Yoga for Triathletes

yoga-for-triathletesThe triathlon is a cross-train­ing sport that requires endurance, strength and the abil­i­ty to adapt to var­i­ous train­ing envi­ron­ments. But it helps to add a fourth sport to your train­ing reg­i­men: Yoga. Yoga is ide­al not only to main­tain flex­i­bil­i­ty, but to increase strength and mobil­i­ty through body­weight asanas. This keeps the body pli­able and helps decrease stiff­ness and injury. The yoga pos­es below are ide­al to main­tain flex­i­bil­i­ty in the “tight and trou­bled” areas of each sport.

Hold each pose for 30 to 60 sec­onds. Com­plete each asana twice.

Down­ward Fac­ing Dog
Ben­e­fits: Length­ens the hips, ham­strings, calves and chest.

Posi­tion the body onto all fours. Curl the back toes up and lift the hips into the air. Relax the heels and imag­ine the chest “melt­ing” toward the thighs.

Tri­an­gle Pose
Ben­e­fits: Opens the hips, obliques and chest musculature. 

Stand tall with legs three to four feet apart. Turn your right toes for­ward and kick your left heel out to 45-degrees. Raise arms to shoul­der height and reach your hand toward your shin or the floor.  Repeat on the oppo­site leg.

Low Lunge
Ben­e­fits: This posi­tion opens the hip flex­ors and quadriceps.

Start on your shins and step your right foot for­ward. Hinge the hip and “lunge” for­ward toward the front leg. Reach the arms over­head. Hold and repeat on the oppo­site leg.

Pigeon Pose
Ben­e­fits: Open the exter­nal rota­tors of the hips. (Ide­al for those who sit on bikes and suf­fer from pir­i­formis syn­drome or sci­at­i­ca due to long-dis­tance biking.)

Posi­tion the body into a plank posi­tion. Draw your right knee toward the right hand and let the shin rest on the floor. Walk your left leg behind and walk your hand for­ward and let the tor­so rest on the ground. Repeat on the oppo­site leg.

Thread the Nee­dle Pose
Ben­e­fits: Length­ens the upper back, shoul­der and neck.

Posi­tion the body on all fours. Low­er the body toward a child pose posi­tion. Place the left arm under­neath the right, shift the hips back and allow the head and shoul­ders to rest on the ground. Hold and repeat on the oppo­site side.

Seat­ed For­ward Fold
Ben­e­fits: Length­ens the pos­te­ri­or chain of the body includ­ing the low back, ham­strings, calves and the glute muscles.

Sit on the floor with legs extend­ed in front of you. Reach arms over­head. Bend from the hips and rest your hands on your legs to your point of flex­i­bil­i­ty. Allow the chest to be relaxed.