5 Yoga Poses for Triathletes

For most athletes the majority of training requires repetitive movements, strengthening certain muscles which will be beneficial to producing optimum performance in particular sports. That’s awesome! For those sports. What it does mean is that the opposite muscle groups can become imbalanced and in everyday life the body can feel tight and lopsided in places.


Getting in a yoga session at least once a week will help to identify and rectify these imbalances, nourishing the body, but also calming the mind bringing increased focus.


There are a bunch of postures that are hugely beneficial but for triathletes specifically, the key muscles to target are the hips, glutes and psoas. While the hips and psoas can be tight from consistent shortening i.e., running and cycling, the glutes are often a neglected group of muscles as the body relies on the powerful legs and arms (swimming) to propel the athlete forwards.


Here are 5 poses that target these 3 areas. Give them a go!


1.Chair pose “Utkatasana”


Benefits:

  • Switches on the glutes and thighs

  • Opens up the front of the chest and strengthens the shoulders

  • Great for posture; engages the core

  • Stretches the ankles and strengthens the feet

  • Encourages the feeling of grounding to combat anxiety or a generally busy mind

Modifications:

  • In the case of low blood pressure or shoulder injury arms can be forwards or on the hips.


2. Crescent lunge


Benefits:

  • Deep psoas stretch (front of pelvis)

  • Strengthens legs

  • Engages and stabilises the hips and core

  • Improves balance

  • Stretches feet

  • Mood boosting

Modifications:

  • In the case of low blood pressure or shoulder injury arms can be forwards or on the hips.

  • Untuck back toes for ankle pain

  • Place blanket under knee for extra padding if tender


3. Half splits “half hanuman”


Benefits:

  • Deep hamstring stretch

  • Stretches the feet and ankles

  • Engages core

  • Improves balance

Modifications:

  • Place blanket under knee for extra padding if tender

  • Untuck back toes for ankle pain

  • Bend front leg as much as needed depending on tightness of hamstring

  • Place hands on blocks to offer more height for tighter hip flexors


4. Cobbler’s pose “baddha konasana”


Benefits:

  • Opens up hip joints encouraging flexibility and mobility

  • Improves posture

  • Engages and strengthen all back muscles

Modifications:

  • Place cushions or blocks under knees for support if hips are tighter

  • Stay further upright if spine begins to collapse forwards or if hip flexors are tighter

Check out this pose in action here.


5. Bridge pose


Benefits:

  • Opens up the front of the body; chest, hips, quads

  • Engages and strengthens glutes

  • Grounding to calm the mind


Modifications:

  • Place block at the base of the spine for supported bridge should glues be weaker or in the case of abdominal injury

  • If knees splay open squeeze a block between the legs or place a strap around the thighs

  • Place a rolled up towel or small blanket under neck if tender

Contact our yoga instructor Zoe for more information on how yoga can benefit triathletes.

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