Mobility For Athletes: Low Lunge With Shoulder Opener

Are you the type who prefers to stretch more than one area at once, getting more bang for your buck, while working your mobility? Or are you limited for time, so working multiple areas at once is a plus? OR, are you traveling through Costa Rica like I am this week and want to mobilize but don’t want to take away time from your vacation?

Most stretches are intended to work one area but by adding one element, you can increase the targeted area significantly and improve your benefit. Today’s stretch, a Low Lunge with Shoulder Opener is a good example of how you can perform one stretching movement while gaining many benefits at the same time.Today’s stretch, a Low Lunge with Shoulder Opener is a good example of performing one stretch while gaining many benefits. This particular variation of the Low Lunge works the quads and hamstrings but you can also get a psoas stretch and finally an added shoulder opener when done correctly.

Setup Instructions and Cues

  • Come to the mat on your knees, stepping one leg bent at a 90 degree angle out in front of you.
  • On the exhale, place your hands onto your bent knee, pressing your torso down while maintaining a straight spine. This provides a stretch in the quadricep of the back leg and the hamstring in your front leg.
  • As you continue to increase the stretch, press the hip of your rear leg forward to feel a stretch in your psoas. Think hip forward, not down, to lengthen the quadricep and feel the psoas stretch.
  • Hold here for five slow breaths.
  • Next comes the shoulder opener. On the inhale, lift the foot that is behind you and grab it with the same side hand. Reach behind with the other arm and grab the foot so both hands are wrapped around the same foot.
  • On the exhale, externally rotate your shoulders, pulling your shoulders back as you once again press the hip forward. The more you pull your shoulders back, the more intense the shoulder opener.
  • Hold and press deeper down with the torso to continue the quadricep and hamstring stretch while you open the shoulders.
  • Hold for 10 slow breaths. The longer the better.
  • Repeat on the other side.

And best of all, do this stretch in Costa Rica. 😄

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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