On Wednesday, I discussed how to adapt a barre practice to fit any body. After any challenging athletic activity, it is always ideal to have a good post-workout routine to alleviate stiffness or soreness. With all the awesome leg work going on in barre classes, my quads, glutes, and calves have definitely needed some YTU love. If like me, you find yourself feeling a bit sore after class, I suggest the following YTU poses to cool down and help get your body back on track.
With almost any workout I do, I love to warm up my lower body with Prasarita lunges. When done dynamically, the pose allows for a wonderful stretch and can be used to awaken the abductors and adductors of the hips, preparing them for a more intense workout. Conversely, you can take a static version of this stretch for a nice cool down stretch after an intense leg series. See how to do it in the video at the end of this post.
A closed chain version of Leg Stretch #2 and #3 are my go-to favorites to help release sore inner and outer thighs after a long series of clamshells (diamonds), an end of class exercise that is a favorite of many of my barre instructors. Leg Stretch #3 allows for a nice twist combined with a wonderful release of the outer hip muscles, which are also targeted by clamshells.
And finally, we can’t forget the quads. While my quadriceps have gained massive strength since I started barre, I have had to work hard to help keep them supple and mobile. After a leg work series of carousel horses, couch stretch is one of those poses that I love to sink into at the end of a long day. I am always amazed at the difference in sensation and range of motion for the front of my thigh after only 2 minutes each side. Watch out for overextending through your lower back with this pose – be sure to keep your pelvis aligned with your ribs by contracting your glutes, even if that means your forearms remain on the ground for the stretch.
I hope this helps keep your body gliding and sliding instead of clicking and sticking! No matter what your modality, maintenance is a must and YTU has many great options to keep you at the top of your game. See you at the barre!