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Yoga for Sore Muscles

by Stacy Armada

About Stacy Armada

Stacy Armada began writing in 2011. Her past athletic accomplishments and passion for exercise led her to pursue a career in health and fitness. She received a B.S. in kinesiology with a concentration in exercise science from California State University, San Bernardino. Armada is a certified personal trainer through the NASM.

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When you need relief from sore muscles after an intense workout, try yoga. Yoga is a fitness regimen that works both your body and mind. Its dual focus on stretching and strength-building makes for a wonderful morning-after routine for muscle aches caused by intense physical exercise. Use yoga as a complete fitness routine or simply as a complement to your regular training to help relieve muscle soreness.

Cobra Posture

The cobra posture pose helps to relieve muscle soreness in your lower back and spinal areas, while strengthening your back muscles. To start, lie stomach down on your yoga mat. Place your hands on the mat, below your shoulders, assuming the pushup position. Point your toes behind you and keep your shoulders back and down with your elbows to your sides. Gently push off the mat using your arms to propel your chest upward. Keep your hands on the floor at all times, as you lift your head and chest without exaggerating the arch your back. Hold this position for a couple of deep breaths, then return to the starting position. Repeat the posture six to eight times to complete one set. Aim for two to three sets.

Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-facing dog, a staple in all yoga styles, stretches a multitude of muscles. Practice the pose to alleviate tight hamstrings, calves, shoulders and back muscles. Start in a pushup position, with your hands and your feet about shoulder-width apart. Slowly raise your hips toward the ceiling, keeping your head relaxed between your arms. Push equally through your upper and lower body and hold the pose for a couple of deep breaths. Return to the pushup position to complete one rep. Finish two to three sets of six to eight reps.

Warrior Pose

The warrior pose stretches muscles throughout your core, lower back and spinal areas, while strengthening your thigh and glute muscles. As an added bonus, this pose will help relieve tight hips.To start the warrior pose, raise your upper body as you stretch your arms above your head. Your hands can be in prayer position, interlocked or shoulder-width apart. Your fingers can be closed or open. Keep your chest facing forward as you take a large step back with your right foot. Position your right leg facing forward with your right foot facing to the side. Your left foot will face forward. Engage your lower abdominal muscles to pull the navel up and back; doing so will reduce pressure on your lower back. Hold for a couple of deep breaths and repeat with the other foot in front.

Standing Abdominal Stretch

Aside from stretching your core muscles, the standing abdominal stretch also targets muscle soreness in your quadriceps, lower back and spinal areas, while strengthening your muscles. To begin, stand straight with feet slightly wider then hip-width apart. Rest your hands at the back of the hips. Keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Lean back and lift your chest upwards, so that your muscles are well stretched. Hold the stretch for a few deep breathes before returning to your start position. Repeat this pose six to eight times. Perform two to three sets. Remember, to slowly build up your flexibility in your standing abdominal stretch.

Photo Credits:

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.