Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Yoga Pose of the Day: Cow Face Pose

We all get tight in the shoulders and could use some relief, right?

My softball players that I work with have exceptionally tight shoulders and arms from how much they practice, and one stretch that I always have them incorporate into their daily routine is the Cow Face Pose. This stretch goes deep in the shoulder cuff, releasing built up tension, and also helps strengthen the back muscles, giving your shoulder muscles extra support.

CowFaceBack Three Yoga Poses Every Pitcher Should Try

Here's how to do it:

1. Sit in a cross-legged position with your butt on the floor and your spine straightened. Remember to sit as if your body is being pulled in opposite directions: toward the ceiling and into the floor through your spine.

2. Raise your right arm straight up, then bend at the elbow and place your right palm on your back.

3. Take your left arm out to the side with your palm facing backwards and your thumb pointing down. Bend at the left elbow and place your left hand at your back, palm facing outwards.

4. Try to lace your fingers together while actively extending your right elbow towards the ceiling.

5. It is perfectly alright if you cannot lace your fingers. You can still get a good stretch in by leaving your hands in the position that they are originally in on your back, or you can get a towel and hold the ends of the towel in each hand behind your back and actively pull the ends of the towel away from each other.

6. Remember to do this pose at your body's limit of flexibility and not force the stretch.

7. Return to the starting position and switch arms, with your left hand on top of your back, palm against your body, and your right hand on the bottom, with your right palm facing outwards.

Enjoy!

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