This dynamic take on pigeon pose will energise you in the morning

Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: up and down pigeon. 

A stretch feels so good in the morning, but did you know that sinking into deep postures isn’t the best way to wake your body up? While moving fluidly might feel like a struggle when your eyes have just woken up, doing static postures without creating space in the body first can set off alarm bells in your nervous system. 

Instead, opt for gently dynamic stretches that encourage blood flow to the areas you want to work into. Moves like the up and down pigeon are the perfect way to do that.  

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What is up and down pigeon?

The up and down pigeon takes the classic hip and glute stretching move and makes it more dynamic by folding in and out of it with your chest.

This exercise is great because:

It’s dynamic: it allows you to open your hips without static stretching. 

It improves mobility: by building strength and flexibility in the hips. 

It’s great to use in warm-ups: as it makes space in the joints that are used in compound exercises such as squats. 

What muscles does up and down pigeon work?

The up and down pigeon pose mainly targets the lower body, including:

  • Hip flexor
  • Hip adductor
  • Hip abductor
  • Glutes
  • hamstrings
  • Hamstrings
  • Lower back

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    How to do an up and down pigeon

    1. Begin in a tabletop position with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under hips. 
    2. Take your left knee off of the ground and bring it to your left elbow. Let your left foot come towards your right hand and place your leg down on the floor as you push your right leg back straight behind you.
    3. Keeping your hips square, so you don’t lean to one side, place your hands on the floor in front of you.
    4. Gently lower your chest to the floor so your stomach falls over your left leg. 
    5. Press back up through your hands to lift your chest off the floor. 
    6. Repeat for 30 seconds, then swap sides. 

    Images: Stylist

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