So you killed leg day, but now you can’t even walk to the bathroom without being in pain. Post-workout muscle soreness is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because that indicates that you had a successful, muscle-building workout. Soreness is caused by the micro-tears in the muscles from working really hard. If you are sore, good job! You are building muscle.
Unfortunately, muscle soreness is can also be pretty uncomfortable- even painful- and also quite inconvenient in a lot of situations. If you work out a lot, you are going to be sore all the time, and that’s just no fun.
Here are yoga poses for post-workout muscle soreness. These poses will help ease muscle soreness, as well as increase your mobility & flexibility for your future workouts.
Yoga Poses for Post-Workout Muscle Soreness
Standing Forward Bend
Clasp your hands together behind your back, hinge forward at the hips, let your head hang, and bring your arms overhead. Sway slowly from side to side, letting the weight of your arms stretch your shoulders at different angles.
Standing Side Bend
Stand with your feet together and your arms overhead with your palms together. Keeping your arms straight- or close to straight- lean to the left and right, taking the time to feel your sides open.
Wide Legged Forward Bend Twist
Stand with your feet placed 3-4 feet apart, and hinge your torso forward at the hips. “Roll” your spine down and rest your hands on the floor, letting your neck & head relax. Bring one arm upwards and look up at it, feeling your spine twist and open. Switch arms and repeat.
Standing Forward Bend
Stand with your feet together, and bend over, “rolling” your spine down as you reach towards the floor. Let your neck relax and your head hang.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Start in an upright (sitting) Bound Angle Pose (the “butterfly” stretch), then roll your spine back until your are laying down. This will stretch your hip flexors (and ladies take note, this pose is also great for relieving menstrual cramps).
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Begin on your knees, with your arms at your side, looking straight forward. Slowly draw your arms up over your head, then using one arm at a time, reach your hands behind you to grasp your heels. Make sure your hips are positioned over your knees, then relax your neck and shoulders so your head hangs back and your throat feels “open”.
Start in a high lunge, then slowly lower the back knee down to the floor. Keep your torso to an upright position, and make sure your front knee does not extend forward over your toes.
Lay with your back flat on the ground and legs fully extended. Bring both knees in towards your chest, clasp your hands around your legs, and round your back so your buttocks come slightly off the floor. Attempt to bring your forehead to your knees, then rock slowly from side to side to gently massage your spine.
Two Knee Spinal Twist
Lay with your back on the ground, and your knees bent. Let your knees fall to one side, and look in the opposite direction, with your arms extended to both sides.
Sit with your knees slightly apart and folded underneath your body, then lean forward to rest your forehead on the ground. Rest with your arms by your sides, or increase the stretch by reaching your arms forward.
From a sitting position, roll your spine backwards and down to the floor, and bring your knees into your chest. Place your hands on your lower back for support as you extend your legs upward towards the ceiling. Finally, lay your arms on the floor when you are stable, lower your legs down towards your face, and aim to touch your toes to the floor above your head.
Stand with your feet together, hinge forward at the hips, and 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. Use your hands to push your body back towards your heels until you feel a stretch throughout your back and legs
Side Plank Pose
Starting from either Plank Pose or Downward Dog (whatever you are more comfortable with) shift your weight to one arm, and rotate your body to the side. Engage your core and lift your hips upwards, and extend your free arm overhead.
Lay on your stomach and place your elbows below your shoulders. Prop yourself up on your forearms, taking care to keep your shoulders down and away from your ears.
Lay on your stomach and place your hands flat on the floor beneath your shoulders. Slowly press up with your arms, straightening them only to the a point that is still comfortable for your back. Take care to keep your hips on the ground, and your shoulders away from your ears.
Videos to improve your mobility & flexibility:
- Mobility & Flexibility by MacKenzie Miller
- True Flexibility by Dylan Werner
- Yoga Basics by MacKenzie Miller