Samson Stretch | Samson Lunge with Shoulder Opener
Looking for a stretch that packs a big punch? Today, I am excited to dive into one of my favorites.. the Samson Stretch or lunge. Whether you know this move from Crossfit, yoga, or gymanstics, the sampson lunge is a powerful yoga-inspired move that combines flexibility and strength to help you achieve your fitness goals. In this article, I will explore what the Samson Stretch is, why it’s named as such, how to perform it along with my favorite vartiation with a rear shoulder opener, and the muscles it targets. Let’s embark on this empowering stretch together!
What is the Samson Stretch or Samson Lunge?
The Samson Stretch, also known as the Samson Lunge, is a dynamic and multi-dimensional stretch that draws its inspiration from yoga and martial arts. Named after the biblical figure Samson, who was known for his legendary strength, this stretch embodies the qualities of both flexibility and power. The Samson Lunge primarily targets the hip flexors, quadriceps, and hamstrings, while also engaging the core and shoulders.
Why is it called a Samson Lunge?
The name “Samson Stretch” draws parallels to the biblical character Samson, renowned for his incredible physical strength. The stretch encompasses a similar sense of power and fortitude, allowing practitioners to feel strong and grounded as they perform the lunge. By embodying the spirit of Samson during this exercise, I encourage the women that I train in my online fitness coaching to channel their inner warriors and cultivate both physical and mental strength.
How to Do a Samson Stretch with a Rear Shoulder Opener:
To perform the Sampson stretch with a rear shoulder opener, follow these steps:
- Starting Position: Stand tall with your feet together and your arms resting by your sides.
- Step Back: Take a long step backward with your right foot, lowering your body into a lunge position. Your left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle, and your left thigh should be parallel to the ground. Ensure that your left knee is directly above your left ankle to protect your knee joint.
- Rear Shoulder Opener: As you sink into the lunge, grasp your arms behind your body keeping you arms as straight as possible. Gently lift up while keeping your chest lifted. This action is the “rear shoulder opener” and enhances the stretch in your hip flexors, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
- Hold and Breathe: Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, maintaining a deep but comfortable stretch. Focus on breathing deeply throughout the stretch.
- Switch Sides: To even out the stretch, bring your arms down and step your right foot forward to return to the starting position. Now, repeat the lunge on the other side by stepping back with your left foot.
The Samson Stretch primarily targets the following muscle groups:
- Hip Flexors: The hip flexors, including the psoas and iliacus muscles, are located at the front of your hips and play a crucial role in hip mobility and lower body movements.
- Quadriceps: The quadriceps, a group of four muscles at the front of your thighs, are responsible for extending your knee and straightening your leg.
- Hamstrings: The hamstrings, situated at the back of your thighs, help in bending your knees and extending your hips.
- Shoulders: With the incorporation of the rear shoulder opener, this stretch also targets the muscles of your shoulders and upper back, promoting flexibility and improved posture.
How Does Incorporating a Shoulder Opener to the Rear Improve the Samson Stretch?
Adding the rear shoulder opener to the Samson Stretch brings numerous benefits to the exercise:
- Enhanced Stretch: The shoulder opener component amplifies the stretch across your hip flexors, quadriceps, and hamstrings, allowing for a more profound and effective stretch.
- Upper Body Engagement: By opening up your chest and drawing your shoulder blades together, you engage the muscles in your upper back, shoulders, and arms. This adds an element of strength and balance to the stretch.
- Posture Improvement: The rear shoulder opener encourages proper posture and shoulder alignment, which is crucial for preventing discomfort and injuries during physical activities.
- Mind-Body Connection: The incorporation of the rear shoulder opener fosters a deeper mind-body connection as you focus on your breath and the sensation of the stretch. This can promote relaxation and mental clarity.
Ok ladies! Now you know why I love the Samson Lunge, with its warrior-like intensity and grace, offers a fantastic opportunity for women to improve flexibility, strength, and mental fortitude. By incorporating the rear shoulder opener, this dynamic lunge becomes even more rewarding, providing a comprehensive full-body experience. As you embrace the spirit of Samson, you’ll discover newfound confidence and empowerment on your fitness journey. So, let’s rise, warrior women, and unleash the power within through the Samson Stretch!