7 Yoga Poses for Weightlifters

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If you lift weights you know just how stiff and achy your body can get if you don't treat it right before and after. 

Activities like Crossfit and Powerlifting are no doubt at a different pace and tone than yoga, however integrating yoga poses or stretches into your warm ups and cool downs is essential to keeping your body able to do what you love. I would also recommend picking up a regular yoga practice alongside weightlifting if you're in it for the long haul. 

These 7 poses are a great way to prepare you for lifting. They come from a full 30 minute yoga practice I did a while back on my YouTube channel called Yoga for Weightlifters, Powerlifters & Crossfit. Feel free to check it out if you want a longer practice, or read on to master these poses and have them at your ready next time you are in the gym. 

If you have them available, a set of blocks could come in handy to make the poses more accessible.

1. Child's Pose - Coming on to hands and knees, bring the big toes together and take the knees wide. Walk your hands forward as you lower your forehead to the mat. If your head doesn't quite reach the mat, you may want to slide a block underneath the forehead. If you are experiencing any discomfort in the low back here, bring your knees in  a bit. Melt your heart down as you sink your hips back. Relax the jaw, neck and shoulders, and find a deep belly breath as you hold here. 

2. Superman Pose - First make your way into a high plank. From there, slowly lower to the belly, and untuck your toes. Reach your hands behind you, clasping the fingertips together at your back. Lift the chin and chest off of the mat, while keeping the hips, belly and low ribs pinned down. Do a few rounds of this, possibly also lifting your feet. Make sure you are not holding your breath as you hold the pose. 

3. Puppy Pose - First come into tabletop position. Keep your hips over the knees, but start to walk your hands forward until the forehead comes to rest on the ground. Again if the forehead doesn't quite reach, bring a block under the head for support. This pose as is should open the shoulders and chest. If you want to work deeper into the triceps, bring the palms together, bend the elbows and bring the thumbs to rest on the back of the head. Keep your core engaged so as not to dip the low back.


4. Rag-doll Forward Fold - Standing at the front of your mat, hinge at the hips. Instead of focusing on the hamstrings here, we are lengthening the spine. So feel free to take a generous bend in the knees. Let your head hang heavy, as you clasp hold of opposite elbows. Rock gently side to side or front to back, whatever feels good as you hang out. Maybe try lifting all your toes from the mat to shift the weight back into the heels.

5. Low Lunge - From a downward dog, kick the right leg up and slowly step it through between the hands at the front of the mat. Lower your back knee down to the mat, and ensure your front knee isn't in front of the ankle. Reach up to the sky with both arms. Sink deep into this low lunge, working into the hips flexors and psoas. Think of pulling your upper body out of the waist here, staying long through the spine. For a little extra stretch, take a side bend. Bring the right hand to the right hip and reach up and over to the right with the left hand. Repeat on the opposite side.

6. Wide-legged Forward Fold - Stand facing the long edge of your mat. Take the feet wide and parallel to the short edges of the mat. Hinge forward, bringing the fingers to the mat and letting your head go. Make sure the weight is evenly distributed, so you're not rocking forward. Reach your hands under to clasp at your back, then extend the arms up and over. Bend your knees or widen the stance as needed.


7. Extended Side Angle - Standing at the front of the mat, step your left foot back. Spin the toes of the left foot towards the left. Bend deeply into your right knee and extend the arms out front to back to come first into Warrior 2. Shoulders are stacked over the hips and weight is even between front and back feet. To take the side angle, bring your right forearm onto your right thigh, then reach up and over with the left hand. You are aiming for one long line from the left foot all the way up to the left fingertips. Let your gaze go wherever feels comfortable for your neck, maybe up to the sky, maybe at the hand, maybe down.

If you enjoyed these poses and want more, check out the full practice below. While you are there please also subscribe, it helps to support free yoga on the internet!



Namaste,
Kassandra

Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.



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