Men, listen up. Most of you have tight hips, and if you think that’s not a big deal, you’re wrong. Poor hip mobility will limit the amount of weight you can lift on leg day, thus putting an unnecessary ceiling on your size and strength gains, and make you susceptible to a wide range of injuries, particularly to the lower back and knees. To avoid such a scenario, add this yoga pose to your training. Yes, it’s yoga, but it’s just one pose. Trust us. Better yet, trust Kimberly Fowler, owner of Los Angeles-based YAS Fitness Centers (go2yas.com) and creator of Yoga for Athletes.
“When it comes to yoga, guys actually benefit from it more than women,” Fowler says. “Most men aren’t as flexible as women, and this can cause frustration when they go to a typical class. I specifically developed Yoga for Athletes for the ‘flexibility challenged.’ For the hips, my favorite pose is Reclining Pigeon. It helps open the hip area by stretching the muscles around the joint, including the psoas, back and thigh muscles. It can be done anywhere — on the floor after a workout or even in bed while you’re watching TV.”
Reclining Pigeon Pose
Lie on your back and bend your knees with your feet on the floor about hip-distance apart. Bring your right foot up and place it on top of your left leg, with your ankle hitting just below the knee of the bent left leg and the knee of the right leg bent out to the side to form a triangle. Reach your right arm through your legs, then bring your left arm to the outside of your left leg. Try to grab your shin with both hands, lacing your fingers together. If you can’t take hold of your shin, grab the back of your thigh instead. Pull your shin toward your chest, but only go to the point at which you can keep your head and shoulders on the floor. You should feel a great stretch in the muscles around your hip. Hold this pose for one minute and work up to three minutes. Repeat to the opposite side.