The CrossFit Open is into its third week of WODs and the competition is really beginning to heat up. And so are those tired and aching muscles.
While the focus of CrossFit is muscle confusion, there is still a lot of repetition in this sport. If you don’t take the time to stretch, this can lead to muscle imbalance and injury. Yoga can help. While it might seem contradictory to combine yoga with CrossFit, there are three main benefits that can improve your WOD.
Three Main Benefits of Yoga for CrossFit
- Improves muscular imbalance and form
- Improves muscular weakness from overuse injuries
- Supports joint mobility and strength
With so many poses to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. It all depends on what your WOD involves. If it’s a heavy deadlift day, then you’ll want to focus on stretching out your lower back. Poses like child’s pose or the cross-legged reclining twist will bring instant relief. If you’re working your chest particularly heavy in your WOD, then some chest-opening poses like the cobra pose and bridge pose are good. For this article, we’re going to focus on joint strength in the ankles, shoulders and hips.
3 Essential Poses for CrossFit Athletes
Everybody’s favorite, downward dog not only stretches out the ankles and wrists, it focuses on the hamstrings, back and lats. You’ll also feel a stretch in your shoulders when you hold the pose correctly.
This pose is great for stretching out the shoulder girdle. Begin with an inhale with the arms arching overhead, then bend at the waist and fold forward, clasping your hands and bringing your arms down over your head and straight towards the floor.
This is great for opening up those hips and will also stretch out the glutes and lower back. Lying on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, cross one ankle over your knee. Now thread you hands through your legs and pull your thigh into your chest. It’s important to remember to keep your breathing controlled and steady during yoga poses.
Each pose should start with an inhale breath and as you move into the pose, exhale all the breath out. As you continue to hold the pose, breathe into the muscle you’re focusing on and repeat for 3 to 5 deep and steady breaths.
Try these three poses the next time you complete a WOD and notice the difference in your personal best.
If you’re looking for the ideal yoga bag, check out our Namaste Tote.
The Fitmark Team