“I recommend that any athlete switch out two days a week with a yoga practice (or, if you’re married to your routine, just add yoga in!). Yoga is one of the best investments that any athlete can make toward their longevity. It's amazing cross-training and releases areas of repetitive strain and tension, so injury won’t stop you in your tracks. While no one stretch is enough—you must dive into a whole-body, holistic warming and stretching practice—try a “twisted pigeon” stretch to help you multitask the hamstring, quadriceps, hip flexor, rotator, IT band and lower back for the flexibility you need to optimize your sport.
To try the twisted pigeon:
Come back into Pigeon Pose (see below) on your right side.
Place your left forearm on the floor in front of you.
Lengthen your spine more on an inhale.
Exhale, begin to twist your chest and head to the right--no cranking into your low back, which is not built to twist.
Place your right hand on your right thigh and gently roll it outward, or bind it behind the back.
As an option, bend the back leg, and reach the right hand for the inner foot. This adds a quad stretch.
Keep the hips centered, and breathe here for up to 1 minute. Look down if your neck feels strained.”
—Sadie Nardini, host of Rock Your Yoga on Veria Living network, is a wellness and yoga expert and founder of Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga.
Pigeon Pose / Shutterstock
As reported by Bethany Marzewski.