Dynamic Yoga Flow Warm-Up: Olympic Lifts

Open your shoulders and warm up your posterior chain to prepare for an Olympic lift session with this yoga sequence.
By Stephanie Ring, CFL-2, 500-Hour RYT ,

When preparing for Olympic-lifting sessions, mobility is key. This yoga warm-up will gently stretch muscles and create openness in the joints, which is especially important for movements like snatches, cleans and deadlifts. Use this warm-up to increase your flexibility and improve your form so you can build more strength and power. And perhaps even more helpful, yoga warm-ups help you establish a strong, consistent breathing pattern for mental focus and staying present during each lift.

This dynamic yoga flow warm-up opens up the shoulders for overhead lifts, warms up the posterior chain and creates positional awareness for the setup of each lift.

Here are a few tips before you get started.

  1. When you come into Chair Pose, think about your deadlift position. Draw the weight into your heels as you pull your knees back so you feel the shins become more vertical. Pull the front ribs in to lock in the spine.
  2. In Crescent Lunge, think about your split-jerk position. Focus on bracing the spine, feeling the weight directly underneath you and creating an active shoulder.
  3. During the drop-to-squat exercise, think about speed and footwork, the same you would use during your squat cleans and squat snatch.
  4. In Dolphin, press into your forearms as you extend out of your shoulders. Then press your chest toward your toes to open your shoulders.
  5. Keep moving. Try not to hold these poses for too long. It is better to repeat the sequence than to hold longer than 10 to 15 seconds, especially as a warm-up.

Once the workout is complete, lead your athletes through a short recovery yoga practice with some of these same postures as seen in the WOD Recovery Yoga e-book.

Equipment needed:

• PVC Pipe

• Light Dumbbell

Dynamic Yoga Flow Sequence

• Vinyasa (three times)

• Sun Salutation (five times)

• Downward Facing Dog —> Lizard —> Pyramid —> Twisted Triangle (one time each side)

• Chair —> Stand (knee in) —> Knee in Open-Arm Twist —> Warrior III —> Crescent Lunge —> Crescent Lunge Open-Arm Twist (two times each side)

• Yoga Squat —> Drop to Squat (five times)

• Donkey Kick (five times)

• Forearm Side Plank (Hold each side for 30 seconds.)

• Dolphin (Hold for 30 seconds.)

• PVC Pass/PVC Twist (10 times)

• Light Dumbbell Snatch (20 times)

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