I'm a Yoga Instructor, and These Are the 4 Stretches I Always Do After Deadlifting
I love the feel of a barbell between my hands. And thanks to my CrossFit coaches and community of kick-butt, strong-ass ladies, I'm totally inspired to add extra plates to my bar and lift heavy. I always feel confident and unstoppable after deadlifting, but I know if I don't stretch afterward, my lower back, glutes, hips, and hamstrings are gonna be so sore, it'll be hard to walk down the stairs for days. As a yoga instructor, these are the four basic stretches I always make time for to target my lower body. I always head to the back of the room; stretching after class not only feels great on my muscles, but it's also a great time to chat it up with my fellow CrossFitters.
Extended Wide Squat
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Bend your knees and lower your hips down toward the ground. If your heels don't touch the ground, roll up a towel or the back of your mat and place it under your heels for support.
- Bring your palms together at your heart center and firmly press your elbows against the insides of your knees. This will help to open your hips even further.
- After five breaths, release your hands to the floor and walk them away from your feet to increase the stretch in your hips and lower back. Hold for another five breaths.
- Sit down with your feet about three to four feet apart (not as wide as you can go). Reach back with your right hand and move the flesh of your right bum cheek away from you, then do the same with your left. This will help your pelvis ground more firmly so you can stretch your hamstrings more effectively.
- Sit tall, reaching your head away from your hips, and draw your belly and ribs in. Keep that length as you begin to fold forward at your waist, sliding your hands down your legs or on the floor in front of your head.
- Go down as far as you need to feel a stretch in your hamstrings, but you don't want to feel pain.
- Hold here for five breaths. Then walk your hands over to your right leg, hold for another five breaths, and then repeat over the left leg.
- Sit on the ground, bend both knees, and bring your feet together. Using your hands, open your feet up like a book. Use your leg muscles to press your knees down toward the floor.
- Lengthen your spine, drawing your belly button inward. Relax your shoulders and gaze either in front of you or toward your feet. Stay here for five breaths, then slowly fold forward, drawing your torso toward your legs. Remember to try to keep your spine straight.
- Rest your hands on your feet, pressing your knees down with your arms, or if you want more of a stretch, extend your arms out in front of you. Stay here for another five breaths.
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your left knee and place your knee, shin, and foot on the floor so they're parallel with your pelvis. Bend your right knee, and place it on top so your knees, shins, and ankles are stacked. You'll know you're doing it right when you gaze down and see that your legs make a little triangle.
- You may find your top knee to be high up toward the ceiling. It's OK! It just means that your hips are tight, so just stay where you are and breathe.
- To make this pose more intense, place your hands in front of your shins and walk them out as far as you can, folding your chest toward your legs.
- Stay here for five breaths, slowly release, then switch legs so your left knee is on top.