Mobility For Athletes: A Twist For The American Open

If you're attending the first meet in the American Open Series this weekend, this stretch will open both your hips and your spine having you ready to take the platform. The following stretch can be done easily without any props, perfect for the hotel room or training hall.

Setup Instructions & Cues

  • Come to your mat in a seated L position with your legs extended, straight out in front of you.
  • Cross your left leg over your right leg, just above the knee.
  • On the inhale, using your knee only, apply downward pressure towards the mat.
  • Once you have pressed internally as far as you can without assistance, add your left hand to the top of the bent knee to deepen the stretch. It's important to relax your glutes, deepening the stretch on the exhale. Hold for five breaths.

Now For The Twist

  • On your next inhale, remove your hand from your knee and place it on the heel of the bent leg. 
  • Place your right (or opposite) hand directly behind you.
  • On your next exhale, twist your upper body toward your straight leg. This is called an open twist.
  • Hold this position and with each inhale think 'straight spine' and on the exhale, deepen the twist.
    • To deepen the twist, bring your chest in line with the straight leg.
    • To deepen the hip opener, press the bent knee towards the floor.
  • Hold for 45 seconds, deepening the stretch with each exhale. Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.


Try this one before hitting the warm up platform as it's great for opening up the entire middle range of your body, from spine to hips!

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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