Day 11 – Suspended Dolphin

Dolphin pose often shows up in yoga classes as a preparation for forearm stand.  It’s extremely challenging for people that lack shoulder flexion and external rotation, that makes it the perfect pose for CrossFitters.  I found it very difficult for  long time because of the tightness in my shoulders.  Now I enjoy it.  This variation is especially nice because the band traction takes some of the load off your shoulders so you can stretch longer without fatigue.  If you are especially tight and cannot keep your forearms parallel, place a yoga block or abmat between your hands to space them out.  Also try wrap a band around the elbows to keep them from flaring out really wide.  In this variation, you also get the additional benefits of a deep calf stretch and some relief in your lower back.  Give this a try and tell me how you like it.

Here are some key points to focus on:

  • The band is at the top of the thigh pulling you back and up.
  • The feet are hip width
  • Legs are straight
  • The heels should hover slightly off the ground but you should rock back into them slowly to get a stretch
  • The forearms are parallell or as close as you can get to parallel and shoulder width apart.  If you need help, place a spacer between your hands like and abmat and/or tie your elbows together with a band so they can’t go wider than your shoulders.
  • The shoulder blades should feel like they’re wrapping around the side of your rib cage.
  • Relax your neck and breathe slowly and deeply.

Suspended Dolphin Pose. Day 11 of 30. from Force Distance Time on Vimeo.

Here are the rules for the 30-Day Stretch Fucking Harder Challenge. Each day do the deep stretch, post it on Instagram and tag some friends to do it with you. Post your stretch with the tags: #stretchfuckingharder #supplepandas #30daypandachallenge Tag me @coachpanda. Come back here to my website or vimeo channel to see more details on each stretch and modifications and scaling options. Try to stay in each stretch for at least 2 minutes per stretch per side. Remember to breathe slowly and deeply and start gradually and move deeper over time. Back off if it hurts.

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