We’ll go by which set of muscles each yoga pose works the most or is best for, but know that the great thing about yoga is that many poses work a bunch of different major muscle groups at once!
Yoga poses for stretching your legs
Since we’re all about running and cycling, let’s start with the legs! Warmed up and limber legs are needed before a workout to prevent cramps, and after a run or after a ride on a cycle, you need to prioritize stretching out your leg muscles, which just did the bulk of the work. Some good poses that involve leg stretches include:
Downward-facing dog: stretches out the hamstrings and calves, in addition to the glutes and lower back.
Warrior II and reverse warrior: stretches out the hip flexors and inner thighs.
Eagle pose: promotes stability especially of the calves, as well as helps with balance.
Yoga poses for your core muscles
Think of your core muscles as the foundation of your strength. A good core gives you better stability, better posture, and better form when working out. Here are some great yoga poses for stretching and strengthening your core.
Reverse warrior pose: this pose gives your obliques, the muscles on either side of your abdomen, a very good stretch.
Triangle pose: this one works the transversis abdominus muscles. These are the deepest muscles located in your core.
Plank pose: very good for working the abs!
Yoga poses for glutes
Your glutes are an important extension of your legs, and lead to the lower back. Try these yoga poses for some good glute-stretching, strengthening, and toning.
Bridge pose: This is an excellent all-round strengthening pose, but gives the glutes, in particular, a strong squeeze!
Yoga poses for stretching the back and chest
Don’t forget your back and chest—even (and maybe especially) if you’re just working out on the bike, these muscle groups can get tight if neglected. Along with our core muscles, they contribute to good posture, and a good back stretch can prevent muscle strains and pains in the back.
Cat/cow pose: each of these is a pose in and of itself, but often the two are done together for a good back and spine stretch.
Reverse prayer pose: this pose opens up your chest.
Cactus arms while laying down: this gives your back a relaxing, flattening break, while cactus arms in this position stretches out the pectoral muscles.
Yoga poses for stretching the arms and shoulders
Last but not least, we have the arms and shoulders. You might be tempted to look past them if they don’t factor heavily in your usual workout, but don’t! Even if you’re not really going to put them to much use, they could use a good stretch. And the shoulders play a big part in maintaining good posture.
Eagle arms pose: this stretches out the muscles within your upper arms (biceps and triceps) and your shoulders.
Cobra pose: this is a good all-around stretch for the front of your upper body, and also gives the arms and shoulder a good pull.
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