Stretching Tips⦁ Stretch any particularly tight areas before and during warm up.
⦁ If anything feels tight during the workout, stretch it.
⦁ Stretch 10-15 minutes per day. I suggest stretching at the end of each workout as a cool down (while the muscles are still warm, before they tighten up).
⦁ Don't stretch more than 20 minutes per day. Overstretching can cause injury to joints and connective tissues.
⦁ Stretching must be accompanied by strength work. Gains in flexibility without gains in strength can result in injuries.
⦁ Focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
⦁ Contract the muscle opposite the one you are stretching
⦁ If stretching the left hamstring, contract the left quad. If stretching the left bicep, contract the left triceps.⦁ You should only feel the stretch in the muscle you are isolating. If you are feeling it in other parts of your body, you're probably not doing the stretch properly.
⦁ Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds (or 5-6 breathes, whichever is easiest for you)
⦁ Be patient. Gains in flexibility are made over time. 10-15 minutes each day goes a long way over the span of weeks, months and years.
⦁ Focus on the sensations you experience while you stretch: what you feel and where you feel it. I like to stretch in a quiet place without music. The moments stretching at the end of a good workout are among the most peaceful moments I am able to achieve.
⦁ If you spent more time training one muscle group during a particular workout (i.e. legs), then spend more time stretching that muscle group at the end of the workout.
Full Body Stretching Routine
- Seated forward fold
- Seated straddle fold
- To the side
- Down the center
- Overhead (lat stretch)
Lying Twist Pidgeon pose Butterfly Cross legged fold Frog stretch Kneeling hip flexor stretch Quad stretch Calf stretch
- Upright side lean
- Arm across (back/back of shoulder stretch)
- Arm over (triceps stretch)
- Arms behind (chest/front of shoulder stretch)
- Standing wrist/forearm stretches
- Wrist rolls
- Chest/bicep fly
- Seated trunk twist
How to Do Each StretchLower Body
1) Seated forward fold
⦁ Feet together⦁ Legs straight⦁ Quads contracted + knees locked⦁ Reach hands towards toes⦁ Grab toes or calves and pull yourself down for added stretch⦁ Hold 30 seconds
⦁ To the side
⦁ Feet as wide apart as you can get them⦁ Legs straight⦁ Quads contracted + knees locked⦁ Reach both hands towards your toes on one side
⦁ Bring your nose down to your knee (as much as you can)
⦁ Hold thirty seconds⦁ Repeat for the other side
⦁ Down the center
⦁ Feet as wide apart as you can get them⦁ Legs straight⦁ Quads contracted + knees locked⦁ Extend arms straight out, fold forward and place hands on the floor as far away from you as you can get them⦁ Hold thirty seconds
⦁ Overhead (lat stretch)
⦁ Feet as wide apart as you can get them⦁ Legs straight⦁ Quads contracted + knees locked⦁ Reach one hand towards the same side foot⦁ Reach the other hand behind your head to the same side as the first hand⦁ Grab the first arm on the triceps for added stretch⦁ Hold thirty seconds⦁ Repeat the other side
⦁ Lay flat on your back⦁ Arms extended straight out to the side⦁ Legs straight, together, fully extended⦁ Lift one leg straight up off the ground⦁ Twist, lowering the leg to the side and reaching your toe to your opposite hand⦁ Keep your hands and arms planted firmly on the ground⦁ Bend your knee if you have to⦁ Hold thirty seconds⦁ Repeat to the other side
⦁ Front leg bent at 90 degrees⦁ Extend back leg + rotate back hip towards front heel⦁ Keep your chest up⦁ Use your arms to control your weight and the intensity of the stretch⦁ Okay for back leg to be bent (goal is for it to be extended straight behind you)
⦁ Seated, feet together, knees apart⦁ Back flat, chest up, slight lean forward⦁ Bring your feet in as close to your groin as you can get them⦁ Use your elbows to push your knees towards the ground⦁ Can also use your hands to push your knees to the ground one at a time
⦁ Seated with feet crossed⦁ Position yourself with your hands and arms so your knees are as low possible⦁ Extend your arms straight out in front of you and fold forward⦁ Fold as far forward as you can, extending your hands as far as they will go
⦁ It's okay if you can't touch the ground yet. It's also okay if you can't lean forward at all. You will get better with daily stretching.)
⦁ Hold for 30 seconds⦁ Switch your feet (so they're crossed the other way) and repeat
⦁ On knees and elbows⦁ Extend knees as far apart from each other as they'll go⦁ Rock hips backward as far as they will go and hold for 30 seconds⦁ Place hands on ground⦁ Rock hips forward as far as they will go and hold for 30 seconds
⦁ One knee bent, the other on the ground⦁ Both knees bent at 90 degrees⦁ Rock your hips forward until you fill a stretch in your hip flexor⦁ Hold for 30 seconds⦁ Repeat for the other side
⦁ One knee bent, the other on the ground⦁ Both legs bent at 90 degrees⦁ Reach one hand behind you and grab the opposite foot⦁ Use your hand to pull the foot up until you feel a stretch in the quad⦁ Hold for the seconds⦁ Repeat for the other side
⦁ Bear crawl position⦁ Straighten your arms and your legs so you're in downward dog⦁ Pick up one foot and place it behind the other⦁ Adjust yourself so you feel the stretch in the calf⦁ Hold for 30 seconds⦁ Repeat for the other side
1) Upright side lean
⦁ One hand overhead, other hand on your hip⦁ Lean towards hand on hip
⦁ Tilt head, arch neck and spine sideways to stretch neck and lats
⦁ Keep legs straight
⦁ One arm goes straight across your chest⦁ Keep this arm straight (no bend at the elbow)
⦁ Use your other arm to apply pressure to the back of the elbow
⦁ Repeat for the other side3) Arm over (triceps stretch)
⦁ One hand goes over your head between your shoulder blades on your back⦁ Use your opposite hand to pull the elbow back and stretch the triceps
⦁ Repeat for the other side4) Arms behind (chest/front of shoulder stretch)
⦁ Lace your fingers behind your back⦁ Lock your elbows
⦁ Pull your shoulders back and puff your chest out
⦁ Lift your hands behind you, keeping the elbows locked
⦁ Look straight up
⦁ Tilting your head to each side will stretch the neck also
⦁ Extend arm in front of you, locked at the elbow⦁ With palm up, use other hand to pull fingers down and back towards you
⦁ With palm up, use other hand to pull fingers up and back towards you
⦁ With palm down, use other hand to pull fingers down and back towards you
⦁ With palm down, use other hand to pull fingers up and back towards you
⦁ Repeat for the opposite side
⦁ Hands in fists⦁ Roll both wrists to the inside going through the full range of motion⦁ Roll both wrists to the outside going through the full range of motion
⦁ Interlace fingers in front of you⦁ Roll wrists and elbows in a snaking motion⦁ Reverse the direction of the snaking motion and repeat
⦁ Extend your hands as far as they can go from each other⦁ Turn your palms up
⦁ Keep your elbows straight
⦁ Tilt your head back and look up towards the sky
⦁ Arch your back and neck backwards to stretch the chest, front of shoulder and biceps8) Seated trunk twist
⦁ Seated, feet on the ground, knees up⦁ Rotate to one side⦁ Place lead hand behind you⦁ Place elbow of following hand behind opposite knee
⦁ Use lead hand and elbow as leverage to twist yourself around and rotate your spine⦁ Keep the spine straight (don't arch the spine, just rotate it)
⦁ Repeat for the opposite side