Yoga For Fighters: A 9-Pose Sequence For Mobility

Yoga For Boxers

Yoga for fighters. Isn’t that a contradiction?

I recently received an email from a student of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai who has been practising my videos for several years. Eric asked me if I would consider designing a special routine for fighters.


Eric wrote that “tightness in my hips and lower back inhibit my technique and prevent proper form. I’ve recently had a “rib out” from over-rotation of my core. In both BJJ and Muay Thai, I find the areas that require the most flexibility are the hips, hamstrings, lower back, shoulders, spine, and upper back.”

So pretty much everything!


  • Increase flexibility in key areas.
  • Improve rotational spinal mobility.
  • Enhance balance and proprioception. 
  • Alleviate areas of recurring pain. 
  • Improve breathing efficiency.
  • Train focus and concentration. 


Here is a 15-minute flow designed to open up the hips, stretch the calves and hamstrings, improve thoracic spine mobility, strengthen the core, stabilise the hips and improve balance and proprioception. It’s called Revolver.


Upward Salute—Yoga For Fighters
Half Sun Salutations warm up the body and establish your breathing cadence.

Warm up with two rounds of Half Sun Salutations.


Crescent Lunge stretches the hip flexors.

From Mountain pose. Inhale, sweep your arms out and up, look up. Exhale, swan dive down into Forward Fold. Inhale, look up with a flat back. Exhale, step your right foot back, drop your knee and release your back foot in Low Lunge. Inhale, sweep your arms out and up into Crescent Lunge.

Balancing Low Lunge Twist—Yoga For Fighters
In Balancing Low Lunge Twist, we train balance, open the hips and rotate the spine.

Exhale, open your arms and twist to the left. Take hold of your back foot, reach through your right fingertips and hold the pose completely still for 2-3 breaths—looking over your left shoulder. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, release your foot and bring your hands back down to the mat. Inhale, tuck your back toes and step your left foot back to Plank. Exhale, drop to your knees and lower all the way down to the mat.


Locust—Yoga For Fighters
Locust strengthens the posterior chain—especially the lower back.

Inhale, lift your hands, chest and feet in Locust. Exhale, relax into the pose. Hold the pose for 2-3 breaths. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, lower back down, press your hips back, tuck your toes and lift up into Downward Dog.


Revolved Downward Dog stretches the calves and hamstrings and improves thoracic spine mobility.

Bring your right palm to the middle of your mat. Inhale, reach back and take hold of your right calf or ankle and look up to the sky in Revolved Downward Dog. Exhale, twist from the base of your spine. Hold the pose for 2-3 breaths. Come back to centre and repeat on the other side. Inhale, press evenly into both hands. Exhale, step your right foot forward for Low Lunge and Balancing Low Lunge Twist on the other side. Step back to Downward Dog.


Revolved Low Lunge—Yoga For Fighters
Revolved Low Lunge stretches the hip flexors and rotates the spine.

Take a deep breath in. Exhale, step your left foot forward and release your back foot in Low Lunge. Inhale, come up and press your palms together at your chest. Exhale, bring your right elbow to the outside of your left thigh and twist to the left.

Revolved Side Angle—Yoga For Fighters
Revolved Side Angle challenges your balance and builds strength in the hips.

You can stay here or tuck your back toes, lift your right knee off the mat and come into Revolved Side Angle. Hold for 2-3 breaths. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, release the pose, bring your hands back down to the mat and step back to Downward Dog for the other side.


Balancing Half Moon—Yoga For Fighters
Balancing Half Moon trains balance, stabilises the hips and stretches the calves and hamstrings.

Step forward to Mountain pose at the top of your mat. Shift your weight into your right foot. Inhale, hug your left knee into your chest. Exhale, tip forward, reach your fingertips to the mat and lengthen your left heel back. If you have your balance, sweep your left hand up to the sky and open your chest in Balancing Half Moon. Flex your left foot and reach up through your fingertips. Hold the pose for 2-3 breaths. Last breath in. Exhale, bring your left hand back to the mat. Inhale, bend your right knee, come up to standing, hug your left knee into your chest. Exhale, release the pose and bring your foot back down to the mat. Repeat on the other side. 


Side Plank—Yoga For Fighters
Side Plank strengthens the core—especially the obliques, and shoulders.

Inhale, sweep your arms out and up. Exhale, swan dive down into Forward Fold. Inhale, look up. Exhale, step back to Plank. Inhale, sweep your left hand up to the sky. Exhale, stack your left foot on top of the right in Side Plank.

Side Plank Thread Through—Yoga For Fighters
This Side Plank variation strengthens the core in rotation.

Inhale, reach up through your fingertips. Exhale, thread your left hand under your body. Repeat the movement 3 times. Inhale, sweep your hand back up. Exhale, bring your left hand down, drop to your knees and lower all the way down to the mat. Inhale, lift up into Cobra. Exhale, lower back down, press your hips back, tuck your toes and lift up into Downward Dog. Repeat on the other side.


Knees-To-Chest—Yoga 15
Knees-To-Chest releases your lower back.

Inhale, bend your knees, press into your palms and stretch your spine. Exhale, drop down onto all fours. Sweep both feet to the right, sit back and come to the middle of your mat with your feet hip-width apart. Inhale, sit up tall. Exhale, lower your upper body as slowly as you can down to the mat. Hug your knees into your chest and rock gently from side to side.


Final Resting Pose—Yoga For Fighters

Release your arms and legs in Final Resting pose—keeping your body and mind still for at least 5 minutes.


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  • Hi Abi

    I have just completed your Yoga for Fighters sequence and found it really helpful in loosening my upper back. As a long serving firefighter and avid mtb’er I have definitely noticed a lack of flexibility and suppleness in that area over time.
    Slowly breathing into the low lunge twists really seem to help open up my lungs despite initially feeling like they were being constricted.
    I found your videos a couple of years ago on Pinkbike after looking to remedy a dodgy lower back myself rather than relying on someone else to sort it for me. They, along with a switch from traditional weights to kettlebells, have really helped me move with much more freedom in my job, in the gym and on the bike.
    I still get aches from tough training sessions and wearing my PPE but they are ‘good aches’, not ‘bad aches’ which put me out of action.
    Thanks your time and effort in giving people the tools to help themselves.


    • Thank you Ryan! I couldn’t be more delighted to hear about all the positive changes that you’ve made. I want you to do more yoga! Drop me an email ( and I’d love to give you an annual subscription with full access to the site. Stay supple!