Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tribesports Challenge: Get stretched!

This is a pretty straightforward challenge, focusing on calve and hip flexor stretches. This is the image I was sent.
Get Stretched Challenge

As the illustrations aren't particularly clear, I decided to help out by doing a series of photos and including some modifications for stronger stretches if you are so inclined.

The sitting hamstring or one-legged forward bend
This is a pretty standard pose in yoga. A key thing to remember is to keep the hips facing forward, make sure both sit-bones are grounded and to lead forward with the chest so the shoulders do not hunch. Reach the chest towards the thigh, keep your knee bent first and straighten out over time. 

Standing reach or standing forward bend
Yes, most flattering pic I know. I prefer to have my hands on my calves because this gives me a much stronger stretch, you can also hold on to your elbows and just let them dangle over your head. Keep knees bent at first (you can see that mine are still a little bent) and straighten over time. Weight should be forward, onto the toes.

Crescent lunge
One of my favourite yoga poses because I think it looks so beautiful, it's important to make sure hips face forward and that you do not crunch into your lower back.

I'm doing the standard yoga bridge rather than the one in the image, as this also opens up the shoulders. Make sure knees do not splay apart (imagine holding a brick in between your knees).

Foot to hand in press-up position
Also common in vinyasa yoga, make sure that your feet and hands line up, hands directly below shoulders, and press back into your outstretched leg. Keep chest open.

Raised hamstring
I prefer to do this with a strap (I'm only using a belt in this), and I prefer to keep my other leg grounded because it provides a deeper inner thigh stretch. Keep both hips even and make sure the grounded hip does not lift.
Bent over back rotation
A tricky one to get right, make sure your feet are parallel as with all wide-legged forward bends, twist from the core rather than from the hips. It's an easy one to have your hips become unbalanced.

Hope these images help anyone with the challenge! Happy stretching!


  1. Wow you are so flexible! I have recently started yoga (3 sessions) and I am loving it :)

    1. Thanks Coleen, good luck with your yoga classes :) I hope you will find as much joy in yoga as I did.

  2. Great challenge! Your photos are much more helpful than the illustrations. I'm amazed at your flexibility! I did a yoga dvd last weekend for the first time in almost a year and I'm certainly not as flexible as I once was :(

    1. Thanks Mia! I think you will find that the flexibility will come back pretty quick, I had a similar thing a few months ago, having returned to yoga after about a year off as well.

  3. I love your photos, Hui and it's so inspiring!

    I used to do pilates quite regularly but have since dropped it...I really do need to pick something up again and try to be more healthy.

    1. Thanks hun. I've also just gotten back into Pilates, there's a place near me that does it for cheap (and also in Malvern... check them out! ) Fingers crossed I don't burn out or lose interest :)