Tired of Boring Stretches? Try These Injury-Preventing Yoga Positions
Stretching before and after your shift is always a good idea. Stretching helps you prevent injuries like muscle cramps, sprains, soreness and ligament tears. It can also help old injuries heal while helping you feel energized. But, sometimes, you get tired of doing the same stretches day after day.
If you’re ready to shake up your warm-up and cooldown routines with some variety, consider adding a few classic yoga poses into the mix. Yoga has been used for thousands of years to help people stay strong and limber. Today, it remains a great way to stretch and target muscle groups that need some extra TLC.
Consider trying these classic yoga poses:
- Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana): This classic yoga posture not only stretches out those tight hamstrings but also helps relieve stress from everyday activities. Start in a tabletop position on all fours, then press through hands into the floor while lifting your hips up towards the ceiling into a “V” shape. Make sure your shoulders stay rolled away from your ears throughout this movement. Hold for five deep breaths.
- Raised Arm Pose (Hasta Uttanasana): This pose can help strengthen your upper body and core muscles while opening up the chest and shoulders. Stand straight with feet together or hip-width apart. Raise both arms up above your head with palms facing each other. Press the palms firmly together or bring them as close as possible without causing discomfort in the shoulders, and gently arch your back.
- Chair Pose (Utkatasana): This powerful pose helps stimulate the legs, glutes and core. Stand straight with your feet slightly apart and raise your arms above shoulder level with palms facing inward towards each other. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor while keeping your back straight, almost like you are sitting in an invisible chair.
- How often do you stretch before and after your shift?
- How often do you try new stretches?
- Do you have a “problem area” that is prone to injury? What kind of stretches and strength exercises could you start using to target this area?