Fitness Tip of the Day: Open Up

3 simple yoga moves to stretch and strengthen
Staff Writer

Yoga can complement any sport by helping to open tight areas of the body. Try these top three yoga stretches specifically beneficial for athletes. Downward-facing dog stretches the whole back line of the body: over the heels, calves, hamstrings, hips, and back. Learning good alignment here is important--check with an experienced instructor. A simple squat also stretches the heels, hips, and back, but it also helps release the quads. It's a great pose to take at the end of a workout. Then add a backbend: camel, or bridge to open the chest and the hip flexors. Many of us are very tight along the front of the body, and backbends help balance by stretching the front and strengthening the back.

—Sage Rountree is a USA Triathon–certified coach and author of The Athlete's Guide to Yoga and The Runner's Guide to Yoga.

As reported by Bethany Marzewski.

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