PSA: Pre-order your YBC Mantra Box today before they're all sold out and discover new favorite brands in the health and wellness industries. And don't forget, we have the NYC weekend yoga retreat and Utah weekend yoga retreat coming up!
Recently I've been getting some requests for pre-workout yoga warm-ups and cool downs so today I'm sharing some yoga poses you can do to open up the upper body for a good chest day at the gym. Breathe 5 - 7 breaths for all of the poses above before taking it to the other side if applicable.
1. Cow face arms - Don't ask me why this is called cow face, it makes zero sense to me but what do I know?! Anyway, this is a fantastic stretch for the triceps, chest and shoulder area. It's really intense, though, so I definitely recommend using a yoga strap or resistance band if the flexibility isn't there for you yet.
2. Mini backbend - This front body opener is a favorite of mine because it's gentle, yet effective. Take the feet hip distances, bend the knees, and lean back while lifting your heart. The lift in the chest is key, as it will help prevent the low back collapse into the spine which we definitely want to avoid. Let the head go back if that's ok for the neck.
3. Rag doll pose variation - I like this variation with the fingers interlaced and the arms behind the back because we kill two birds with one stone - we open up the hamstrings (a necessity!) and we get a good stretch in the chest with the arms behind the back. If you're super tight in the chest and clasping the hands isn't in your practice just yet, grab opposite elbows instead.
4. Intense shoulder stretch - I la-la-love this shoulder stretch and it's always a class favorite when I sneak it into sequences. Do this pose last because it's pretty intense and you want to be sure you're at least a little bit warmed up. Breathe 5 to 7 breaths and then take it to the other side.
Let's talk: What other yoga sequences would you like to see in picture form? Any particular areas you'd like to focus on? Don't forget you can request yoga videos over on the Yoga Forum.