Whether you’re in training mode or launching full-force into race season, mastering your balance is key. Perfecting this one-legged perch is a great way to look like a true yogi, but its benefits extend far beyond the cool-factor. Athletes, supplement your training routine with this balancing act to help strengthen the small stabilizing muscles around your joints (ever had a sprained ankle? Ugh!), increase your proprioception (awareness of where your body is in space), and activate your core. This week, we break down a simple balancing pose that has an added benefit hip mobility.

Try it: Tree pose

Practice this pose to prep for your run, utilize it for active rest during your interval workout, or stand behind your couch and get a little extra work in while you’re watching TV! Hold for 5 – 10 deep breaths before switching sides.

  • Stand with the feet hip-width apart and parallel, bending both knees very slightly
  • Put your hands on your hips to remind yourself to keep your hips squared forward as you lift just the right heel (not the entire foot) off the floor
  • When you feel stable there, turn your right leg out to your right side while keeping your hips squared forward
  • Slide the sole of your right foot up your leg, resting it on your ankle or calf (feel free to keep the ball of your foot on the floor for added stability)
  • Bring your hands together at the center of your chest, palms pressing against each other
  • Keep pressing your right (bent leg) back while the hips stay squared forward (you’ll feel the muscles around your right hip/glute engage)

and for added challenge…

  • Bring the sole of the foot up onto the inner thigh (make sure to keep the foot off the knee of your standing leg).
  • Reach your arms overhead while you relax the shoulders down away from the ears

and if it’s still too easy…

  • Look up or close your eyes entirely
  • Practice the pose on an unstable surface (like sand, a Bosu ball, or a squishy mat)

Take a pause with both feet on the floor before switching sides.

Let us know how it goes!

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