Yoga for weight lifters: Why is it a good idea?
Weight lifting and strength training are great for building muscle, but developing flexibility? …Not so much. But flexibility is important! Very important. Having all the strength in the world is great, but if your range of motion is limited by tight muscles, then your overall level of fitness is compromised.
If you are one of those folks that regularly joke about how un-flexible you are, then you might find that doing these yoga poses for weight lifters will dramatically increase your range of muscle motion and decrease chronic muscle soreness throughout your body. Next time you’re sore from lifting weights, relax it out with these yoga for weight lifter poses.
Yoga for Weight Lifters:
Glutes, quads, & hammies: For when you work you butt off… and then it feel like it’s actually going to fall off.
Seated glute stretch:
Sit with a straight back, both legs extended in front of you, then bend and bring your right foot inwards, and rest it slightly above your left knee. Your right knee should be pointed to the side. From this position, inch the heel of your left foot inwards towards your body, increasing the angle of your left knee so that it points upward. This movement will bring your right leg into your torso, and you should feel a stretch throughout your right glute. Switch sides & repeat.
Exhale and bring your hands down to touch your toes. It is perfectly ok if you can’t reach the floor yet, but you should be reaching for your toes and feeling the stretch throughout the back of your legs. Let your head hang, but don’t let your knees bend. After one minute, inhale deeply and move on to the next pose.
Stand with your feet placed about 4 feet apart, your arms held out at shoulder level, and your palms facing down. Keeping your torso facing “forward” (the same direction as your hips), look down the length of your right arm as you bend your right knee and sink down into a high lunge. Switch sides and repeat.
Obliques & abs: For when it hurts to laugh …You know what I’m talking about.
Side plank pose:
From a traditional plank pose, shift your weight to one hand and rotate your whole body to face the side. Bring your open arm above your head to stretch your obliques. Switch and repeat on the other side.
Lay with your belly on the ground, and us your arms to push your upper body upwards to stretch your abs. Your hips should not lift off the ground. Do not strain your back by trying to completely straighten your arms. You can get an efficient abdominal stretch by propping yourself up on your elbows, or bent arms as well.
Back & shoulders: Because sore back and shoulder muscles turn into back pain. And that’s no fun.
Hands over head stretch:
Stand with your feet placed slightly apart and your hands clasped together behind your back. Hinge your torso forward at the hips and let your head hang as you bring your arms above your head. Slowly sway your upper body to the left and right to stretch all areas of your upper back and shoulders. Relax in this position as long as you’d like, but take care to avoid ‘locking’ your knees.
Start in a forward bend, then bend your knees so that your palms are flat on the floor (if they aren’t already). Shift your weight so that your arms are supporting you as you hop or walk your legs back. Your hips should be the middle point between your hands and feet on the floor. Use your hands to push your body back towards your heels until you feel a stretch throughout your back and legs
Two-knee spinal stretch:
Lay with you back flat on the ground, and your legs positioned above your body, with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Slowly let your legs fall to one side, feeling the stretch in your spine. Extend your arms outwards from the shoulders, keep your upper back flat on the ground, and look the opposite way from your knees. After 30 seconds, switch sides and repeat.