Loosening up tight lower-body muscle tissue like your hamstrings and quads has big implications to your exercises and your restoration. And including in a lower-body yoga circulate to your routine is an effective way to reap these rewards.
Perhaps you are attempting to perfect your form for a deadlift, however it appears like you’ll be able to’t ease down into that hip hinge fairly proper. Otherwise you need to improve your running speed, however you are languishing on a plateau. Whereas there are various components that go into enhancing efficiency in power or cardio exercises, loosening up tight decrease physique muscle tissue can play big dividends with it.
So, how did these muscle tissue get rubber-band-level tight within the first place? Sitting an excessive amount of is a well-known perpetrator, in keeping with London-based yoga instructor Jen Landesberg, RYT, an teacher at health app EvolveYou. Based on the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a complete lot of sitting places your hamstring muscle tissue in a shortened place, which might result in that all-too-familiar sense of tightness. Your hip flexors—a bunch of muscle tissue within the entrance of your physique that features a part of your quads and your psoas—can tighten up too.
“You go out of your automobile to your desk to your couch, and your quads and hamstrings are in the identical place for every,” she tells SELF. “That is continually shortening your muscle tissue.”
On the flip facet, train may also result in tightness, too. Cardio workouts, like operating, and power coaching—particularly in the event you’re lifting heavier weights with compound actions like deadlifts or squats—can result in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), in keeping with ACE. This soreness can result in stiffness in your muscle tissue, which might make your muscle tissue really feel tight. (DOMs in your quads and hamstrings is frequent after a lower-body exercise, however in the event you really feel sharp ache, or the discomfort doesn’t go away in a number of days, be sure you see a PT or a health care provider.)
Yoga-inspired strikes or stretches might be useful to counteract this tightness—and it typically does not take lengthy to see a distinction, Landesberg says. Normally just some poses a day totaling about 10 minutes of stretching can present reduction from muscle stress.
And that’s a profit you’ll be able to really feel not solely in your on a regular basis life, but additionally throughout your exercise: It could possibly assist enhance train efficiency since it may enable your muscle teams to work extra effectively collectively, which additionally improves your vary of movement. Plus, Landesberg says, easing this tightness by yoga-inspired strikes helps enhance joint mobility, improve blood circulate to your muscle tissue—useful for restoration—and immediately alleviate stress in your decrease again and hips.
Landesberg created the four-move, lower-body yoga circulate under particularly to loosen up your tight quads and hamstrings. You possibly can attempt it as a standalone routine to interrupt up time spent sitting, however it’s additionally actually nice for a cool-down stretch routine after a tough exercise. By biking by staples just like the excessive crescent lunge, downward canine, low lunge, and lizard pose, you’ll loosen up your decrease physique and ease away all that stress.
What you want: Yoga mat or a carpeted flooring for good grip.
- Excessive crescent lunge
- Downward canine
- Low lunge
- Lizard pose
- Purpose to carry every pose for 30 seconds—which is about 5 deep breaths. Move from one pose to the following with out resting. Do three rounds.