If we had to name one of our favourites yoga accessoires, it would hands down be stretch straps. It doesn’t matter if you’ve only been practicing yoga for one month or have been a dedicated yogi for years, stretching will never feel better than with a stretch strap. In this article, we’ll introduce you to this wonderful accessory and we’ll tell you all the reasons why you should incorporate it into your weekly or even daily yoga flows.
How To Use A Yoga Stretch Strap
Incorporating a yoga stretch strap into your flow can be tricky if you’re unsure where to start. Luckily, there are plenty of ways in which you can benefit from using a stretch strap and in today’s blog, we will highlight 7 ways in which you can use one that may be new to you. Are you ready? Let’s dive in, get our yoga mats out and give those muscles a good stretch.
1. Hamstring Stretch
Tight muscles can be an absolute pain, especially if you’re trying to become more flexible and improve your yoga abilities. Our hamstrings make up for a big muscle and when they’re sore or stiff, it can impact a lot of our movement. Not just during our yoga flow, but in our daily lives as well. For this first stretch, you want to lay down on your back, and move your legs up and then straighten them above you, forming a ninety degree angle. Grab a stretch strap and place it under the soles of your feet before you stretch your legs. By using the strap, you will feel a deep pull in your hamstrings, which can relieve tension and reduce the chance of injuries.
2. Shoulder Stretch
If your upper body is your main problem area, then opening up your shoulders can be really beneficial. There are a lot of yoga poses that require upper body strength, where our shoulders play the biggest part. While standing up straight, you grab the stretch strap and hold it in front of you, with your hands about hip width apart. Now, you want to slowly move your hands up and move over your shoulders, whilst holding the stretch strap in the same way you were before. Move your arms back as far as you can without it being painful. Get a good stretch in there, but remember to not push this one too hard.
3. Chest Stretch
Sticking to the upper body, this stretch helps you open up your stretch. Yoga requires flexibility in both your upper and lower body, so we cannot forget about the chest area. Starting off with the same position as the shoulder stretch, you want to move your hands further away from each other, whilst keeping your arms stretched in front of you. Slowly move your hands further and further to the outside of the stretch strap, which gives you a lovely stretch throughout your chest.
4. Upper Back Stretch
With one hand, you’re going to grab the stretch strap and reach your arm backwards to your upper back. With your other hand, reach below your shoulder and place it on your mid-back, grabbing the stretch strap. So essentially, you’re holding the stretch strap vertically along your back, with one hand around your shoulder blades and the other around your mid to lower back.
5. Lower Back Stretch
Do you have a tight feeling in your lower back? This is actually very common, especially since we’ve been working from home a lot more in the past two years. Bad posture can cause temporary discomfort, but can also eventually result in long-lasting back problems. It’s key to target the core of the issue by improving your posture. Reminder yourself to sit up straight whenever you’re working, for example. Or place a pillow alongside your back if that helps your posture. To get a good lower back stretch with the stretch strap, you can place it under the sole of one foot and move your leg to the alternate side of your body. Keep your upper body - especially your shoulders - pressed to the yoga mat. Feel that stretch? Our backs will love it!