Flexibility doesn't come from stretching alone, and turning traditionally passive postures into active work can make sure that movement is truly stretching the muscle, rather than the tendons. This means the poses will actually test your range of motion and ultimately lead to better flexibility.
In this HTPY blog series we break down active vs passive postures as it pertains to parts of your body. In this first installment, take your leg flexibility to the next level with these challenging renditions.
Use strength to stretch your hamstrings
Rather than using the strength of your arm to yank your hamstring into a stretch, engage your core to draw your leg towards your chest. This not only works your belly, but it fires up the muscles in your leg and works your true range of motion.
Rely on work not grip
Oh doesn't it feel good to twist in a low lunge! This stretch alone has its benefits, but when you turn this typically passive posture into active work, you strengthen your whole body.
Engage your hip flexors and core in a traditional balance posture
Not for the faint of heart. Hand to big toe pose can challenge your leg and core strength more than mountain climbers!
Turn a stretch into a muscle activator
This classic feel good stretch can act as a true test of your range of motion. Rather than resting your ankle against your thigh, squeeze your glutes and lift your foot away from your thigh. This not only works flexibility, but challenges your leg and core strength, too.
Make your tree pose a leg workout
If your tree pose is a resting posture, maybe it's time to take it up a notch. Keep your leg in that external rotation, but keep your foot lifted for an added glute and hip flexor challenge.