Prone internal/external shoulder rotations

Lying on your stomach with your forehead resting on the mat bring your arms out the side. Reach one arm upward and one downward like you are trying to touch your hands behind your back. From this starting position, lift your elbows as high off the ground as you can. Then straighten both arms (one overhead and one towards your feet) passing them out to the side of your body to switch positions. Throughout this exercise strive to elevate your elbows off the floor.

Plow to Candle

Starting lying flat on your back, put your hands at your side, palms down on the floor. Lifting both legs together bring them as far overhead as you can. This is the plow position – hold for a second to increase your pike flexilibility. Then send your feet up towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes and core to stabilize. Bend your knees tight into your chest and roll down slowly trying to keep your back on the ground as you return to your starting position.

Cossack Squat to Curtsy lunge

Start standing. Step one leg sideways away from your centre – lets use our right leg as an example. Bend into the right leg keeping that knee facing forward, while straightening the left leg and turning that knee to the sky (cossack squat). Transfer the weight back into the left leg and send the right leg behind the body to the left side at a diagonal squatting into both legs (curtsy lunge). For both squatting/lunging positions the chest should be kept tall and the hips sent back. If you are able to keep the travelling leg off the ground during the transitions you will increase the challenge on your standing leg.

Active Leg Circles w/rope

Lying on your back, loop a rope under your foot and around your leg from the outside of your ankle to the inside – this encourages the leg to turn out when you pull on the rope. Holding the rope with the opposite arm as the wrapped leg, sweep the leg out to the side, trying to keep it close to the ground as long as possible. Use the same side arm to assist as you run out of active flexibility, sweeping the leg through y-scale, then pulling the leg close to the chest in a pike before returning it to your starting position. Do this 5 times in each direction on each leg.

Tabletop leg extensions

Starting in tabletop position (kneeling with both arms on the ground, and back parallel to the floor) extend one leg behind you until it is straight. Lift and lower this leg 10 times. Then keeping the leg elevated, bend the knee to point your toes to the ceiling. Keeping the leg bent, press the toes up to the sky 10 times.

Frog Stretch with spinal twist

Knees out to the side in frog position, elevate one knee onto a yoga block. Keep hips in line with the knees. If your right leg is elevated you will place your left hand on the floor about a foot in front of you keeping the arm straight – then dive the right arm under your body toward your left side, resting your right shoulder on the ground at the midline of your body. To increase the spinal stretch you can then elevate your top arm (in this case the left one) toward the sky.

Prone leg drop & Prone twist

Version one: Lying on your back with your knees pulled in tight to your chest, slowly lower your knees to the ground (or as close as you can) on one side of your body. If your knees do not reach the ground you can prop them up with a pillow or yoga block. Then proceed to circle the back arm (if you dropped your legs to the right this would be your LEFT arm). Do five circles in one direction, then change direction for five more circles.

Version Two: Start lying on your side. Bend your top leg/knee into your chest and rest it on a yoga block (or two) in this bent position. Keeping your hips and shoulders stacked, turn the thumb of the top arm to the ceiling. Inhale, and as you exhale lift the arm to the ceiling and and reach for the ground behind you. Repeat this action 5 times, holding the fully twisted position on the final repetition for 30 seconds.

“Captain Morgan” stretch series

Kneeling on one knee, have your second leg turned out at 90 degrees, resembling the “Captain Morgan” stance, but kneeling 🙂 The arm on the side of the kneeling leg should be in front of the knee approximately 6 – 10 inches palm on the ground. With the arm of the standing leg, press the palm on the inside of the knee and then straighten both arms.

Stretch one: Pressing the palm into the standing knee, twist that shoulder down towards the kneeling knee. Press into the twist and release 10 times.

Stretch Two: Keeping the hands and legs the same, simply walk the standing foot a bit further away from your body. Then lunge into the standing leg, while pressing that knee back (externally rotating it further).

Nerve Flossing for hamstrings

Start seated on the ground with the bottoms of your feet against the wall, and legs straight. Keeping your back flat lean forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Keeping your legs and back straight drop your chin to your chest and then look up to the ceiling. Repeat these head motions 5 – 10 times. After every few head tilts see if you can sit further forward without breaking the straight spinal position.