As the saying goes "life is simple but we insist on making it complicated" and this is especially true with fitness. How many times over the past few months have you neglected restorative exercises because you felt it wasn't worth the time?
Instead you trained hard yet another day (I'm just as guilty of this as you are) then you wondered WHY all that hard work wasn't paying off with visible results you could see in the mirror that same week (if you're training right results should be visible fast).
The truth is that in fitness what you don't do is just as important as what you do. So if you skip restorative exercises that keep your body functional then what you ARE doing to get a sexy body won't be as effective.
Want better body results? Do these 3 ridiculously simple yoga stretching exercises regularly. BUT make no mistake, just because they are simple doesn't mean they are easy or painless..
King Arthur pose hold 3-5 min. on each side - of all the yoga stretching exercises out there this is one of the easiest looking yet most painful for most people. I've been told by clients AND other trainers that it feels like some form of medieval torture IF you do it correctly. Why?
I learned this move from my Rolfer who taught me that no amount of heel to butt quad stretching even comes close to the hip release you get from this. He recommends that people who train a lot do this daily. The easy way to get into this is shown in pics here. Some tips for you if you struggle with this pose are:
So why does this stretch matter so much? As I explained in previous glute activation and posture correction videos, tight hip flexors means bad posture, bad exercise technique, decreased glute and core activation and decreased lower body endurance which in turn means decreased fat burning and exercises effectiveness.
Seated revolved triangle pose hold 30-60 seconds each side - Ever tried revolved triangle only to lose your balance and nearly land on your head or butt? Regular triangle is quite easy even for some of my clients with poor balance but once you revolve it the twisting motion can humble even the most advanced yogis. The great news is that you can do this on the floor eliminating the balance challenge and getting an even better IT band, hamstring, glute and back stretch. **The added bonus of this pose is the metabolism boost from twisting that improves digestion.
I learned this version and many other yoga stretching exercises variations from one of my Shiva Rea DVD's and it's quite easy to get into but takes some patience to hold.
Here's some tips to help you get a deep stretch:
So why does this stretch matter so much? Because it lengthens the entire posterior chain which are some of the hardest working muscles in all ybff fitness plans.
Full wheel pose variations 3x 15-20 seconds each time - Ever wished for a more stress proof mind and body that doesn't get broken down when life gets crazy and turns life upside down? Then this backbend pose is for you. **The added bonuses of backend yoga stretching exercises is they strengthen your back and shoulders, stretch the abs, chest and neck which improves breathing which all improves posture and metabolism too.
Now I have to be honest and tell you that I hated backbend poses for the longest time but I kept trying them and eventually it paid off in ways I never imagined. Basic backbends like the one pictured here (or with both feet on floor) actually opened the door to tons of other yoga poses that you may have seen in some of my other videos like: camel pose, bow pose, lunge backbend, sugarcane pose, reverse warrior and the super challenging inverted staff I recently posted on instagram.
I've filmed quite a few yoga stretching exercises video and put up quite a few articles on yoga stretches. Here are the most essential ones:
yoga poses for weightloss - features my video with 22 intermediate level poses as well as a full practice by my favorite yoga instructor Shiva Rea
yoga for toning - explains how yoga really works to get you a leaner more toned body and features two full length yoga practices
yoga sexy - features some of the most advanced yoga poses I've learned in the past couple of years and shows you how you don't need to be able to do the hardest yoga to get a better body
You can also check out my ybff youtube yoga playlist for ever more mobility/flexibility and yoga stretching exercises videos.