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Yoga is a Compliment to any Sport or Activity March 23, 2011

Filed under: Cycling,General Health,Home Care,massage,running — Isidora Romantini @ 2:23 pm
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I’ve been practicing yoga for the last 3 years, and more recently have been practicing Moksha yoga – a form of hot yoga.  To tell you the truth, I’ve never felt better.

A lot of athletes know that stretching is crucial for injury prevention, but aren’t aware that yoga is even more effective.  To incorporate this practice within your regular routine of whatever sport or workout you do, it will enhance your performance in every way.  Not only does it increase your flexibility, but it also increases your awareness of your body and expands your mind into a calmness that cannot be achieved by exercise alone.  If you’re wondering how yoga can help you as an athlete, here’s how:

If you’re a cyclist or a runner, chances are your hip flexors and your chest is constricted at some level.  Yoga helps open up your hips and chest through various poses and prevents long term injuiries.  Most of you are probably thinking, “I can’t do yoga…I’m not flexible at all!”  Yoga is a forever progressing practice and flexibility comes with time.  You don’t have to be flexible BEFORE you start practicing!

Furthermore, if you are someone who sits at a desk all day long, again, your hip flexors and chest are tight by being slumped over your desk all day long.  Yoga will help loosen your muscles up so you don’t live in discomfort at work.

In addition to opening up your body, yoga helps give you focus throughout your day – whether it be during your vigorous workouts, or helping you focus more intensely at your job.

Don’t wait until you are so tight that you become injured.  Yoga is a great way to increase your flexibility, bring your mind at ease, and strengthen your core.  With great core strength, comes decreased back pain.

Try it!  You’ll like it!

 

Cycling Stretches June 1, 2009

Getting a lot of miles on the bike accomplished?  I bet you’re not stretching as much as you should!  Here are my top 10 stretches for you cyclists out there.

1.  HIP FLEXOR STRETCH:  This is great for your low back.  The most effective way to achieve this stretch is to place your front foot on the third or fourth stair in your home and lean forward.  Hold for about 30 seconds.  Don’t forget to stretch both sides!

psoas stretch

2.  NECK STRETCH:  You can do this stretch at different angles – ear to shoulder looking up and looking down.  Be sure to hold each angle for 30 seconds, both sides.

neck stretch

3.  WRIST FLEXOR STRETCH:  This stretch helps after being on the road for long hours.  Keep your elbow straight out in front of you when you do this stretch.

wrist flexor stretch

4.  GLUTE STRETCH:  This is great if you’re experiencing low back pain after a ride.

7_glute

5.  HAMSTRING STRETCH:  This is an essential stretch pre and post ride.

ham stretch

6.  QUAD STRETCH:  Another essential stretch.  Always make sure that the knee that you are bending stays parallel to the floor, otherwise you could injure yourself.

quad stretch

7.  TRICEP STRETCH:  This stretch can be done pre and post ride as well.

tricep

8.  SHOULDER STRETCH:  When doing this stretch, be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and bring the shoulder that you’re stretching underneath your chin, keeping your head held high; don’t bring your head forward or do a chin tuck – you’ll strain your neck.

delt

9.  LAT STRETCH (BACK):  After being hunched over for hours at a time, this will feel marvelous!

lat

10.  CALF STRETCH:  You can do either of these techniques to stretch out your calves.  The one on the stairs is a little more advanced for those that are more flexible.

calf 1calf2

Remember to always hold your stretch up to 30 seconds.  If you are extremely inflexible, take your time and work up to 30 seconds.  Always perform any exercise or stretch within your pain threshold.

Keep riding and stay safe!