3 Stretches to Open Your Hips

The muscles of your hips are recruited for most functional movements in classical ballet. This constant recruitment can lead to tight muscles. Add these 3 stretches to your daily routine to combat the tightness and maintain optimal flexibility!


bound angle posture

BADDHA KONASANA // 

To begin bring the soles of the feet together, knees wide to the side. Place each loop of the Flexistretcher around a foot with the foam center around your spine. Thumbs come to the side of Begin with a straight spine to extend the body forward and then allow yourself to relax over the feet

HAPPY BABY // 

Loops around each foot and foam around the lower part of the back. Slowly recline back and gently pull on the straps of the Flexistretcher for a deeper hip stretch. 

SUPINE MIDDLE SPLIT // 

Coming from your happy baby, slowly extend the legs out to the side. 

3 Yoga Postures to Improve Back Flexibility

Wether you're a beginner or advance back flexibility is critical for all sports! We have a variety of exercises to incorporate into your stretching routine to improve your spinal mobility.

Give these three yoga postures a try! //#FLXtip : always work to your level! Stretching and general fatigue are great for your body but if you feel any sharp pain, back out of the posture. 


BEGINNER EXERCISE // MOUNTAIN POSE VARIATION

flexistretcher moutain pose

While practicing this #Flexistretcher Mountain Pose variation, lift only in the top part of the chest & stay engaged through the lower body. 

 

INTERMEDIATE EXERCISE // FLEXISTRETCHER LOW LUNGE

FLEXISTRETCHER LOW LUNGE

Practice your low lunge with your #Flexistretcher & press your hands up into the straps as you extend backwards!

 

ADVANCED EXERCISE // FOREARM FLEXISTRETCHER BACKBEND

Flexistretcher forearm backbend

Place the loops of the #Flexistretcher around your upper arms & foam center around your shin as you practice this deep backbend. To get into this posture, begin in your classic Wheel Pose and lower down from there.

Flexistretcher Pigeon Pose & Variations

Flexistretcher Pigeon Pose & Variations

FLEXISTRETCHER PIGEON REIN SHORT

POSE // King Pigeon

SANSKRIT // Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

SETUP:  

  • With a bent back leg, both loops around back foot with foam part of flexistretcher around the front opposite shoulder

ACTION:

  • Extend the back leg down towards the ground as you lift up and out of the chest as you extend backwards

REPS/SETS:

  • Hold for 5 full breaths

VARIATIONS : 

Flexistretcher Wheel Pose & Variation

Add the Flexistretcher to your wheel poses! It helps keep the shoulders open and the legs active.


WHEEL POSE

SETUP // Loops of the Flexistretcher are around each forearm with the center of the Flexistretcher around shins

ACTION // Actively push the shins into the center of the strap

REP/SETS // Hold for 5 full rounds of breath

CUES // Keep feet parallel and facing to the front of the mat and hands stay parallel

SINGLE LEGGED WHEEL VARIATION

flexistretcher single legged wheel

Try this challenging single legged wheel pose! Setup is the same as before, from here practice lifting each leg up towards the ceiling and hold for 5 full breaths. Repeat opposite side.

"Wall-less" Legs up Against the Wall Pose

POSE: Legs Up The Wall Pose

SANSKRIT: Viparita Karani


Legs up the wall pose

SETUP:

  • Place each loop of the Flexistretcher around feet in bound angle posture with foam around the lower back.

  • Slowly recline all the way back to the floor while bringing legs up, making the body into an L shape like feet are flat on the ceiling.

ACTION:

  • Allow the legs to slowly fall away from the body, releasing on the lower back where the foam of the Flexistretcher is. 

BENEFITS:

  • Gently stretches the back

  • Relieves tired and cramped legs and feet

  • Calming

How-To: Flexistretcher Standing Split

POSE: Standing Split

SETUP:

  • Place each loop around the center of each foot 

  • Lower hands to the ground close and place the foam center of the Flexistretcher around the same should as the leg to be lifted.

  • Lift leg up toward the sky.

  • Walk hands close to your standing for for a standing split strength balance. Walk hands out long in front of you for more of an overspilt stretch.

BENEFITS:

  • Opening and lengthening in the hips and legs
  • Practicing with the Flexistretcher adds a deeper stretch by encouraging the top leg to be just slightly higher. 

The Flexistretcher Assists in Binded Cow Face Pose

POSE: Cow Face Pose

SANSKRIT: Gomukhasana


Rein Short Cow Pose

 

SETUP: 

  • Start in a seated position, bringing a bent knee to a 90 degree angle and placing the other bent leg on top of it. Each ankle should be in line with the opposite knees. 

FLEXISTRETCHER VARIATION: 

  • To assist in the bing, hold onto elastic part of the Flexistretcher.  
  • Start with it in your top hand and bring the Flexistretcher to the rotated arm on the bottom bottom. 
  • You can gently pull on the elatstic band to engage through the tops are of the arms.

Forward Fold Variations

 

POSE : Forward Fold

SANSKRIT : Uttanasana

Try these forward fold variations with your Flexistretcher! Begin with feet, hips width distance apart and release the body in a forward fold.

*For tighter hamstrings, keep the knees bent to release more in the body. It's more important to have a lengthened spine than straight legs*

Variation 1 : With the Flexistretcher on the lower back, it gently brings the body closer to the legs while you relax into the posture.

Variation 2 : Keeping the Flexistretcher under the soles of the feet and pulling up on the straps is more of an active stretch, as you bring the torso closer to the body. 

Try both variations and see what works best for your body! 

Heart Opening Low Lunge with the Flexistretcher

POSE: Heart Opening Low Lunge

SANSKRIT: Anjaneyasana

Low Lunge

SETUP: 

  • Place the center of the Flexistretcher under the back shin and take the loops in your hands.

ACTION: 

  • Press your hips forward as you press the straps up towards the sky finding a full spinal extension. 
  • Focus on maintaining a full back bend by pressing up into the straps in order to avoid sinking and falling into the lower spine. 

Get the Benefit of a Personal Assist with this Flexistretcher Yoga Pose

POSE: Downward Facing Dog

SANSKRIT: Adho Muhka Svanasana

Downward facing Dog

SETUP:

  • Begin in a forward fold with one Flexistretcher loop around each foot and foam center around the lower back. 

ACTION:

  • Walk hands out and keep hips lifted up and back to come into Downward Dog position
  • From here, check in with parts of your body:

    • Hands rooted down evenly

    • Lift forearms up and away from the mat

    • Lift bottom ribs close to your thighs and stay engaged in front part of torso

    • Reach heels down, straightening the legs if possible

FLEXISTRETCHER BENEFIT: 

  • The Flexistretcher releases in the lower back from the gentle additional pressure, feeling just as if you are getting a personal assist in class! 

MODIFICATIONS:

  • Bend the knees or make feet wider for tight hamstrings

  • For tight shoulders, make arms wider

BENEFITS:

  • Elongates spine and releases tension

  • Deep stretch for the backs of the legs

  • Improves digestion

  • Strengthening for arms, back, fronts of legs

Hamstring Focus in Yoga

Try the Yoga head to knee sitting forward bend 'Janu sirsasana' with your Flexistretcher to assist or to intensify the stretch.

Hamstring Stretch

Here is a great step by step how-to:  http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/476

Practicing this stretch with your Flexistretcher brings a whole new level of awareness allowing you to sink deeper into the stretch no matter what flexibility level you are. Remember to activate the muscles of the out-stretched leg by pressing into the strap and pull the loops towards you as you fold forward.

Cues: keep hips square

Modifications:  Bring the foot of the bent leg to the calf or ankle of the out-stretched leg to decrease the stretch.

9-Day Flexistretcher Yoga Challenge

FLEXISTRETCHER 9 DAY CHALLENGE

Head to our Instagram, @Flexistretcher, to take part in our 9 day, Flexistretcher yoga challenge.

 There are postures for every yogi, dancer, and athlete from beginner to experienced!   

DAY 1 DOWNWARD FACING DOG : Practicing this pose with a self assist from the Flexistretcher helps to lengthen the spine and encourage correct alignment. 

DAY 2  THREE LEGGED DOG : Three legged dog with the Flexistretcher helps maintain a neutral alignment in the pelvis while your legs are lengthening through the straps.

DAY 3 WARRIOR 3 : Pull up on the loops of your Flexistretcher while standing on the center of the strap to find complete activation in the backs of your arms and to maintain a full activation in your standing leg. Focus on keeping the hips square to the floor.

DAY 4 SEATED HEART OPENER : Use the Flexistretcher for extra lower back support and to guide you into a neutral pelvis.  Press the legs long through the straps as you lift through the upper spine.  

DAY 5 SUPPORTED LEGS UP THE WALL : Allow the legs to gently fall away from the body to release tension in the lower spine. 

DAY 6  STANDING SPLIT : The Flexistretcher helps to deepen this asana by gently assisting to bring the top leg higher. 

DAY 7 HEART OPENING LOW LUNGE : Place the center of the Flexistretcher under the back shin and take the loops in your hands. Press your hips forward as you press the straps up towards the sky finding a full spinal extension.  Focus on maintaining a full back bend by pressing up into the straps in order to avoid sinking and falling into the lower spine.

DAY 8  CAMEL : Place the Flexistretcher center under your shins and press your arms up into the strap as you back bend to achieve a full spinal extension. Focus on lifting the heart to the sky rather than sinking in the lower spine. 

DAY 9 WHEEL : Place the foam center of the Flexistretcher around your shins and the loops around you wrists. Performing the wheel with the Flexistretcher encourages you to stay active in the legs and keep the feet facing forward. 


This challenge shows multiple ways to incorporate the #Flexistretcher into your yoga practice! Follow along and tag us to join! Make sure to tag #FLXYogaChallenge and #Flexistretcher.

Deep your asanas by taking part in the #FLXYogaChallenge!

 

Release Your Hips with this Flexistretcher Yoga Pose!

Stretch of the Day! Upavistha Konasana with the #Flexistretcher.

ENGLISH: Wide-leg Seated Forward Fold

SANSKRIT: Upavistha Konasana

CUES:

  • Begin in baddha konasana (seated with soles of the feet together and knees wide to the side) to set up Flexistretcher loops around each foot and foam center around lower back and hips. 
  • Press your legs into the straps and rotate from the thighs to focus on initiating your turn out from the legs. Hold for 30-60sec.

FLEXISTRETCHER BENEFIT:

  • Increase the stretch with added support from the Flexistretcher behind your back! 
Wide Leg Forward Fold

The Art of Back Bending

Within everyday activities the body is constantly forward bending. Not only do we do it in the routine of class in a Port de bras forward, but we also find ourselves forward over a computer or sitting forward reading the paper over a morning coffee.

Forward bending causes the front of vertebrae move closer together, forcing the inter-vertebral disks and spinal nerves back. Prolonged poor posture can cause or aggravate back and neck pain.

Backbends counteract this constant forward bending, and they can invigorate, uplift and open your body. Several studies show that backbends can stimulate the proper functioning of the digestive system, help preserve the health of the vertebrae and spinal disks, and open the body to deep diaphragmatic breathing.

As you bend backwards you compress the posterior part of your spinal column, pushing your disks away from the spinal nerves and decompress the front of the vertebrae. This effectively counteracts the damage of hours spent forward bending.

Back bending poses place strong demands upon the most vulnerable segment of the spine, the lumbar region.The right support for back bending recruits several muscles in the pelvis, but starts at the deepest layer of the abdominal muscles the transverse abdominals.  The transverse abdominals play a significant active role in stabilizing the trunk of the body for correct completion of the backbending movement.

For dancers in particular, backbends are extremely helpful in increasing the extension of the spine for an improved cambre and arabesque.  

Try these advanced back bending stretches to help increase your spinal mobility:

Make sure your body is warm before trying these poses.

1.  Try Yoga Bow Pose Dhanurasana with your Flexistretcher

  • Lie on your stomach, bend your legs and bring both heels toward your seat. Place the center foam pad around the top of the feet and hold one loop in each hand.
  • Pushing your feet into the strap, lift your thighs off the ground while extending your arms toward the ceiling. Pause.
  • Gently rock forward and back, keeping your head in line with the spine and repeat.
Bow Pose

2. Back extensions with your FLX Ball

3.  Wall walks:  

  • Stand one arms length away from a wall. 
  • Your feet should be wider than the distance between your shoulders.
  • Raise your arms by your ears.
  • Slowly bend your back and look at the wall behind you.
  • Touch the wall with your palms, and walk down the wall until you reach the floor and are in a backbend position.
  • Slowly lower yourself to the ground.  

4.  Bow Pose  

  • Lie on your back
  • Bend your knees up and keep your feet flat on the ground. Make sure to keep your toes, knees and hips in one line creating parallel legs.
  • Place your hands by your ears with palms facing the ground. 
  • Push your body up until only your hands and feet are touching the ground, and your back is arched
  • Once you are up in a bridge, straighten your arms and legs and push your shoulders over your head. Your wrists to your shoulders should form a straight line to the floor.
Rein Short Wheel Pose

Happy Backbending!!