We all know there’s more to training than just showing up for the daily WOD. CrossFit is a demanding sport that requires the perfect synergy between sleep, diet, rest and training.
Part of fine tuning our training quite often means working on our mobility and flexibility outside of the box.
As the 2013 Games season gets underway we thought it was the perfect time to give you at least one stretch a week that is effective and easily implemented into your CrossFit routine.
That said, today’s stretch of the week comes in the form of a basic geometric shape that contains three edges. If geometry isn’t your forte and you’re still left guessing today we’re talking triangles.
Contouring the body in the form of a triangle may seem like a juvenile exercise to those outside of the yogic sphere, but there are many reasons why our body loves to be in this shape.
What is it?
Trikonasana is the title given to this yoga pose, but to the typical CrossFitter it is probably best known as that intense hamstring/groin stretch. Performed in a standing position, this stretch aims to lengthen the lower body, while also extending the chest, shoulders and spine.
What are the benefits?
This stretch can be thought of as an extended triangle pose with a plethora of internal benefits, that go beyond the realm of mobilising the physical body.
-Stretches the groin, hip, calves and ankles.
-Lengthens the chest, spine and shoulders.
– Alleviates back pain, especially during pregnancy.
-Releases tension down the side of the body.
-Relieves stress and signs of menopause.
-Stimulates the digestive organs.
-Restorative effects for those with anxiety, infertility, neck pain, sciatica and (my personal favourite) flat feet.
How is it done?
1. Begin this pose in a wide-legged stance (approximately 4 feet apart), with feet parallel to each other.
2. Stretch out both arms to either side of the body so they fall in line with the shoulders, ensure they are parallel to the floor. Keep the hands facing down and the shoulder blades wide and actively engaged.
3. Like last week we will be stretching one side of the body at a time, so turn the right foot out to 90 degrees. Angle the left foot slightly in towards the body. To check your alignment is correct ensure that your right heel is in line with the left heel.
4. As you take a full breath out begin to extend the torso over to the right leg and let the arm follow the natural movement. Be sure the hip is the only joint bent in this position. Angle the torso to the front and don’t let the back it roll inwards.
5. Depending on your flexibility either let the hand rest on your shin or ankle. Don’t compromise your solid position to move the hand further down.
6. Actively stretch your left arm to the ceiling, ensure both feet are grounded and keep the thighs engaged. Depending on what feels comfortable either let the head stay in a neutral position or turn it to the left and set your gaze to the hand above.
7. Relax and hold the stretch upwards of 40 seconds to 2 minutes. Stay in triangle for however long your body requires, but be sure to maintain relaxed breathing.
8. When you feel ready to come out of the stretch, inhale and press the back heel into the floor. At the same time reach for the ceiling (or sky, for those outside) as you actively stretch out of this pose. Turn the right foot back to a parallel stance and repeat each step on the left leg.
Things to note
If you feel unstable in this pose you may perform the stretch against a wall. Also, be careful not to bend the torso or back in this pose, a helpful tip is to feel the spine reaching up and out of the body.
Then we have two demo videos for you below.