Yoga For Fighters: Pre-Training Series

Type: Full Body |Hips | Hamstrings | Core | Shoulder Girdle
Discipline: Jujitsu | MMA | Muay Thai | Athlete
Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Time: Pre-training
Duration: 10 to 15 minutes
Rounds: 2 to 4

A short and effective pre-training stretch for improved flexibility, range of motion and injury prevention. Use of vinyasa (flow) to create internal heat preparing the muscles for increased periods of start and stop flexion and extension. Ideal for jujitsu positions requiring back to back movements of internal and external rotation through the joints. Movements are connected by a deep breath, inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Allow for 2 to 3 breathes in each posture. Begin on the right side of the body moving through all postures. Once completed return to the beginning and move through each posture on the left side of the body. One round equals the sequence on both the right and left side.

 


Mountain – Tadasana

Mountain – Tadasana

  • Feet hip width apart, body weight evenly distributed along the bases of the feet
  • Long spine, engaged core
  • Shoulders relax away from the ears with light engaged through the blades drawing towards the back-body
  • Arms alongside the body, palms facing forward
  • Inhaling and exhale through the nose

 

Forward Fold – Uttanasana

Forward Fold – Uttanasana Yoga For Fighters

  • Inhale to lift the arms up
  • Exhale to forward fold, bending at the hips bringing belly to thighs
  • Hands release to the mat bending the knees if needed to bring the hands to touch
  • Head is heavy, forehead relaxes towards the knees, shoulders draw back
  • Weight slightly forward for an increased stretch along the backs of the legs

 

Half Way Lift – Ardha Uttanasana

Half Way Lift Yoga for Fighters

  • Inhale to bring the palms of the hands flat to the shins
  • Shoulders draw back to create a flat neutral back
  • Gaze slightly forward aligning the neck and shoulders
  • Weight is evenly distributed through the feet

 

High Plank – Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana

High Plank Yoga for fighters

  • Exhale to release the hands to the mat, shoulder width distance apart
  • Step feet to the back of the mat, toes are tucked under
  • Activation through the backs of the heels, thighs engaged
  • Arms are straight, triceps rolling in, shoulder drawing back
  • Flat back creating a straight line along the spine
  • Strong activation through the core pulling navel to spine
  • Hips are aligned with the shoulders

 

Four Limbed Staff – Chaturanga Dandasana

  • Shoulders draw back
  • Elbows tuck in close to the body, biceps connect to the ribs
  • Back body remains neutral
  • Lower half way down creating a 90-degree angle with the arms
  • Core stays activated, gaze forward
  • Hold in a straight line, do not allow the shoulders to dip down below the elbows

(see image above).

 

Upward Dog – Urdhava Mukha Svanasana

upward facing dog

  • Untuck the toes pressing the tops of the feet into the mat
  • Strong activation through the highs
  • Hips and knees are lifted off the mat
  • Press in the palms, rolling the shoulders back to straighten the arms and open the chest
  • Actively drawing the hands back creating a gentle back bend
  • Gaze is upward, head back slightly

 

Downward Facing Dog – Adho Muka Svanasana

Downward Facing Dog

  • Untuck the toes
  • Press into the hands to lift the hips back and then high into the air
  • Legs are straight, knee caps lifting up, heels of the feet release down to the back
  • Arms remain straight rolling the triceps in creating opening through the shoulders
  • Head releases down between the biceps gaze towards the navel
  • Feet are hip width distance heels hidden behind the toes

 

Three-Legged Dog

Three legged Dog Yoga for fighters

  • Remain in downward facing dog
  • Inhale to lift the right leg high into the air
  • Shoulders squared to the mat, press into the fingers tips to reduce tension on the wrists
  • Open the right hip by bending the right knee pulling right foot to the left glute
  • Right knee is high pointing upwards
  • Left leg is straight with the heel grounded on the mat

 

Knee to Nose

Knee to Nose Yoga For Fighters

  • From downward facing dog
  • Gradually shift body weight forward, moving onto the toe tips
  • Press into the hands
  • As you move forward deeply round the spine forward pulling right knee to nose
  • Strong activation through the core

 

Fallen Triangle

Fallen Triangle Yoga for Fighters

  • From knee to nose
  • Press firmly into the right-hand arm is straight
  • Roll from the ball of the back left foot onto the pinky toe side
  • Shift body weight to the right
  • Open the chest by drawing the left shoulder back arm extends up
  • As you shift to the right, right leg extends out to the side
  • Extending through the left finger tips creating opening in the left side body
  • Hips are stacked lifting upwards

 

 

Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II

Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II Yoga for Fighters

  • From fallen triangle
  • Draw the right foot in towards the center line of the body
  • Release the left hand down to the mat
  • Roll onto the ball of the back left foot
  • Hips are squared to the mat
  • Right knees is bent foot flat on the floor
  • Hands flat on the mat framing the front right
  • Once aligned in a low lung release the back heel to the mat
  • With a wide stance create a heel to arch alignment with the feet
  • Windmill the arms up to standing
  • Right arm extends forward left arm extends back
  • Deep lung into the front right knee drawing the knee cap towards the pinky toe to open the right hip
  • Back leg is straight and activated pressing through the pinky toe edge
  • Hips and shoulder are aligned and center in the body
  • Chest is open, shoulders draw back and down
  • Gaze forward towards the right finger tips

 

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Author Description

Veronica Fine

Founder of “The Fine Yogini” and “Yoga For Fighters” Veronica is fulfilling her lifelong passion of sharing with others the benefits of a regular yoga practice.

Veronica is a certified 200hr Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga Instructor through YogaCara Global, Raw Vegan Chef under Alissa Cohen’s “Living on Live Food”, former competitive OEF equestrian and ten-time marathon runner. She has raced throughout North America and Internationally, notably competing in the 2009 Sydney BlacksWorth Full Marathon, 2013 Miami ING International Full Marathon and 2014 HSBC Bermuda International Full Marathon. 
 
Previously employed with The Ultimate Fighting Championship as a manager of live event operations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Veronica has had the opportunity to network with some of the MMA industries elite athletes and coaches around the world.
 
As a dedicated practitioner of yoga for the past nine years and mixed martial enthusiast, Veronica has developed a program of asana’s specifically designed to meet the needs of MMA athletes. “Yoga For Fighters” combines the benefits of increased flexibility and range of motion as a means to injury prevention and overall improvement in performance.

Follow me on Instagram @The Fine Yogini

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