Yoga is an excellent way to promote flexibility and improve recovery. By incorporating yoga into your active recovery routine, you can help reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, improve range of motion, and promote relaxation and stress relief. These 4 yoga poses are great for athletes to implement either as part of a morning routine or an evening stretch before bed.
Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Spread your knees apart and bring your big toes together. Sit back on your heels and stretch your arms forward. Rest your forehead on the ground and breathe deeply. Child's pose is a great way to stretch your hips, thighs, and ankles. It also helps relieve stress and tension in the back and neck.
Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Lift your hips up and back, straightening your arms and legs. Press your heels down towards the ground and lengthen your spine. Breathe deeply and hold for several breaths. Downward-facing dog is a great way to stretch your hamstrings, calves, and spine. It also helps build strength in the arms and shoulders.
Start on your hands and knees, with your right knee behind your right wrist and your right foot in front of your left hip. Extend your left leg behind you, keeping your toes pointed. Lower your body down onto your forearms and breathe deeply. Pigeon pose is a great way to stretch your hips and thighs. It can also help relieve tension in the lower back and improve flexibility in the hips.
Seated Forward Fold
Sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Reach your arms up overhead and then fold forward, reaching for your toes. Keep your spine long and breathe deeply. Seated forward fold is a great way to stretch your hamstrings and lower back. It can also help calm the mind and relieve stress and tension.
For athletes, hips and hamstrings are often problem areas, and by lengthening these muscles on a daily basis combined with the consistent training regimen that improves contraction in these areas, athletes can not only improve their movement but also decrease the risk of injuries.