Mobility For Athletes: Child's Pose with Lat Stretch

Child’s Pose is a primary pose in yoga, providing a stretch for the hips, ankles and thighs. When coupled with a lat (Latissumus Dorsi) stretch, it becomes a powerhouse stretch for any athlete looking to improve their performance. Before we begin, let’s talk about the proper breathing, correct breathing while stretching can increase the quality and effectiveness of the stretch tenfold, so pay close attention to the instructions below to maximize your breath.

Setup / Cues

  • To begin, kneel on the floor and sit back onto your heels.
  • Separate your knees about hip distance apart (or wider depending on your current mobility) on the floor and on the exhale; fold and draw your chest to the floor with your arms straight out in front of you.
  • Remain in this position and breathe. On each inhale slowly pull the belly in which will cause your back to round slightly and on your exhale release your torso and deepen the fold. Hold for three beep breaths.
  • On the third exhale, beginning the movement from your lat, walk your fingers while keeping your arms straight towards the opposite wall.
  • With each exhale, deepen the stretch by pulling and opening up further with your lats. Walk your hands toward the opposite wall (as opposed to just your fingers, this only assists in direction).
  • On the third exhale, walk your fingers back to center while keeping your arms straight. Hold for three more breaths, keeping your arms extended and repeat on the other side.

This stretch is a great warm up for the entire body before your weightlifting session. Only go so deep as you feel a solid stretch. Discomfort is expected, but you should not feel pain, sharp or otherwise.

Modifications

If this stretch becomes too intense for your lower body, change your seated position. Come up and instead stack the hips over knees and do the same stretch in what is called Puppy Pose.

Do you have an mobility concern or area that you would like to see addressed?

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Sandra Arechaederra has actively practiced yoga for years but maintains a focus on its application for improving athletic performance. Sandra is an accomplished Olympic weightlifter in her own right, having medaled at the 2010 USA National Championship Meet, she continues her work with the California Strength weightlifting team on a weekly basis for mobility training and runs a mobility program implemented with the California Strength NFL Combine Prep Class every year. Sandra has her 200 RYT credential as a certified Yoga Teacher.

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Sandra Arechaederra

Sandra has led California Strength's NFL Combine Prep Class for the past two years through weekly mobility / yoga sessions that aim to increase both range of motion and aid in recovery for these athletes.  An Olympic weightlifter herself, Sandra set in motion the California Strength Women's Team by earning the teams first national medal in 2011 taking Bronze in the Snatch, Clean & Jerk and Total at the USAW National Meet.

Check back for weekly mobility / yoga posts geared towards athletes! For weekly videos, follow Sandra on Instagram.