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Left Foot - One-legged Downwards Dog


  • From the Downwards-facing Dog position, raise one leg up, keeping the hips parallel to the ground. This increases the stretch in the calf of the standing leg.
  • Maintain the length in the spine and push into the floor with the heels of the hands.
  • Straight neck.
  • Guide the heel of the standing leg down to the floor.
  • Flex the raised foot and lengthen behind the knee.
  • Also see Rotating Plank Sequence.

General and Boxing-specific Benefits

An extremely effective, whole-body exercise, the Downwards-facing Dog stretches the hamstrings and the deep calf muscles, builds shoulder strength and stability, and improves circulation in the legs. It stretches the back and arms, lengthens the core, releases tension and opens the hips. It also helps with core control.

Cautions and Modified Versions

Participants with shoulder injuries should not emphasize external rotation of the shoulders but keep the arms straight and comfortable. Participants with wrist injuries should practice this pose with modifications, such as placing the elbows and forearms on the floor. If hamstrings are tight, keep the knees and elbows bent as is comfortable. Focus on lengthening the back and rotating the pelvis forward.

Anatomical Focus

Spine/Core: Spinal extensors and flexors.

Upper limbs: Serratus anterior, rotator cuff, deltoid, biceps brachi (long head), triceps brachii, pronator quadratus and teres, intrinsic muscles of wrist and hand

Lower limbs: Hamstrings, gastrocnemius, intrinsic muscles of foot,

Study and Reflect

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