seconds. [NOTE: consider repeating both sides a second time.]
Supine Warrior II : Lying on your back with the feet against the wall, bring the left leg toward the left corner of your mat. Bending the right knee with the outside of the thigh tracking toward the floor, draw the bent knee toward being in line with the hip. Use a block under the foot and a pillow/blanket under the the thigh to support the knee and leg as the right hip rolls open. Hold for 90 seconds. Slowly release and repeat on the left side. [NOTE: consider repeating both sides a second time.]
Bridge pose : In a reclined position with knees bent and feet on the floor (hip distance apart), bring the arms down by the sides with palms down. Inhale and draw the tops of the shoulders toward the ears, and on exhale relax the shoulders toward the floor, creating space across the chest. Pressing into feet, hands, arms, and backs of the shoulders, lift the hips off the floor. Lengthen the front body and relax any holding in the glutes. Hold for 60 seconds before slowly lowering back to the floor.
Supine pelvis tilts : Staring in the same position as the Bridge pose, on the inhale tilt the pelvis forward, bringing an arch into the back. On your exhale, release the arch and draw the spine toward the floor. The pelvis will tilt in toward the belly button. Repeat with the inhale and exhale 10 - 15 times each.
(Repeat Bridge and supine pelvis tilts)
Locust with focus on legs : In a belly down position, stack your forearms to make a pillow for your forehead. Lengthen one leg back farther, and then the other -- bringing as much length in the legs as possible. Draw your inner thighs toward the floor. Allow the hip points to draw down into the floor, and lifting from the pit of the belly, lift the feet, shins and tops of the thighs away from the floor. Lift from the belly, allow the lower back to be engaged, but not working. Continue lengthening back with the legs (out through the heel). Hold for 5-10 breaths. Repeat 2 more times.
Belly-down Dancer (variation) : Remaining in the belly down position, draw the right heel into the right glute. Reach around with the right arm for the outside of the foot. Spend 5 - 10 breaths stretching through the front thigh (quad). For increased stretch of the front & back of the shoulder, on an exhale, press the foot into the hand. Lifting from the belly, draw the front body off the floor. Lengthen the opposite arm straight over head. Hold for 30 - 60 seconds. Repeat on the left side.
NOTE: If your hand does not reach your foot, use the strap or the tension band. In this case, the strap is more ideal. Draw the prop across the foot, and hold the strap with the same side hand. Use this example of a standing Dancer pose (with a strap) to give you an idea.
1/2 Bow pose : Similar to the Belly-down Dancer variation, draw the right heel into the right glute. Reach around with the left hand for the inside of the right foot. Follow the instructions for Dancer variation, remembering to breathe. Hold for 30 - 60 seconds, and then release. Practice the same pose on the left side.
Downward facing dog : Hold for 30 - 60 seconds.
Standing forward fold : Hold for 30 seconds and then rise into a standing position.
Crescent Moon pose : On an inhale with feet together or close together, reach arms up overhead and interlace the fingers forming a steeple shape with your pointer fingers. Follow the same instructions as the supine variation. Hold for 60 seconds before returning to center and moving to the other side. [NOTE: consider repeating both sides a second time.]
High Runner's Lunge with cactus arms (up and down movement) -- hold each position for 30 seconds, moving through the flow 3 - 5 times. Repeat with the opposite leg forward.
Low Runner's lunge -> Straight-leg forward fold (Pyramid) -- hold each position for 30 seconds, moving through the flow 3 - 5 times. Repeat with the opposite leg forward.
Lower trap & lat roll out :
Option 1: Using the foam roller, roll along the slide back body. Moving up and down, and rocking side-to-side.
Option 2: Using the lax ball, lying on your back bring the ball to the lowest part of the shoulder blade. Raise the arm above the head and then draw it across the body toward the opposite hip. Repeat the opening/closing position 5 times. Move the ball up (around the shape of your shoulder blade) and continue to repeat until the ball is at the top of your traps. Move through the same set of movements on the other side.
Active supine rest : Remove all props. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor about hip distance apart. Remain here 5 - 15 minutes. No active movement -- allow gravity and the breath to relax the muscles toward the floor.
See you again next week!