YOGA FOR STRENGTH TRAINERS

7 POSES FOR INCREASED RANGE OF MOTION

Yoga for Weightlifters: 7 Poses for Increased Range of Motion | Jessica Matthews | Expert Articles | 9/15/2015

I have very little flexibility and as I continue to grow up 🙂 I have really focused on incorporating stretching into my weekly workout routine.  Muscle recovery improves at a quicker rate than if I skip this important step.  And—it just FEELS GOOD!
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 weight forward slightly to allow right thigh to draw parallel to floor. As you exhale, draw left arm across the body resting left hand to outside of right thigh while drawing right hand to right hip. Inhale to lean torso forward slightly while maintaining length in spine, then exhale to rotate torso toward the right side of the mat while drawing right shoulder back. Gaze toward the right side wall, maintaining this twisting position for three to five complete cycles of breath before switching sides and repeating.

EXTENDED TRIANGLE POSE

Stand at top of mat with feet together, placing a block at the tallest setting outside of the right foot. Step left foot back 3-4 feet, turning left toes toward left side of mat at almost a 90-degree angle with chest facing left side of the room. Align the heel of the front right foot with either the arch or the heel of the back left foot, depending on what is most comfortable for you. With legs extended, outstretch arms wide in opposition, reaching toward the front and back edges of the mat. As you inhale, reach right fingertips forward toward front of room. As you exhale, release the right hand to rest atop the block, drawing left fingertips toward the ceiling with arm in line with shoulder. Hold this position for three to five complete cycles of breath before switching sides and repeating.

SUPPORTED LIZARD POSE

From downward facing dog, step right foot between the hands coming into a low lunge position, shifting weight forward slightly to allow right thigh to draw parallel to floor while remaining on the ball of the back left foot. Draw both hands atop a block positioned inside of the right foot, drawing foot slightly out toward the right side of the mat. Keeping hips and shoulders squared to the floor, release both elbows and forearms to rest on top of the block, continuing to press back slightly through the left heel. Maintain this position, breathing comfortably for three to five complete breath cycles before switching sides and repeating.

SUPPORTED PYRAMID POSE

Stand at top of mat with feet together, placing a block on each side of the feet at the tallest setting. With hands on hips, step left foot back 3-4 feet, turning left toes out slightly, to approximately a 45- to 60-degree angle. Align the heel of the front right foot with the heel of the back left foot. Keeping legs extended, inhale to lift the chest slight. Maintaining an elongated spine exhale fold forward, hinging at the hips to release hands to the blocks. Square chest in line with right thigh then fold forward, deepening the stretch in the hamstrings. Maintain this position for three to five complete breath cycles before slowly rising and repeating on the opposite side.

DANCER’S POSE

Stand at top mat with feet together, arms extended alongside the body. As you inhale, sweep both arms up toward ceiling, palms facing one another. With left arm extended bend right arm, drawing elbow in to touch right hip with palm facing up. Shift weight to left foot and bend right knee, drawing right heel toward right glute with knees close together. Keeping right thumb pointed toward back of mat, reach right hand back to capture inside of right foot. Inhale and extend the spine, reaching toward ceiling with left finger tips. On the exhalation, begin to press right foot into hand and right hand into foot, drawing right heel toward ceiling and right thigh parallel to floor. Continue lifting right leg as much as accessible while keeping hips and shoulders squared with chest lifted. Hold for three to five complete cycles of breath before repeating on the opposite side.

COW FACE POSE

Begin in a seated position on mat with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Slide right heel toward left glute with toes pointing toward left side of the mat while aligning right knee to point forward toward front of mat in line with navel. Cross left leg over the right, stacking knees atop one another, allowing left toes to point toward right side of mat while rooting both sitting bones into the mat. Holding a yoga strap or towel in the right hand extend right arm up with palm facing forward then bend elbow, drawing right hand behind the neck with strap in line with spine. Extend left arm out toward left side wall with palm facing backward, thumb pointed down. Bend left elbow and draw hand behind the back to grasp the strap wherever is accessible. Work the hands as close together as possible while continuing to lift the chest, avoiding rounding shoulders forward. Maintain this position, breathing comfortable for five cycles of breath before releasing arms and uncrossing legs and repeating on the opposite side with arms and legs in reversed position.

<Acquired from ACE Fit Tips>

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Salads in a Jar

This was a big hit at my granddaughter’s FIRST birthday party!!  Easy to assemble and tote!

You can make any salad of your choice but here is mine!

Assemble from bottom of jar to top:

2 T  Girard’s Light Champagne Dressing

Mixed greens

Low fat feta

Fresh, sliced strawberries

When ready to eat, shake the jar vigorously while dancing around the room and……

Voila!!!

Hand out forks and your guests can continue mingling!!

Salad in a Jar

What do you put in YOUR jars? 😉

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Colorful Sweet Potato Salad

sweet potato salad with chili-lime dressing

 

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

4 tablespoons (tbs) olive oil

3 tbs lime juice

11/2 teaspoons (tsp) chili powder

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (or substitute parsley or another herb if you don’t like cilantro)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 medium-sized red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch chunks

1 bunch scallions, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Place sweet potatoes in large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and cook until just tender (7–10 minutes). Drain and transfer to large bowl.

While potatoes are cooking, make dressing: in small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin and cilantro.

Add red bell pepper and scallions to drained potatoes, and toss with dressing.

Add salt and pepper.

Serve warm, or refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes six servings.

Not only are sweet potatoes tasty, they are a healthier version to potatoes.  They contain no saturated fats or cholesterol, are a rich source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals!

Enjoy!!!

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(IDEA Health & Fitness Inc)

Quick Workout to get those Sexy Shoulders!

Guys too!!!

When you only have a few minutes to spare, hit these shoulder-burning exercises!

10-minute Shoulder Workout

Strong shoulders make everyday activities much easier. Moving the arms to the front, side and behind the body, as well as overhead, is accomplished with the main shoulder muscle—the deltoid. This important muscle wraps around the shoulder joint, making a “cap” that acts to move the arm in various directions. Repeat this circuit two to three times to fully engage all of the muscles of the shoulders. 

Equipment

  • Dumbbells
  • Resistance band

Shoulder Press

10–15 repetitions

With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent, glutes tight and the abs engaged. Position the dumbbells in front of the shoulders with the elbows bent and pointing downward. Press both weights overhead, coming into full elbow extension at the top with the arms by the ears. Be careful to keep the spine neutral (do not arch the back). Pause and then slowly reverse the movement. The weights should stay in front of the body during the movement, not out to the side.

Plank Side Walk

4 steps to the right and 4 steps to the left, repeat twice

Assume a plank position with the hands under the shoulders and the toes on the ground. Keeping the torso rigid, step the right hand and foot out to the right, just outside shoulder-width, and then step the left hand and foot toward the midline of the body. Perform 4 steps to the right and then 4 steps to the left (leading with the left hand and foot to return to the starting location).

Side Arm Raise

10–15 repetitions

With a light dumbbell in each hand, stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent and the abs engaged. Hold the arms slightly in front of the hips, palms toward the hips. With a very slight bend in the elbow, slowly raise the weights out to the sides until the arms are parallel to the floor. Keep the arms slightly in front of the body as you lift out to the side to provide more room in the shoulder joint for this movement. Pause and then slowly reverse the movement.

Banded Pull-apart

10–15 repetitions

Hold a resistance band with the hands out in front of the shoulders with the palms facing upward. Stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent, glutes tight and the abs engaged. Slowly pull the hands apart by squeezing the backs of the shoulders and the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades. Pause and then slowly reverse the movement.

Front Arm Raise

10–15 repetitions

With a light dumbbell in each hand, stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent and the abs engaged. Hold the arms at the sides, palms toward the hips. With a very slight bend in the elbow, slowly raise the weights out in front until the arms are parallel to the floor. Pause and then slowly reverse the movement.

(Article acquired from ACE Fit/Fit Life)