Here's a great little warm up for my fellow gym rats working the ol' legs. After being down and out for the last, oh, FIVE days with food poisoning, I can't wait to get back to the gym, but first I should probably get my strength back. I am feeling a lot better today, but tried to take the dog for a walk this morning and almost passed out. Woof.
Anyway, let's do this. First things first - working out without warming up used to be something I could handle, but as I got older (yikes!), I realized my body can't hang anymore and needs to be slowly and gently warmed up before jumping right into things. So for leg day, I usually roll out first and then I focus on opening up hamstrings, hip flexors, low back and inner thighs with the following yoga poses.
1. Rag Doll: Ok I feel like I throw this pose in every sequence I do but it's just such a goodie, I can't help it (#sorrynotsorry). Keep a little micro bend in the knees - this is a passive stretch, not need to get crazy with trying to get the head to the knees, that's not important here. Instead, visualize your hip joints over your ankle joints, and let the whole upper body be lifeless like a rag doll, and super heavy. Grab opposite arms if you'd like, and stay in stillness or sway side to side or back and forth for at least 10 deep, full breaths.
2. Malasana Pose: This is a favorite pose of mine and ever since I sprained my ankle back in April (I'm STILL having issues, wah!), it's been on repeat because it just feels good in the ankle area. Anyway, this is great for leg day because it opens the hips, inner thighs, calves, and ankles. Great if you're going to be doing squats or cleans. Follow this guide to malasana, which also has options to how to modify, and breathe here for at least 7 full breaths.
3. High Lunge: This pose is good not only for the hip flexors and hips, but it's nice for the front body which may help prevent tweaking the abs. Tip: lift the chest here to feel a very slight, mini backbend. That lift will help prevent compression of the low back and get you a deeper stretch in the hip flexor. Breathe at least 10 breaths here before switching sides.
4. Frog Pose: My own personal version of hell in a yoga room is this pose. I suppose that means I should practice it more often, but ouch ouch, my legs! Anyway, if this hurts you - like the actual floor is hurting your knees, not that your inner thighs are tight because that's just a given, give this frog pose modification trick a try. Breathe here as long as you can. Seriously. Ten seconds? Fifty? Doesn't matter - every little bit will help.
Let's talk: Don't forget that you can make a video request over on the Yoga Forum or let me know down below in the comments if there's something you'd like to see on the blog. We're kind of interested in playing around with Periscope more - if you have ideas for that, let us know!!
Shop the look below