Guys, I’m talking to you! Did you know that you can gain so many benefits from incorporating a form of consistent yoga or stretching practice into your daily routine? Sounds simple, but how many of you do it?
WHY DO YOGA?
Yoga offers an incredible range of benefits for men of all ages. Not only does the practice enable you to tap into stress-relieving qualities, but it can also help you enhance many other parts of life. Other great benefits include:
• Improves posture
• Aids in weight loss
• Increases flexibility & range of motion
• Develops inner core strength
• Enhances athletic performance
• Increases core strength
• Improves work productivity
• Improves intimacy
• Increases self awareness & self esteem
• Improves circulation & blood flow
• Heightens mood
These are pretty amazing benefits practically all men look for and desire. Over the years there’s been an increase in men practicing yoga, however, there’s still room for growth. Recent studies still put men at only about 28% of the “yogi” population compared to women. So let’s go guys!
Yoga can be practiced anywhere- in any setting- and doesn’t require experience to begin. The journey starts when you start…. Right now.
So, I’ve created the perfect 3-part series to get you started on your Total Gym! It’s called, “Manly Moves”, because… well, they are manly stretches for you guys looking to increase your physical performance and flexibility!
MANLY MOVES OVERVIEW
Guys, I know the thought of doing yoga could be a deal breaker, so that’s why we’re going to keep things simple and not overwhelming so that you can get those muscles more limber ASAP!
I made this into a 3 Part Blog series to introduce you to yoga on your Total Gym- essentially one flow at a time. Each blog will contain 1 flow that consists of only 3 to 4 poses that are sequenced to “flow” from one to the next to maximize your positioning on the Total Gym. These stretches will ultimately help obtain muscular strength, length, balance, and release tension points in your muscles.
By the end of the 3 Part Series, you will know three solid Manly “Flow” Moves that you can perform as a powerful yoga practice on your Total Gym!
MANLY MOVES: FLOW I
Listed below are 4 yoga movements that will get you “flowing”. I suggest learning the movements and feel what incline setting is best for you on your Total Gym to accommodate your flexibility.
Focus on performing the movements slowly with control and breathe fully into each pose, this will help your muscles relax. Just remember, the key to any success is to be consistent, practice often, and make it part of your daily habits. Now let’s flow…
*The accompanying video demonstration will explain in detail how to perform these poses/ stretches on your Total Gym*
Directions: Perform this flow 3xs through on each side. Repeat more rounds if your feeling the flow and want more!
1. Standing Forward Fold (Sanskrit: Uttanasana)
• Focus: opens the back of the legs, hips and back.
• Goal: Allow gravity to do its job in this pose. Try to relax your head and neck so you can reduce any upper body tension.
• Benefits: lowers blood pressure, eases headaches, improves circulation and helps you sleep better.
• Why it’s a good Man Move: This pose is appealing for non-bendy men because it can easily be modified, especially on the TG.
2. Plank (incline push-ups)
*This is your Transition + core work*
• Focus: to challenge your entire body, from head to toe, with the added bonus of feeling like a total boss holding yourself up in a superhero position!
• Why it’s a good Man Move: Guys, if you want to unleash your inner superhero, planks are the way to go, as they build rock-solid abs, enhance your overall strength and endurance, and make you feel like you can conquer the world (or at least your workouts)!
3. Upward Facing Dog (Sanskrit: Urdvha Mukha Svansana)
• Focus: can help to open the chest and strengthen the back and arms.
• Goal: stretches and strengthens the entire body, while improving posture, spinal alignment, and respiratory function
• Benefits: helps improve breathing difficulties, strengthen the arms and wrists, and helps release stress
• Why it’s a good Man Move: This posture will help anyone who sits behind a desk or drives for long hours each day by opening the chest, shoulders, abdomen, and hip flexors.
• For men who also enjoy more strenuous forms of exercise, Upward Facing Dog is a great way to warm up and get the muscles stretched and blood flowing before expecting the body to go all out.
4. Downward Facing Dog (Sanskrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana)
• Focus: to stretch and lengthen the entire body, while strengthening the arms, shoulders, and core, improving circulation and energizing the body
• Goal: to promote overall physical and mental wellbeing by improving strength, flexibility, and focus to reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue
• Benefits: improves circulation, reduces back pain, increases shoulder and hamstring flexibility, strengthens limbs, and reduces stress and anxiety
• Why it’s a good Man Move: It’s the pose that just makes you say aaaah. Downward Dog brings the attention to all of those tight areas that challenge men—the hamstrings, calves, arms, shoulders, back, hips and more. And while it stretches the body, Downward Dog also strengthens the arms and legs. Perhaps even more important for men is what Downward Facing Dog does for the heart. This amazing asana strengthens the heart as it improves circulation, reduces stress and helps high blood pressure.
Be sure to check out the video to see how these Manly Moves flow together on your Total Gym! Moving through this simple flow is the way to go!
Gentlemen, now that you’ve flowed your first Manly Moves Flow on the Total Gym, you’re on your way to unlocking the full potential of your mind and body.
Stay tuned for Manly Moves: Part 2 to learn another simple sequence that utilizes your Total Gym and helps take your flexibility to the next level.