Photo: Sarah Lee

Photo: Sarah Lee

From the Mag | Summer Fitness Guide | Part 3

Stretching is an optimal complement to an active routine. It helps reduce the risk of injury, improve mobility and speed recovery time. By incorporating a few basic yoga poses into your routine, you will not only improve your flexibility and mobility but you will also increase the balance and core strength essential for SUP.

Warrior III

Benefits: Strengthens the hamstrings, calves, glutes and shoulders. Improves balance.
How to do it:
— Place all your weight on your right foot. Take a slight bend in your knee. Hinge at your hips kicking your left leg back.
— Bring your torso close to parallel with the ground as you lift your left leg up. Try to form a straight line from your head to your heel (forming a T position with your body).
— Hold for five deep breaths.


Reverse Warrior:

Benefits: Stretches the groin, chest and shoulders while increasing stamina and strength in the legs.
How to do it:
— Place the paddle on the board and begin in Warrior II with your right leg in front, right knee bent. Lower your left hand to your left leg and slide it down toward your ankle.
— Turn your right palm toward the sky and arc your right arm up overhead, reaching back behind you, without moving your legs. Turn your gaze up. Hold for five deep breaths.
— Lower your right arm and lift your left arm until both are shoulder height, palms facing down, returning to Warrior II. Switch sides and repeat.

Straddle with Shoulder Opener

Benefits: Increases flexibility in back of the legs, chest and shoulders.
How to do it:
— Stand with feet wider than hip-width. Deeply bend both knees and shift your hips back. Place hands on your thighs with fingers pointed inward.
— Drop right shoulder to the midline of your body pressing into your thigh for leverage. Come back to center and drop left shoulder to the midline of your body. Maintain a strong core and keep glutes engaged the entire time for additional support. Alternate for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Seated Twist

Benefits: Reduces stiffness in low back and increases mobility in upper back.
How to do it:
— Sit on the board with both legs straight out in front of you. Cross right leg over left (above the knee).
— Sit up tall and twist toward the right. Hook elbow on top of thigh and continue to twist deeper with every breath.
— After 5-10 deep breaths, switch the cross of your legs and twist to the left.

Tree pose

Benefits: Strengthens the muscles in your thighs, ankles and around your spine, as well as increases flexibility in your hips and shoulders.
How to do it:
— Hold the paddle vertically in front of you with the blade pressed firmly into the board. Shift your weight onto your left leg. Draw your right knee into your chest, grab your ankle, and press the bottom of your right foot onto your left thigh.
— If you’re finding your balance really easily, bring the paddle up to chest height. Drop your shoulders down and back and pick one point to keep your eyes. Stay in this pose for five slow, deep breaths. Repeat on the other leg.

Hamstring Stretch

Benefits: Improves flexibility in back of legs, opens up the hips and increases ankle mobility.
How to do it:
— Lay down on the board. Lift your right leg above the hips with a deep bend in your knee. Extend left leg to straight, resting it on the board. Hold the paddle above chest with hands slightly wider than hip-width.
— Place the middle of the paddle under foot. Begin to straighten the leg until you feel a stretch in hamstrings. Let your head and torso stay relaxed on the board.
— Hold for five to 10 deep breaths each side.

For additional workouts, recipes and more, follow Sports Illustrated editor, nutrition specialist and model Nora Tobin on Instagram @noratobin or check out her blog: