FITNESS: Yoga with Lynette, 20-minute Upper Body Stretch

Improve your flexibility, range of motion and your performance on the bike with this upper body stretch routine from Lynette.


CAT-COW POSE – Move into a 4 point base position. Shoulders stacking over the elbows and wrists while hips are stacking over knees. Place the tops of the feet on the mat. Head neutral with the spine. To create the cat shape, speed fingers and press your palms into the floor – push away from the floor and spread your shoulder blades apart. Simultaneously start to tuck your pelvis under you, drawing your pelvis towards your belly button. Let your breath follow your movement. On your next inhale: Create the cow shape: reverse the movement through a neutral spine and this time tilt your tailbone up to the sky – while moving into the shape, keep lengthening through the spine so not to jam your lower back. Take your gaze slightly up being aware not to crunch your neck. Move through Cat-Cow rolling your inhales and exhales – move slowly and be mindful. We are looking to create mobility in your spine through flexion and extension.



Thread the needle, yoga

THREAD THE NEEDLE – Staying in your 4 point base position. Lift one hand, turn palm facing up and thread the arm under the opposite armpit and through to lie the back of your hand on the floor, thread it through until your threading arms shoulder is on the floor and take your gaze towards the threaded arms palm. Let the movement happen naturally. Stay in the pose for 6 breaths. Reverse the movement and repeat on the opposite side.



Down dog yoga

DOWNDOG – Stay in your 4 point base position. Take your sit bones to your heels, place your palms on the floor with spread fingers and arms shoulder-width apart. Visualize lengthening through the spine to create one long line from the base of your spine to the top of your head through to the tips of your fingers. Tuck your toes and start to press your palms into the floor, while sending your sit bones to the sky. Maintain the length of the spine while extending on the backs of the legs. Extend to your ability without sacrificing the straight line of your spine. The majority of athletes legs are bent due to tight hamstrings. Take your gaze to your toes, release the neck. The work starts by pressing away from the floor to create the length of spine, keep the eyes of your elbows facing each other. relax the breath and try to draw your ribs in without disturbing the breath. Hold for 6 breaths.



ARCHER POSE – In your down dog position, transition to a lunge position. Keep your hands placed on either side of your front foot. Let one arm draw back the arrow on a bow. Bend your back knee and transfer the weight into the front foot. Start to stand, keeping the opposite arm extended as if you were holding a bow and arrow. Try to keep your shape square to the front, transitioning the weight onto both legs evenly. To create a twist in the upper body, push forward on the bow and keep drawing the arrow back for thoracic stretch. Reverse the movement and repeat on the left from your downdog position.



WIDE-LEGGED FORWARD BEND WITH THORACIC TWIST – Standing along your mat, place your feet wider than hips width apart and your hands on your hips. Place a block or pile two thick books in front of you, centre to your body. Take your gaze up without tilting the head back and start to lengthen through the spine and simultaneously fold forward from the hips – creating a sense of open heart and length but be aware not to arch your spine in the process. Be mindful. When reaching the table top shape, place your hands on the block (books), palms together. Move from the base of the spine to the top of the head. think navel, ribs, shoulders head. Inhaling so not to restrict the torso. Slowly start to draw your right palm up to the sky tracing a straight line up your left arm across your chest in an external rotation. Extend through to the fingertips and lastly let the head follow to a comfortable position. Keep reaching and breathing.



Squat assisted yoga

SQUAT, ASSISTED – Stand square to your bike or a chair. Place feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Root your feet to the ground and move your sitting bones towards the floor while gazing forward. You will need to adjust your feet accordingly as everyone’s hips are different. Pause when your femurs are horizontal to the floor, then mindfully lower further if your achilles allows. Come up onto the balls of your feet if you need too. Lengthen through the spine, keep your gaze low and toes planted. The stretch will be the lower and thoracic spine.



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

ENDS.


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