If you are one of these people that love to work out, you should understand the importance of being flexible.
When you are a flexible person you can achieve a wider range of motion. Some exercises may strain your muscles when they aren’t very flexible, but when your muscles are able to have a greater range of motion, you won’t be hurting yourself just to complete some movements.
Flexibility will also help prevent injuries. As mentioned earlier, sometimes you strain your muscles just to finish a movement. When you are flexible, your muscles are able to move with more freedom leading to fewer injuries.
Flexible muscles will also help improve your performance in the gym. Because your muscles have fewer restrictions on their movements, they will be able to do more during your workout.
Hamstrings Are the Core
You’ll be surprised to learn that a lot of body issues happen because of the hamstrings.
Having flexible hamstrings can help with a lot of the problems you are having. A lot of people experience lower back pain for multiple reasons. Your hamstrings are connected with your lower back so it makes sense that when you’re able to bend and have a bigger range of motion with your hamstrings, your lower back will not have nearly as much pain.
Crazy to think that inflexible hamstrings can cause issues with your back.
These 16 yoga poses are meant to help you improve your flexibility. The more yoga you practice the more you’ll find some pains disappearing.
I’m not going to tell you that yoga is magical but yoga is magical.
1. Downward Facing Dog
This will stretch both of your hamstrings at the same time. At first, you won’t want to try and be deep in this stretch. As time progresses, slowly go deeper and deeper into the stretch. This will also help stretch your achilles and ankles.
While doing this pose, make sure you keep your heels glued to the ground to get the full effect of it.
2. Head to Knee Forward Bend
You will need to do the pose for both legs. You aren’t expected to actually get your head to your knee right away. Over time, you will be able to get there.
3. Seated Forward Bend
Being seated for the pose as opposed to standing will allow your knees to stay straighter, allowing for a proper stretch of the hamstrings. If you bend your knees, you will not be getting the stretch that you could. Your back will get a much better stretch as well when you are able to keep your legs straight.
4. Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend
You will feel this stretch in your hamstrings and groin. We aren’t saying you should be trying to get into a split, but it will be beneficial for you to get your legs as wide as they can go. Remember to keep your legs as straight as possible while doing this.
5. Standing Half-Forward Bend
The half bend doesn’t put as much stress on your back. You aren’t straining to get through the stretch. You will still be getting the stretch you need in your hamstrings.
6. Wide-Angle Forward Bend
Just like the seated wide angle forward bend, this has the same effects. This is just a simple variation. You will be standing for this one which can allow you to get deeper into the stretch depending on your flexibility at the time.
Having hip flexibility is something that cannot be overlooked. When you are flexible in your hips, you have a much wider range of motion with your legs. If you are somebody that has to sit at a desk all day, your hips can get tight really easy. Flexible hips will help prevent your hips from getting as tight throughout the day.
7. Bound Angle Pose
You may feel as though this is stretching more of your groin, but this is doing the job when it comes to opening up your hips. The goal is to try and get your knees to touch the ground. Although this is likely to not happen right away, force your legs down as far as possible. Lean into the pose to get a much deeper stretch.
A lunge may sound like an exercise that is only done when you’re doing a leg workout. When it comes to yoga, a lunge allows you to get a deep stretch for your hips. It’s important to hold this pose when you are doing for some period of time. If you don’t hold it, you aren’t going to get the stretch you need.
9. Pigeon Pose
You will be stretching the outside of your hips with the pigeon pose. If you are lacking some flexibility to begin with, you won’t be able to really sit into this pose. Use your hands to hold yourself up and ease into the stretch until you are able to finally get to the ground and lean into the stretch.
10. Goddess Pose
This is similar to a sumo squat that you hold. The wider you are able to get your legs, the better the stretch. Along with stretching and opening up your hips, you’ll be building strength in your hamstrings and quads.
11. Child’s Pose
Child’s pose is great for opening up your hips. When you sit back into the pose, you will also be getting a slight stretch in your lower back and glutes.
Having a flexible back will prevent a lot of back pain that many people experience on a daily basis. Back injuries are very dangerous to somebody so when you are able to increase your flexibility and decrease your chances of injuries, you will be sitting pretty.
You should really be careful and make sure your back can handle these poses before you dive into them.
12. Cobra Pose
Make sure you keep your hips firmly on the ground trying to be your back as much as you can. If you haven’t done much stretching of your back at all, you will notice that you won’t be able to bend much at all. Over time, you should be able to bend more and more.
13. Upward Facing Dog
You’ll find that this is very similar to the cobra pose. Instead of keeping your hips on the ground, you push yourself up and have your arms straight while you try to force your hips to the ground. The key to this pose is keeping your arms straight.
14. Bow Pose
This pose will feel awkward at first. You may not even be able to do it at first. As your flexibility increases, you will be able to achieve this pose with ease. When you are able to get this pose down, you will notice that you will look like a bow from a bow and arrow.
15. Camel Pose
You can say this is similar to the bow pose except you are on your knees while doing it. This pose should be easier to achieve than the bow pose, but will still be difficult if you don’t have a flexible back.
16. King Cobra Pose
This is just like the cobra pose but with one difference, you will be bending your legs at the knees. Because of that little lift, your back will be getting that extra stretch. Be careful because if you push yourself too much with this, you may be at risk for a serious injury.
Be Patient with Your Flexibility
Remember that increasing your flexibility makes life that much easier when you are on a fitness journey. Fewer injuries and being able to do more work sounds like a good combination.
With all of these poses, make sure to ease into each one because if you overstretch while trying to get into the proper pose, you will be injuring yourself and setting yourself back with your fitness goals.
The flexibility will come. It’s something that you have to go slow with and take your time with. Being patient with these yoga poses will soon get you to a point of flexibility that will give you as much range of motion as you want.