Greetings Barbarians! Long days and pleasant nights!
You’re probably thinking right now “Yoga for Barbarians?” You’re likely scratching your head in confusion and double-checked the URL to see if you’re in the right blog. You are likely thinking that I’m joking.
Yes, yes, and no. Yes, the title is Yoga for Barbarians. Yes, you are on the right blog and no, I’m not kidding.
But Yoga isn’t for barbarians. Yoga is for boys who never eat meat and sit around all day snacking on kale chips and sipping on an organic smoothie. Yoga is not meant for men to look like silverback gorillas who eat half a dozen eggs for breakfast.
I have learned a lot in my pursuit of strength. I have learned about the conditions required to gain strength and muscle mass. I have learned about the fundamentals of training. I have squatted and deadlifted more than my body mass, I almost benched my body weight too.
But, my pursuit of strength also comes with a price.
When you’re grinding your sets with significant weights, you are bound to experience a lot of pain and aches. While a few aches are normal, injury prevention is crucial in any form of physical training. If you ask me, injury prevention is the holy grail of training as it keeps the trainee healthy for the long run.
Before we continue, please check out “What Happened in May…”. We’re facing a financial crisis right now given the quarantine and pandemic. As I’ve said in my previous post, I would like to appeal not to your kindness, but in your self-interest. This blog will always be free, yet, I would like to offer you extra content in exchange for your support. I’m offering a sneak peek to my creative process as well as taking on request and many more.
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Back pain means body pain or at least that’s what I learned. That radiating back pain that makes getting up in the morning difficult. Your training will take a back seat to focus on recovery and there’s nothing you can do but wait.
What causes back pain? One of its causes is a misalignment in the SI (sacroiliac) joint. The problem comes from having a tight piriformis muscle (a small muscle located deep in the buttock). Another cause of back pain can be excessive pelvic tilt, either anterior or posterior. The anterior pelvic tilt is when the front of the pelvis rotates forward and the back of the pelvis rises. The posterior pelvic tilt is when the front of the pelvis tilts up and back.
Again, I’m not claiming to be an expert, so take this with precaution. I’m only sharing the things I’ve learned over the years and please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I’m trying to make it as simple as possible for everyone to understand.
Now, what does Yoga have to do with SI misalignment and excessive pelvic tilt? When you look at yoga from a mechanical perspective, it is nothing more than stretching. I’ve used yoga for injury prevention and to keep me limber and loose.
Before every training session, I’d do a brisk walk for 20 mins to get my heart pumping.
- Prayer Squat
- Hero Pose
- Pigeon Pose
- Bird Dog
- Upward Facing Dog
- Belly Twist
- Plant your feet further apart, and bring palms together
- Squat down and bring your arm between your knees
- Push your knees out with your elbows
This pose opens the hips and improves balance. You should feel a good stretch in your groin.
- In a kneeling position, bring your knees closer together and separate your feet wider than your hips.
- Press the top of your feet on the floor and let your hips sink in.
- Sink your hips low and your buttocks touching the back of your lower leg.
You should feel a stretch in your ankles, feet, knees, and legs.
- Begin on all fours
- Extend one leg straight and the other leg bent
- Move the ankle of the bent leg closer to the opposite hip
- Let your hip sunk low and hold
- Repeat on the opposite side
You should feel a good stretch across your buttocks on the bent leg. This pose is great for opening your hips and stretching your piriformis.
- Get on all fours
- Extend one leg behind you, and lift the alternate arm forward,
- Hold, then do the opposite side.
This strengthens your core by using alternate stabilizing muscles for balance. It is also a great pose to strengthen your hip flexors and the muscles supporting the spine.
Upward Facing Dog
- Lie on your stomach and place your hands to your side as if you’re about to do a pushup.
- Push your hands into the floor and lift your chest and head up as high as you can without lifting your pelvis.
This pose would give the abdominals and the hip flexors a good stretch. It would also open up the chest and strengthens the wrist, arms, and shoulders.
- Lie back with your knees bent and your feet as close to you buttocks
- Let your knees fall over to one side, make sure they stay together
- Keep your alternate shoulder on the ground and extend your arm outward
This stretches the lower back, chest, shoulder, and arms.
Do this every day or before a training session. This routine focuses on hip openers, core, and glute strengthening, and loosening up big muscles. I recommend you to try it!
To Courage and Freedom, and Buttocks!
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