If I were to ask a group of athletes to show me a yoga pose, 9 times of out 10, they would get into Downward Facing Dog. Why? Because has become a staple of any yoga class because it is not only an amazingly beneficial pose, but a transitional one as well.
A lot of poses can be approach from Downward Facing Dog. Even if you never go to a yoga class, this is a pose you should know and use regularly for warm up and recovery.
Calcaneal Tendon (Achilles)
Gastrocnemius/Soleus (Calf Muscles)
Alignment and Execution Tips
Start in plank. Shift your hips back and walk your feet towards your hands 2 inches or so.
Place your feet hips distance apart and your hands shoulder distance apart.
Bend your knees slightly, press through your palms as though to push the ground away. Send your hips up, keeping your spine long.
Feel your tailbone extend towards the ceiling and your chest press towards your hands.
Once the maximum extension of your spine is reached, begin to slowly straighten your legs, drawing your heels down. Relax your neck and gaze in between your feet.
Hold down dog while you breathe through the nose for up to two minutes.
Stretches the back body- specifically the calves, hamstrings and spinal erectors
For a great active warm up, transition between Plank Pose and Downward Facing Dog