Take your yoga practice to a new level by increasing your flexibility with the help of the Total Gym. If you practice yoga regularly or are just getting into a yoga practice, there is always something to work on and improve.
In order to gain flexibility, you have to train the muscles to be flexible in all range of motion. Stretching is just as important as working out. Lengthening your muscles prevents injury, helps your body move more efficiently, and it helps your muscles recover.
So, I will say, flexibility is the key to enhanced movement success.
YOGA FOR ALL
Yoga is a beautiful thing. It can be done at any age, at any physical level, and can be sustained for a lifetime. Honoring your body’s strengths and limitations will allow for growth to occur each time you practice.
That being said, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing what your body needs will help improve your overall skills and wellbeing. For instance, if you are naturally strong, you may need to work on improving your flexibility by lengthening the muscles and relaxing into a pose. However, if you are blessed with flexibility, then strength training is needed to compliment your ‘bendiness’ for muscular strength and joint stability.
STRETCH BENEFITS ON THE TOTAL GYM
The Total Gym is known for its versatility for strength training, but it’s also the perfect equipment to enhance your flexibility. Depending on the incline level, you can achieve stretches that may be difficult performing from the floor. Here are a few benefits you can expect from stretching on your Total Gym.
- The padding on the glide board allows you to comfortably position your body and relax into a stretch or pose.
Incline Accommodates Flexibility
- Typically, the higher the incline, the less intense the stretch will be by accommodating your flexibility to stretch the muscle. The lower the incline, the more intense the stretch since you will be closer to the ground.
- The glide board moves freely up and down the rails to accommodate your flexibility for a lesser or deeper stretch.
- Utilizing the cables to stretch the upper body allows you to safely move around the anchor point by rotating, bending, and opening various muscles in a specific angle.
- Incorporating daily stretches is the perfect way to end any workout to lengthen the muscles you worked, prevent injury, and enhance your yoga practice.
6 stretches to increase Flexibility for yoga
Let’s take your yoga practice to the next level by enhancing your flexibility with a series of stretches on your Total Gym.
- Perform the following stretches in the following sequence.
- Position your body comfortably to feel the stretch where your body needs it most.
- Hold each stretch for 10- 30+ seconds.
- Adjust the incline based on your flexibility needs.
- Repeat these stretches often to develop a consistent routine.
Up Dog / Down Dog
Up Dog: Stand facing the tower at the bottom base and place hands on the glide board. Extend body into a plank, then lift the chest and drop the hips while keeping the thighs actively lifted off the glide board. Keep shoulders relaxed away from ears.
- Stretches: chest, shoulders, & torso opener
Down Dog: From Up Dog, keep the legs straight as you press the hips back and extend the arms forward to create a ‘triangle’ position.
- Stretches: hamstring, hips, & torso lengthening
Seated Forward Fold
- Open and sit at the bottom of the glide board. Position feet inside the base and extend the legs. Keep the spine extended, hinge forward from the hips and reach towards the feet.
- Stretches: hamstrings & hips, lengths spine
Seated Figure 4
- From the previous stretch, bend one leg and place it on the opposite thigh. Bend the extended leg and hinge slightly forward to feel the stretch in the hips. Move the glide board for more flexibility.
- Stretches: hips, outer thigh, piriformis
- Facing the tower, bend one knee to the outer edge of the glide board and extend the back leg. Fold the chest over the front knee and keep the hips square to relax into the stretch.
- Stretches: hip opener & glutes
Runners Lunge +quad
- Facing the tower, position one leg in a lunge on the floor and extend the other leg on the glide board. Relax into the stretch. To stretch the quad, bend the leg on the glide board and pull the heel towards the glutes.
- Stretches: quad & hip flexor
Seated Cable Chest Opener
- Connect the cables. Sit facing away from the tower holding onto the cables in each hand. Open the arms to the sides and lean forward, rotate to sides, or slide the glide board down the rails to feel the stretch where needed.
- Stretches: chest, shoulders, & torso
Check out the video to see how these stretches are performed on your Total Gym.
Utilizing the Total Gym for stretching techniques will improve your flexibility skills and enhance your yoga practice. Flexibility is the key to longevity!