Connecting BASE/Yoga to Training

As trainers, you know the importance of alignment when it comes to exercise performance and safety.  However, it can sometimes be difficult to translate this connection with members.  Often they just want to come in, get a sweat or a pump, and have no understanding why we spend so much time warming up or cooling down with BASE.

This is meant to be a resource for you to help bridge that gap between alignment training and strength/conditioning.  We have 6 main movements here that translate directly into many of the most common exercises we do.  Each movement will include:

  1. Basic explanation of the pose/movement
  2. How it connects to MBG exercises
  3. What it does for the body
  4. How it improves body function

Forward Flexion

One of the more challenging movements for some people is finding the ability to flex at the hips instead of bending at the waist.  This is a crucial movement pattern for preventing back injuries as well as improving performance for almost any dynamic athletic movement.

Exercises: Deadlift, Swing, Clean, Snatch

Key Points:

  • Keep the shins in the same spot through the movement (calves lined up with heels)
  • Flex purely from the hips
  • Avoid any rounding of the spine with the chest and butt out

Chair

This pose creates squareness of the hips and promotes alignment from the feet > ankle > knees > hips > shoulders.  It also increases ankle flexion for a deeper more stable squat.

Exercises: Squat, Overhead Squat, Snatch

Key Points:

  • Put the feet together (or hip width apart) with the toes pointed forward, elevating the heels as necessary
  • Take the arms overhead, clasping the hands together and pulling them behind the body (think biceps to ears)
  • Squat as low as possible while maintaining arms overhead, chest up, and squareness of the hips

Prone Mountain

This pose is a movement that promotes extension through the entire body, all the way from feet to finger tips.  We spend so much time in a flexed position that creates massive leaks in strength and power in almost every exercises.

Exercises: Handstand, Military Press, Push Press, Overhead Squat

Key Points:

  • Firmly press your knees, thighs, and hips into the ground
  • Work your tailbone towards your heels
  • Extend through the crown of your head
  • Reach arms overhead, keeping the shoulders down and wide
  • Create lift in the arms, head, and shoulders

Incline Plane

Even though push-ups are the most common exercise in the world, the general public’s shoulders are incredibly dysfunctional.  This one of the best postural exercises that you can do to create stable shoulders.

Exercises: Pushups, Handstand Pushups, Power Wheel Rollout, Power Wheel Crawl

Key Points:

  • Palms flat, press your index fingers and thumbs evenly into the ground
  • Keep your shoulders down and wide
  • Don’t let the spine round or collapse
  • Keep shin action forward and thigh action back in both legs

Brachiation (Tick Tocks & Open Ups)

Brachiation helps create space in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, ribs while staying active. This movement connects to all pulling exercises by setting the shoulder in a strong and stable position.

Exercises: Pull-ups/Chin-ups, Rows, Rings, all overhead movements

Key Points (Tick Tocks):

  • Keep armpits closed and shoulders engaged
  • As you pull one shoulder down, the opposite will lift
  • The arms stay straight, the pull comes from the shoulder

Key Points (Open Ups):

  • Keep the ribs down and belly engaged
  • Keep the arms straight

Front Warrior

This movement is great for opening the hips and shoulders.  It creates activation with the posterior muscles and turns off the anterior.  It puts the hips into a neutral position to undo pelvic tilt and hyperextented low back.

Exercises: Lunges, Running, Box Jumps, Approach Jumps

Key Points:

  • Start in the bottom of a lunge position with the ball of the back foot on the ground (elevate the knee slightly if needed)
  • Pull back with the front heel to active the hamstring and butt
  • Extend with the back leg
  • Keep hips square
  • Interlace the hands and reach them overhead
  • Lift the chest and head while pulling back with the arms