If you're a tall guy, you probably need a good stretch. Being tall can mean good posture is more difficult, weight lifting has to be tailored to your frame, and flexibility is a fantasy ~ but not anymore.
Al Bingham, our resident tall professional yoga instructor, is here to show our fellow tall guys a few yoga poses that will help you feel stretched, relaxed, and mobile.
They are doable, fun, and fast! Check them out below:
Cat & Cow
How to Do It
Get down on all fours, hands shoulder-width apart. Find a breathing cadence that is comfortable for you.
During each exhale, arch your back from the tailbone up, all the way to your neck, curving downward and hunching your shoulders forward. For each inhale, slowly arch your back inward, this time beginning from the neck and slowly working down the spine.
Practice this rhythm with your breath, easing into both the cat & cow pose like a continuous wave. This stretches your back and provides better mobility for tall guys.
Good for: your back, neck, and pelvic floor.
Downward Facing Dog with Props
How to Do It:
Place your feet and hands on the yoga mat, trying to keep your back as straight as you can. Tall guys have different proportions than shorter people, so using a prop with this pose is not a JV or “yoga-lite” indication! It simply allows your body to stretch and move the way it was designed.
For tall guys with longer legs and shorter torsos, place two props under your hands to provide a better stretch and allow you to tuck your pelvis under. For tall guys with shorter legs and longer torsos, walk your feet a little closer to your hands.
Hold this pose for several breaths. Lift and lower your heels for an added stretch.
Good for: your back, pelvic floor, hamstrings, and calves.
Low Back Sidebends
How to Do It:
Stretch your legs far apart and open up your left foot to the top of the mat. Bend your left knee to a 90º angle.
As you stand, take your right arm, palm face up, and extend it straight out to your right. Keep your focus on this right hand as you move through this pose.
As you inhale, bend to your left, reaching your left arm down your bent leg, touching either your knee, shin, or the ground (depending on what is comfortable for you as a tall guy). As you exhale, slowly rise back up.
Repeat this on your right side to stretch your lower back and integrate your entire body with a single motion.
Good for: your lower back and strengthening your entire body
How to Do It:
Move to a relaxed standing position. Extend your right hand in front of you, palm facing upward.
Keeping your eyes focused in front of you, rotate your straight arm behind you until you’re reaching all the way behind your back. At your furthest stretch, rotate your palm to face downwards and slowly bring your hand back to the front.
Do this for several breaths, matching your inhale with rotating back and your exhale with rotation forward. As you progress, focus your gaze on your hand (instead of focusing in front of you) for a few breaths to stretch your neck. Then try focusing your gaze on your hand for half of the motion, and fixing your gaze at the wall next to you for the rest of the movement.
Good for: your neck, lower back, and overall mobility
How to Do It:
Squats are great for your pelvis, spine, knees, and feet, and working through the motion of a squat without weight can really help your body familiarize itself with the movement.
Start standing with your hands stretched in front of you and your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, turned out a few degrees. Lower you pelvis to the ground, slowly sinking to the lowest you can go.
Rest at the bottom for a few deep, quiet breaths. Then as you inhale, come back up again.
After a few squats, start trying to squat while keeping your back straight for a greater, deeper stretch.
Good for: your pelvic floor, back, knees, feet, and overall strengthening
Tall Yoga Doesn't Have to End Here...
If you loved those poses as much as we do, you might want to do a little more tall yoga. For more information on Al Bingham and his yoga classes for tall guys, make sure to check out EncourageYoga.com!
If you want to follow along with his tall-guy-specific yoga routine for free, check out this video (you will feel SO stretched and refreshed afterwards).
And if you're looking for a few yoga t-shirts to fit with your tall yoga routine, check out our options below ~ you won't want to stretch without them!
^^ A closer look at the shirt above, our Tall Athletic Shirts are perfect for any tall guy who loves exercise. Moisture-wicking, cooling, and flattering, this is a great option if you want to try tall yoga yourself.