Exercises You Should Be Doing: Yoga Plex (Yes, You Read That Correctly. I Used the Word Yoga In a Sentence Without Wanting to Jump Off a Cliff)
I know this may come as a shock to many of you reading this given my past transgressions towards yoga- namely, HERE and HERE– but in all actuality, many of the exercises we use during a dynamic warm-up or for general corrective exercise purposes, for instance, have their background in yoga.
While I may disagree with how yoga (and pilates for that matter) is marketed as some panacea of fitness for women, I do understand that there are some valuable components** and that its’ merits shouldn’t be neglected all together. See, I’m all about compromise!
No matter which way you look at it, however, it’s stuff like the picture above, and the fact that people will haphazardly think this is great for the lumbar spine, that gets me fired up. But I digress. I promised myself I wouldn’t go off on a tangent. Deep breaths, deep breaths.
To that end, here’s an exercise that we’ve been using extensively at CP as of late with many of our clients.
What Is It: Yoga Plex
Who Did I Steal it From: Nick Tumminello. Specifically in his Warm-Up Progressions dvd.
What Does It Do: You get a lot of bang for your buck here. For starters, this hammers the hip flexors, and helps get people into a little more extension, which is never a bad thing. Particularly for those who are forced to sit in front of computer in flexion all day. Secondly, this is also a great exercise for t-spine mobility. Again, we’re a very flexion dominate society, so anything that allows us to “open up” a bit, is fantastic. Third, and most importantly, I said it’s a good exercise, so that’s what really counts.
Key Coaching Cues: Above all, we need to be cognizant of maintaining a neutral spine throughout the duration of the movement. As well, the front heel of the non-moving leg should stay DOWN. Last, but not least, make sure that you follow the arc of your hand with your head. I like to tell people to “follow your hand during this exercise.
There you have it, the Yoga Plex. As I mentioned above, ideally, I’d place this in between sets as more of a filler exercise, but you can also include this as part of a general warm-up as well.
** Exhibit A: