Yoga poses for power walkers

Earlier this week I talked about the benefits of power walking http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/walking-my-way-to-stronger-bones.html  I mentioned that yoga would help release the muscles that power walking tightened.  Power walking is wonderful but it can tighten your hamstrings and lead to stiffness in the hips.  The following poses will help reverse this tendency and strengthen the ankles and knees which have to work hard when power walking.  

Supta padagusthasana sequence (releases hamstrings and opens hips) 




Start lying down. Bend your right knee and take a belt (or dressing gown tie) around the ball of the right foot. Holding the belt in two hands raise your right leg to 45 degrees (if this feels like it is a strain on your lower back modify the pose by having your left knee bent).   Straighten your right leg by pressing your right heel away from you (hello hamstrings!!). Relax your shoulders.  As you hold the pose, your hamstrings may start to release and you will find that you can bring your leg closer in.  Now take both sides of the belt in your right hand and press your left hip down with your left hand.   Take your right leg up and out, bending your knee if you need to. Bend your knee to draw your leg back in and release your right leg back down.  Notice how your right leg feels compared to your left before repeating the sequence with your left leg. 

Keyhole Stretch (opens up the hips) 



Remain lying down and bend your knees.  Bring your right foot onto your left t thigh flexing your foot to protect your knee.  The nearer your foot is to your groin, the more intense the pose, the nearer to your knee, the less intense.  To go further, post your right hand through the gap made by your right leg and join hands with the left hand behind the left thigh.  Keep your head and neck relaxed.  You could place your head on a cushion.  If you cannot reach use a belt around the thigh.  If you have no knee problems, you could hold your left shin for greater intensity still.  Repeat with the left leg. Come onto all fours.  

Knee down lunge (opens the hips, stretches the  quadriceps, which are the large thigh muscles)



From all fours, bring the right foot through, making sure your knee tracks directly over you ankle.  You should feel a stretch in your left quadricep.  Hold for a few breaths then switch sides.  Make your way to standing.

Fierce Pose (strengthens and stretches the muscles around your ankles and knee and your quadricep muscles) 



Stand with your feet at hip distance.  Breathe in and lift your arms up, breathe out and bend your knees deeply as if you are about to sit in a chair which is a little too far back.  Hold for a few breaths, then breathe in straighten your legs, breathe out float your arms down.

Ankle strengthener 


 


Stand up straight.  Raise your right foot just and inch or two from the floor.  Now close your eyes.  Your ankle muscles will have to work very hard to keep you steady!!  It's harder than you think!!

These poses can be practiced before or after power walking (or both). 
A bath with a scoop of epsom salts or a massage with sweet almond massage oil are also great for relieving sore muscles.

I have two yoga videos on my YouTube channel, 'Flexiladiesyoga' ,'Yoga to compliment summer activities' which you may find useful to watch. The links are below.

'Yoga to compliment summer activities -Running - Part 1' -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skrrcE0H904
'Yoga to compliment summer activities -Running - Part 2' -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QflwQ4bH0UM

Happy power walking!
Janet x

1 comment:

  1. They're well-constructed, fit exactly how I expected (I'm 5'10" 125 lbs and the XS is great for me, even though they're probably shorter than on the model shown). The color of alo yoga was perfect for what I wanted and the material is soft and breathable.

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