6 Essential Yoga Poses for Lifters


Whether you’re a complete beginner or a legend of the weight room, no one is immune to sore muscles and tight joints. It’s simply a part of the game. One quick and easy fix for these ailments is adding a few targeted yoga poses at the end of your workout or on “off days.” NYC-based yoga instructor Juan Gamboa recently shared some of the following six, easy-to-follow moves in a Facebook Live segment covering the biggest problem areas: the low back, shoulders, hips, and legs. Watch him string them all together in the Instagram video demo below.

1. Baby cobra (low back)
Guide the sternum forward. Lift your palms off the mat and roll your shoulders back gently. Glutes should be firm but not tense.  Wrap your thigh bones internally.

2. Upward facing dog (shoulders)
Lift the collarbone up and wrap the triceps internally. Fan fingers and thumbs out to allow yourself to feel grounded. The tops of your toes should be rooted into the mat. Thigh bones wrap internally. Glutes are soft enough to avoid jamming into your lower back.

3. Sun salutation: (shoulders)
This is a sequence that includes the above two poses. Begin in mountain pose. Lifting arches and engaging quads, reach the hands and gaze up while you wrap the arms behind you. Dip the shoulder blades down as you stretch the shoulders.

4. Half moon: (hips)
For an assisted half moon, stand with the wall behind you in Warrior 2 (with the right foot forward). Tip the torso forward with the right hand on a block for support and with the right knee bent. Stabilize and strengthen through the right quad. Reach the left hand up and over, leaning back slightly against the wall. Enjoy the hip stretch as you align left hip on top of the right hip.

5. Low lunge (hips)
Begin in your downward facing dog. Step the right foot forward pulling the low belly in as you place the right foot between your hands at the front of your mat. Ensure the back knee is bent and the tailbone is tucked. Push your hips slightly toward the front of your mat. Reach the arms up and overhead to stretch the shoulders, too.

6. Seated forward fold (legs)
Sit upright on your mat. Stretch legs in front of you. Keep a bend in the knees (or even pad your seat with a blanket) and take a strap around your feet. While holding the strap drag your torso forward. Gently drag your chin towards your shins and press the back of the knees down.

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