Last Friday I had to pleasure of meeting up with the Brampton Running Room chicks that are training for a half marathon right now and show them some of my favorite stretches for recovering those sore muscles!
It got me thinking about all the pluses to a great stretch as well as the things you want to pay attention to when trying to loosen up.
So here are my top 5 moves and why I suggest you do them!
Head Chick Amanda’s Top 5 Yoga Stretches:
1. Seated Forward Bend
Sit on your booty with legs out in front of your feet together and legs together and reach your hands to your feet and relax into it
I love this move because you can really feel your hamstrings letting go and of course if you move from your hips and avoid collapsing forward you can get an awesome stretch in your lower back. Just be sure to reach your hear towards your feet to keep this length.
2. Inner Thigh Stretch
Start in runners lunge position, both hands inside the front foot and then drop crown of your head towards the ground to really get into your inner thighs.
This move rocks my world to really get into hip flexors as well. Just be sure to stay with it as long as you can and do both sides or else you will be lop-sided and nobody wants that lol.
3. “Crouching Tiger” Hamstring Stretch
OK so that is not the real name but this move makes me feel like I am a ninja for some reason lol. From the inner thigh stretch above simply sit back on to your foot that is behind you – so it now becomes your seat and then fold over your front leg reaching for your toe and relaxing your shoulders.
This move is awesome to relax my hamstrings but also a little tip if you really try to point your toes towards your face you will feel a nice pull in the calve muscle as well which is a super bonus!
4. IT Band Stretch
Sitting on your booty grab over the front of your right foot with your left hand, kick your leg out straight then pull it across your body towards the left shoulder. Hold for about 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Love, love, love this move because it stretches me from ankle to lower back and really makes me aware of which part is acting up or extra sore and needs some love.
5. Pigeon Pose
Bring your right knee towards your right wrist – usually easier to start in downward dog position to get there – and then centre hips and relax. You do not have to bring your head towards the ground in this pose just find the spot where you are feeling the outer hip and stay there.
Again on my top of the list because it really helps me relax, recover from a tough Bootcamp class or just centre myself a bit and calm down.
Some quick key things to remember while you are stretching:
1. Relax – I know it sounds silly but really try to relax and I mean everything. Like no scrunchy faces, no tension in your neck you need to relax fully to really let go.
2. Stick with it – make sure you stretch before each workout – using dynamic stretches and after each workout using static ones like some of my faves above.
3. Relax your shoulders – they serve you no purpose up by your ears!!
4. Learn to love it – this is key because even though some of us may feel like the work we do in Bootcamp or other activities is what counts, stretching is key to helping muscles relax, repair and lengthen. I mean who wants to have toned arms but that are an inch shorter than when you started training lol.
So chicks, add these to your workouts and you will for sure feel a little less sore post workout and maybe even a little taller!