Yoga for Weightlifters: 7 Poses for Increased Range of Motion

Flexibility is an important yet often overlooked component of a well-rounded fitness routine, especially for those who tend to gravitate to strength-based workouts. Adequate range of motion around the joints is imperative to perform loaded movement patterns safely and effectively using strength-training tools such as barbells and dumbbells. In addition to enhancing performance in the gym, incorporating movements into one's workout routine that enhance joint stability and mobility will also address existing muscle imbalance and allow for excellent er ease and efficiency when performing activities of daily living (ADLs) outside of the gym. The following yoga poses focus on stretching the major muscle groups typically used when performing ADLs (calves, thighs, hip flexors, back, chest and shoulders) while enhancing mobility in the hips, ankles, shoulders and thoracic spine.

Downward Facing Dog

Begin in hands-and-knees position with knees below hips and hands positioned slightly forward of shoulders. As you inhale, spread fingers wide, rooting both palms firmly into the mat while simultaneously tucking toes under. As you exhale, begin to extend legs, drawing hips and tailbone toward t ceiling, creating an inverted V-shape with the body as the heels move toward floor. The head and neck should be positioned between the upper arms with feet situated hip-width distance apart. Focus on maintaining length in the spine in this pose, releasing shoulders away from the ears and keeping knees as softly or deeply bent as needed, while continuing to root firmly and equally through both hands and feet. Maintain this position, breathing comfortably for three to five complete breath cycles.

Upward Facing Dog

Lie on stomach with legs fully extended along the mat, with the tops of feet on floor. Place palms on the mat directly alongside the ribs, keeping elbows bent. As you inhale, press palms into the floor, extending arms while simultaneously lifting the torso and thighs off the mat. Allow hips to soften slightly toward the ground while at the same time lifting through the sternum. Soften shoulders away from the ears and maintain neutral alignment in the neck. If accessible, look upward only with the eyes. Maintain this position, breathing comfortably for three to five complete breath cycles.

Modified Revolved Crescent

From downward facing dog, step right foot between hands, coming into a low lunge position. Immediately release left knee, shin and top of left foot to rest on mat. As you inhale, sweep both arms toward the ceiling coming into crescent lunge, shifting

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Expert Articles — Courtesy “American Council On Exercise” (ACEfitness.org)

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