Every time you go to yoga class or do some simple stretches, you know the poses and movements you’re doing—but do you know exactly which muscles you’re working? If you’re like us, probably not.
So when we came across this story, originally published on Lifehack, we knew we had to share it. Not only are the images captivating, but as Sharen Ross, author of the article and co-founder of Mazlo, writes, “with this info, you can give yourself the nicest, best stretch.” (Not to mention properly alter your technique if you sense any pain.)
Vicky Timón, author of Encyclopedia of Pilates Exercises, created the illustrations, and James Kilgallon, CSCS, creator of Mazlo’s Body Maintenance Program, wrote the explanations for each drawing.
1. Camel Pose
Muscles highlighted: Rectus abdominus and external obliques. This stretch is best reserved for people who have good flexibility already. Sit on your heels and place your hands behind you as you push your hips up and forward. Avoiding putting too much pressure on your lumbar spine. If you have neck problems do not drop your head back.