I work with CrossFit, Yoga, and personal training, and there’s nothing I hear the most than “How can you do CrossFit and Yoga? The two are so different.”
Its true, they are very different, and yet it’s the fact that they are so different which makes them so completely perfect for me. Over time though I have been able to study enough with the movements to see how the two are similar and compliment each other.
Have you ever had trouble getting your hips mobile enough to squat? Ever found that your hips hurt after a leg based WOD? Here are a few yoga poses that can help you find mobility and strength in your inner leg line.
Here are some poses to strengthen and stretch the inner leg line.
This help to promote balance as well as inner leg strength and stretches out the gluets and shoulders. It can help to improve pistols along with your balnce ankle stability and coordination.
Cross one leg over the other and sit back into a squat. Cross the arm on the same side as the leg you are balancing on under your other arm pressing your palms together and lift your elbows up until you feel a stretch.
Using a block can help you activate the inner leg line in this pose especially if you are not used to being able to feel it naturally. In this picture I chose not to use a block but to keep my knees together, this would be the option to use if you did not have a block or other props.
Stick a block between your knees and then bend your knees to 90°. Hold.
Wide Legged Chair Pose
If you are looking to take your chair to the next level, then try this. It will gently open the hips while strengthening the inner leg line at the same time. The contradicting forces help to increase the cardio and strength levels.
Take your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and bend your knees to 90°. Hold.
Although it does not seem like it, Warrior 2 is a great way to find the inner leg line. Same as the wide legged chair pose, it gently opens the hips while strengthening the inner leg line.
Step Right foot forward toes pointed forward, Left toes face the left side. Bend the front knee down to activate the quadriceps, and use the inner leg line of the back leg to squeeze the back leg in towards the mid line.
Traditionally this is a heart opener or a back bending pose, but it can actually do wonders for building your hamstrings and inner leg line. The trick in activating the inner leg line in this pose is to squeeze the knees together.
Lying on your back knees bent, feet flat on the floor hips distance apart, lift your hips up.
Here are some poses to help stretch out the inner leg line:
This is a super stretch for the inner leg line, but does require a lot of Dorsi Flexion.
Stepping one leg out as far as you can, bend the other leg into a one sided yogi squat. Inch your straight leg out as far as you need to feel the stretch. To keep the focus on the inner leg line keep your toes down on the ground on your leg that is stretched out If you turn you toes up towards the cieling you will feel the stretch more in your hamstring.
This is the deepest of all inner leg line stretches, mainly because it encompasses both a deephip rotation as well as a inner leg stretch. This should not be what you start with. Try a few of these other leg stretches, as well as some hip mobility stretches and work your way slowly into this.
Intermediate: Take your left leg out on the ground, the bending sideways take your right hand to your left big toe. Open up the chest.
More Advanced: Take your left up behind you left shoulder into the air. Bring your right hand up to meet it and grab the left big toe.
Helps to stretch the hamstring, the calf, and the hip of one leg while simultaneously stretching the hip flexor of the other leg. Helps get any squat deeper (and recovering from leg day).
From a Right Lunge: Take the Back knee to the ground, and walk the right foot over to the left hand dropping the right knee by the right hand, and setting the hips on the floor. (the switch to the other side)
This stretches both legs at once, which is something most of these poses do not do. Before trying this work on a traditional straddle in order to prepare the legs for this stretch without putting pressure on the knees.
Step both feet out as far as possible, then sink the hips down towards the floor without leaning in any direction. Continue inching legs out and hips down until you reach your stretch or reach the floor.
Helps to open up the hip while stretching out the hamstring and groin on one side while simlutaniously stretching out the hip flexor on the other.
From downward dog step one foot up to the top of the mat and walk it out to the outside of you hands so it on the edge of your mat. Then lower the back knee and let you hips sink down towards the ground, and slowly work your upper body down to your elbows or a block.
To read more about a lizard lunge please click here