FITNESS: Yoga with Lynette, 20 minute balance and stability routine

Including a balance and stability routine into your riding schedule will have a positive impact on your performance and overall health. Working on these areas also increases the chances of you saving a crash and, if you do crash, reduces the chance of injury on impact. We asked Lynette to create a specific routine to benefit trail riders, E-Bikers, roadies and the XCO crew to improve knee, ankle and foot strength. This particular routine is designed to be done as a right side sequence, and then repeated as a left side.

1. Iron Foot Stool

Standing with your feet hips width apart. Pick up all your toes and spread them, placing them back down baby toe to big toe. Start by drawing your heels off the floor and then lower into a ‘seated’ position. Reach forward with your arms for balance. Rise as high as you can onto the balls of your feet to actively work your ankle, knees and toes. Return to standing by reversing the movement and resisting gravity. The movement should be slow (both up and down movements) and deliberate to activate quads, knees, ankles and toes. Hold for 5 breathes.

2. Aeroplane

Transfer your weight onto the supporting foot and with a slight bend in that leg, extend the opposite leg behind you. Rock your weight forward as your leg elevates. Keep your shoulders and hips square. Arms are out to the side with an extension in the wrist and the palms facing outwards. Keep actively working within the pose by drawing your armpits down towards your hips and elevating through the back leg, using the hamstring and glutes. Hold for 5 breaths.

3. Proud warrior

Transitioning from the previous pose by drawing the leg from behind you forward, bringing it towards the body with a bend in the knee. Keep a slight bend on the supporting leg. Move slowly and with control. Let your breathe follow the movement. Keep the hips and shoulders square. Keep drawing your knee to chest, use your hands below your knee for support. Start to lengthen through the supporting leg and keep your pelvis under you. Drop your shoulder blades down your back. Activate the inner arch of your standing foot while actively drawing the leg towards and lengthening through the body. Hold for 5 breaths.

4. Rotated kicking warrior

Keeping the leg elevated from the previous pose, place your opposite hand below your elevated knee for support. Place the free hand on the base of the spine, now move and lengthen simultaneously from the base of the spine to the tip of the head in an inward rotation. Breathing in as you move to resist restriction in the torso as you turn. Think navel, ribs, shoulders, head. Return to a neutral spine, keeping leg elevated. Hold for 5 breaths.

5. Unsupported Half Moon

Release the hold on the elevated leg and transition through the midline, still staying on the supporting leg. Extend the leg back, first find your stability, then start to find your length. Start to open up on the hip by stacking your hips onto one another. Open up through the torso by moving from the base of the spine to the tip of the head, keep your gaze to the floor. Think navel, ribs, arms. Opening the arms, stacking one shoulder on top of the other. Open up on the palms, spread the fingers. Actively work the extended leg and open up on the chest. Hold for 5 breaths.

6. Twisted Chair

From the previous movement, transition to standing, place big toes together and heels apart. Take a seat, connect your knees as you move once more into the rotated position. Bring your hands to prayer by your sternum, place your opposite elbow on the outside of knee for support as you rotate. Move from the base of the spine to the tip of the head. Breathe in as you rotate. Think navel, ribs, shoulders, head.  Start to press the hands together to enable a degree or two more of rotation. Bring yourself back to a neutral spine before you press through the feet and legs and roll up gently through the spine to standing. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat all movements in this sequence working on the opposite side.

Lynette Morris designs and instructs yoga routines for riders looking to improve performance, release muscular pains, improve overall health and mental focus. Lynette has taught yoga for over 10 years across the globe and is passionate about using movement to enhance athletic performance and recovery.  @lynwmorris

Images: Wayne Reiche @waynereiche



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