Bodybuilders and athletes constantly place pressure on joints and muscles through weight lifting and running. Incorporating certain yoga poses into the daily routine can minimize the stress on the body by improving the alignment of muscles and protection of joints. Many athletes stick to back squats but there are some athletes who cannot tolerate heavy weights. It is no surprise that many people believe that yoga only serves as a means of stretching the body and relaxes the mind while bodybuilding is the activity for the guys who want to build deadlift trucks.
But here’s the secret. Both bodybuilding and yoga are the absolute fitness formulas to have a strong body and to develop mental fortitude. Here are the best yoga poses for both athletes and bodybuilders.
Let’s begin with yoga poses for bodybuilders.
1. Plank Pose
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Plank pose contributes to strengthen the deep abdominals and stabilize the spine. It also helps you sharpen the muscles around collarbones and shoulder muscles. For plank, assume that you are in push-up position, slowly bend your elbows and lower down your forearms. Pull your heels above the toes, keep your head in line with the spine in such a way that your body is in one long line. Be in the posture for 10-15 seconds. You can gradually increase the posture time with practice.
2. Standing Forward Bend Pose
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Standing Forward Bend pose or Uttanasana lengthens your hamstrings and works as a healer in releasing the tension. It can be used as a resting pose while doing different exercises. To begin with the pose, stand tall with your feet together. Slowly bend forward and try to touch the ground with the fingers. Don’t worry if you are not able to touch it to the ground, you can also bend your knees slightly to make this work. Just go as much low as you can, hold the pose for a while and breathe normally. Exhale, bend your knees and come out of the pose slowly.
3. Cobra Pose
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Cobra pose is a backbending pose that strengthens the muscles of the spine and stretches the shoulders. Lie on your belly on the flat surface, keeping the fingertips pointing forward. Inhale and straighten your arms while lifting the chest off the floor. Make sure that you lift your body at a height in a way that you can maintain a strong and comfortable connection of bones and legs on the floor. Be in the position for a while, exhale and return to the original position.
Now here are some yoga poses for athletes.
1. Dolphin Pose
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The dolphin pose majorly targets the middle back, calves, lower back and outer thighs. Get down on the floor with your knees and hands. Set your knees in such a way that your forearms and hips with your shoulders lie directly above your wrists. Next, exhale, and lift and your knees away from the floor. Initially, you can keep your knees slightly bent and heels lifted from the floor. Push the forearms actively to the floor. Hold your head between the upper arms, or press heavily on the floor. Be in the position for a while and exhale to be back in the original posture.
2. Supported Backbend Pose
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Use blocks or anything to support your upper back and head. Lie on your back with palms facing upwards with your sides. You can also remove the block under your head if you do not feel comfortable. Supported backbend pose improves poor posture, relieves the stiffness in the upper back etc.
3. Boat Pose
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Boat pose strengthens the core muscles of the body. It tones the abdominal muscles while strengthening the lower back. In addition, this pose also improves the digestion and also stimulates the abdominal organs. To begin with the pose, be seated with your knees and feet flat on the floor, keep your hands beside your hips for a support. Lean back slightly, keep your spine straight and lift your feet in a way that the thighs are angled about 40-45 degrees to the floor. Try keeping your knees straight; if not possible, bend your knees keeping the shins parallel to the floor. Stretch your arms alongside legs; you may keep the hands beside your hips if not comfortable. Initially, be in the position for 20-30 seconds, then gradually increase the time.