The Outside Blog

Skiing and Snowboarding : Jun 2012

The Best Yoga Poses for Swimmers: Shoulder Stretch Into Cat/Cow

THE MOVES:
1. Start on all fours with your legs hip-distance apart, tops of the feet flat on the floor.
2. Bring your upper body down to the floor, reaching the arms out long in front of you.
3. Turn your upper body toward the left, to start, putting your right ear and shoulder on the floor. Extend your right arm straight out to the left, palm up.
4. The left arm reaches overhead in line with the side body, fingers to the floor and left bicep alongside your ear.
5. Hold for 30 seconds.
6. Come up onto all fours and continue into Cat/Cow for one minute.
7. Then repeat steps 1-6 toward your right.

THE REASON: Shoulder Stretch into Cat/Cow is a shoulder opener.

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The Best Yoga Poses For Swimmers: Shoulder Stretch on the Floor

THE MOVES:
1. Lie flat on the floor with your legs out straight behind you, hip distance apart, and your arms straight overhead, forehead to the floor.
2. Bring your right arm, to start, under and across your chest, leaning into your right shoulder and onto your arm.
3. Bring the left arm straight up and overhead, fingers to the floor, bicep near the ear. The more you roll toward center onto the shoulder joint, the deeper the stretch you will feel.
4. Hold for one minute, then repeat on the opposite side.

THE REASON: Shoulder Stretch will open up tightness in the shoulders.

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The Best Yoga Poses For Swimmers: Shalabasana

THE MOVES:
1. Lie flat on the floor with your legs straight out behind you, hip-distance apart, and arms straight ahead, forehead on the floor.
2. In one strong, swift motion, lift up with your feet and reach up and out with your arms, raising your heart off the floor. Your gaze should be out in front, between your hands.
3. Hold for 20 seconds. Then repeat for two minutes. 

THE REASON: Shalabasana is a core and back strengthener that will build length and alignment through the body and the limbs. Focus on keeping the neck and spine as long as possible for full effect.

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The Best Yoga Poses For Swimmers: Half Dhanurasana

THE MOVES:
1. Lie flat on the floor with your legs straight out behind you, hip-distance apart, and arms straight ahead, forehead on the floor.
2. Bend your right leg, to start, and reach back with your right arm until you are holding your right ankle.
3. In one strong, swift motion, kick up with your thighs and reach out and up with your left hand.
4. Keep kicking your right foot into your right hand and kicking up and out with your left foot, keeping your knees close together.
5. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat.
6. Do steps 1-5 on the opposite side of the body.

THE REASON: Half Dhanurasana is a core and back strengthener that will build length and alignment through the body and the limbs. Focus on lengthening through the entire side body for full effect.

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The Top 5 Areas for Bouldering in Ireland

BoulderingGuideCover

Last week, while trolling through adventure videos, I came across a short of two guys bouldering in Ireland. It was a simple, effective edit: the rock was wet, the valley was green and bracken, the guys kept finding beautiful, big, dark rocks to climb. It inspired me to abandon my search for early morning news and type “bouldering Ireland” into Google. A site named The Short Span showed up in the first two spots. I clicked. There were videos, of “Ireland’s Strongest Dad,” of “The Beast from the East” and “The Wiener from the West,” and of the 2012 Gap of Dunloe Climbing Meet. There were forums and an archive of posts packed with data on remote Irish climbing locales.

Most of the posts were written by Dave Flanagan. He included pictures and detailed tips about where and when to climb. I eventually emailed Flanagan with a few questions, including why and when he started the site.

I just wanted to share information about the great bouldering I had found. The site started in 2000, I think. No one ever asks me where the name came from, I think they assume it’s related to bouldering, but it actually is a reference to a poem by a British climber and writer Geoffrey Winthrop Young.

 “In this short span between my fingertips and the smooth edge and these tense feet cramped to a crystal ledge, I hold the life of a man.”

 Stirring stuff.

I hadn’t asked the question either, but wished I had. Flanagan also sent his list of the five top bouldering sites in Ireland, which I did ask for. His picks are listed below. If you want to know more, you can check out The Short Span or purchase the e-book version of Bouldering Ireland.

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