Yoga is a great low-impact exercise choice that can help increase flexibility and strengthen core muscles. Yoga can also help lower cortisol levels in the body by reducing stress. Increasing flexibility by practicing yoga can help increase functional fitness levels and can help reduce chronic aches and pains by giving the body a good stretch.
When fitness professionals and enthusiasts are studying how to get a physical trainer certification, they will study many stretches that come from yoga. Using yoga movements for increased flexibility can help their clients loosen up to train harder. It can help aid in recovery and speed up recovery time after a hard workout by helping the lactic acid build up in the muscles work its way out. There are many different yoga exercises that you can use to increase your flexibility.
The Forward Bend yoga pose is an easy start for beginners who want to increase flexibility. The forward bend is performed sitting down with your legs in front of you. Lean into the pose and reach your toes if you can. Some individuals are flexible enough to touch their nose to their knees! This move gives a good stretch to the hamstrings. This move can be modified in a variety of ways. You do not have to go into a deep stretch. Allow yourself the time to build up to a deeper stretch. You should never strain or injure yourself trying to do a pose. Everyone has different levels of flexibility and all individuals can increase flexibility with time.
The Triangle pose is another great stretch for added flexibility in the legs and this pose can also release tension in the lower back. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and reach one hand to your opposite foot and raise the other hand over your head to the ceiling. This move can be modified as well. For those with greater flexibility, you can touch your toes or even the ground. For those that are new to yoga and stretching, you can reach down as far as you are comfortable going. When you feel a slight tug in your hamstrings that is the stretch you want to feel. Do not force yourself to go deeper if your flexibility is not there yet or if you experience muscle cramping. It will come with time as you become more consistent with your yoga and stretching routine.
Trainers that have Yoga or Pilates certifications can help you find stretches which will help increase your flexibility. Any fitness instructor that has passed their CPT exams can also demonstrate yoga exercises and watch your form to make sure you are doing them safely and correctly.
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