Stretching before any activity is important, but it’s also critical after exercising in a cool-down session. Incorporate off days into workout plans, or have an active recovery day doing yoga like Team USA gold medalist Taylor Cummings.
"It is perfect for after a long day or week of training to loosen those tired muscles up," Cummings said.
With instruction from certified trainer Marissa Walch, who leads her own yoga classes around Baltimore and on YouTube, Cummings learned key yoga poses for lacrosse players, including the twisted lunge. Check out the full routine on Cummings’ YouTube channel.
KNEEL-DOWN LUNGE INTO TWISTED LUNGE
- With both legs together, bend at your hips, trying to touch the ground with your hands. To make it easier, slightly bend your knees.
- Slowly bring your hands up to your hips, halfway, looking forward. Hold for a few seconds. Then reach back down.
- Slowly rise to stand until your arms extend up into the air, bring your hands together and lean back. Keep your tailbone tucked.
- On the next breath, exhale and release your hands down to the mat.
- Take your left foot and step back into a lunge. Keep your right foot in between your hands. Exhale and lower the left knee to the ground. Per your comfort level, keep your toe curled or untuck it. Inhale and raise both arms to the sky into a kneel-down lunge. You should feel the stretch in your left hip flexor.
- Take another breath, exhale and frame your front foot with both hands.
- Inhale while bending your front right knee. Plant your left hand on the inside of your right foot.
- Inhale, twist toward your right knee and raise your right hand, reaching for the sky. Look toward your hand in the air.
- Pick up your left knee to create the twisted lunge. Keep your back leg straight and front foot flat, while rolling your spine higher. Your thigh should be hugging your torso.
- Take a big breath in. Then exhale and release the right hand down. Step your back leg forward, bringing your feet together to reset and repeat on your other side.