- Mark's Daily Apple - https://www.marksdailyapple.com -

A Power Yoga Flow to Improve Functional Strength

Today’s post is offered up by the good folks at PaleoHacks.com [1]. I’ve always been a fan of at-home, bodyweight workouts, as many of you know, and this routine is worth adding to the rotation. Enjoy, everyone.

A Power Yoga Flow is just what you need to improve your functional strength, mobility and stability. But you may be wondering: ”What is functional strength?”

Functional strength is just what it sounds like—the strength to function in your daily life. Many of the movements you do regularly require lifting [2], bending, stepping, squatting, twisting, muscular endurance and more. A lack of functional strength makes life more difficult. You may get fatigued or winded simply by doing everyday tasks. By following a functional strength and mobility sequence [3] like this Power Yoga Flow just a few times per week, you can increase your functional strength [4].

Good form is essential to maximizing your results while minimizing any risk for injury. Be sure to pay attention to your breath and the alignment of your body, and carefully follow the descriptions and images of each move. Take this practice at your own pace: precision and accuracy count more than speed!

Follow each of these nine exercises as a flow sequence for the number of reps given. Do this routine up to four times per week to see incredible results in your functional strength, mobility, and stability.

All you need is a yoga mat!

NOTE:

You might be sore the day after following this. If so, go for a light walk and do some gentle stretching. As you continue to progress, the soreness will subside.

Reverse Lunge Overhead Reach | 10 reps (5 per side alternating)

  1. Start by standing tall at the top of your mat with feet together.
  2. Place both hands on your hips.
  3. Take a very large step back with your left foot and bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle.
  4. Lift your left hand straight up towards the ceiling and lean slightly towards the right to elongate the line from foot to hand all along your left side.
  5. Take a full deep breath, then lower your hand back to your hip and repeat the same on the other side.
  6. Continue alternating sides until you complete 10 full reps.

Down Dog/Up Dog Transitions | 10 transitions (5x per pose)

  1. Start in a down dog position, lifting your hips high and grounding your heels towards the floor. Press through your fingertips to engage your upper body strength.
  2. Lower your hips to a plank position, then bend your elbows to gently lower your belly to the floor.
  3. Untuck your toes, and press your hands down to lift your heart up as you look towards the ceiling and rise into up dog. Roll your shoulders back and down as you exhale.
  4. Slowly bend your elbows again to return to the ground, tuck your toes and lift back up into down dog.
  5. Repeat, focusing on smooth transitions and taking your time in each pose, until you complete five down dogs and five up dogs.

 

Runner’s Lunge Floor Touch | 12 reps (6 per side alternating)

  1. Start by standing tall at the front of your mat, with feet together.
  2. Inhale, and take a very large step back with your left leg straight. Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle.
  3. Lower your chest all the way down to your front knee and touch the ground lightly with your fingertips. Keep looking straight ahead, like a sprinter would before taking off for a sprint.
  4. Exhale to press your front heel into the ground and rise back up to standing.
  5. Repeat on the other side. Complete 12 full reps.

Deep Squat Hip Stretch | 3 reps, 5 breaths each

  1. Place your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart with toes pointed slightly outwards.
  2. Squat down as low as you can while still maintaining weight on your heels. Sit on a yoga block or stack of blankets for support if necessary.
  3. Press your palms together and place your elbows on the insides of your knees, pressing them open slightly.
  4. Keep your spine as long and straight as possible and avoid rounding your shoulders forward.
  5. Take five slow, deep breaths, then stand up for a short rest.
  6. Repeat twice more, going deeper into the stretch each time.

Push-up Down Dog Toe Touch Twist | 8 reps (4 per side alternating)

  1. Start in a high plank position.
  2. Lower your chest down towards the floor, bending your elbows to a 90-degree angle. Modify by placing your knees on the ground, if needed.
  3. Straighten your arms to press back, lifting your hips up to a down dog position.
  4. Reach your right hand out to touch your left toes in a gentle twist.
  5. Replace your hand and lower back down into another push-up.
  6. Repeat on the other side. Continue to alternate between push-ups and down dog twists until you’ve completed eight reps.

Plank Knee to Nose | 8 reps (4 per side alternating)

  1. Start in a high plank position with your hands lined up under your shoulders.
  2. On an exhale, lift your hips and round your upper back as you lift your right knee up towards your nose. Focus on contracting your abdominal muscles.
  3. Inhale to place your right foot back to the starting position, making sure not to allow your plank to sag.
  4. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Complete eight reps total.

Skater Side Lunges | 10 reps (5 per side alternating)

  1. Step into a wide triangle stance with toes pointed forward.
  2. On an exhale, lunge down to the left until your left knee makes a 90-degree bend.
  3. Touch the floor in front of your left toes with your right hand and reach your left hand straight back behind you. Keep your back straight and your gaze straight ahead.
  4. Inhale and stay low as you transition to the other side. Imagine you’re skating on ice.
  5. Continue alternating sides and staying low until you complete 10 reps.

 

Total Core Crunch | 10 reps

  1. Lay down on your back and place your feet on the floor.
  2. Lightly place your fingertips behind your head and stretch your elbows out to the sides
  3. Take a deep breath in, then on the exhale lift your shoulders off the ground at the same time as tilting your pelvis forward to engage all of your core muscles at the same time.
  4. Relax and allow the core to stretch long, then repeat. Complete 10 reps.

Spiderman Plank Lunges | 8 reps (4 per side alternating)

  1. Start in a high plank position with your hands stacked directly under your shoulders.
  2. Without changing the position of your hips, lift your right foot up to the side of your right hand.
  3. Press that heel into the ground to feel a good stretch in your hips, then place the foot back to the starting plank position.
  4. Do the same on the other side and continue to alternate sides as you maintain your plank position.
  5. Complete eight reps.

Thanks again to PaleoHacks.com [1] for the excellent flow workout. Questions? Requests for other kinds of workout sequences, articles or videos? Let me know in the comment board. Have a good one, everybody.