A stretching routine to assist with improving flexibility and helping to prevent injuries.
Only stretch as far as you comfortably can.
Sitting on the floor keeping your tummy firm and back straight. Have one leg extended in front of you and the other leg bent so the sole of your other foot touches your extended leg’s inner thigh. Lean slightly forward, keeping your back straight, don’t slouch over, touching your ankle with your hand. Flex your extended leg’s foot back when leaning forward. Hold for 10-30 seconds then swap legs.
Lie flat on your back with your knees slightly bent, and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your right leg towards your upper body keeping it extended with the sole of your foot facing the ceiling – so your leg is pretty much extended straight upwards. Placing your hands around the your thigh, or behind your knee, to support your leg. Your hips and lower back shouldn’t leave the floor. You should feel a slight pull in the back of your upper thigh. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds then swap legs and repeat.
Lying on your back bring one knee up towards your chest. Clasp your hands around your knee to keep your leg in place. Have the opposite leg extended out in front of you either straight or slightly bent , depending on your flexibility. Hold for 10-30 seconds then swap legs.
Lower Back and Abs
Lying face down on a stretch mat (or a yoga mat) place your hands, palms down, directly under your shoulders. Have your legs extended behind you and flat on the floor. Now press upward raising your upper body off the floor until your arms are straight. Make sure you exhale as you press up and keep your head and heck inline with your spine. Don’t over extend your back – your palms should remain flat on the floor. Hold this position for around 5 seconds then lower yourself down again to the floor. You should feel the stretch in your abdominals. Repeat 3-5 times depending on how advanced you are.
Kneel on all fours – with your knees and hands on the floor. Keep your back straight, shoulders back. Arch your back up as much as you can, then relax, repeat several times. Hold for a few seconds each rep. Repeat 2-3 times. Hold for 10-30 seconds
Sit on the floor. Keep your tummy firm and chest out. Bend your legs so the soles of your feet touch together. Place your hands on your ankles and your elbows on upper sides of your knees. Push down slightly. Hold for 10-30 seconds.
Stand near a wall or chair. Keep your tummy firm and chest out. Fold one leg up behind you holding your foot with your hand. Have the other hand on the wall or chair for balance. Keep the standing leg’s knee soft, do not lock it out. Hold this stretch for 10-30 seconds, then swap legs.
Standing with your arms out in front of you lean against a wall, with the palms of your hands hands on the wall for balance. Have your left leg bent and in front of you and your right leg straight and behind you. Lean towards the wall stretching your calf muscle on your right leg. Make sure you keep the heels of your feet on the ground. Hold for a count of 10-30 seconds then swap legs.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and your knees slightly bent. Keep your tummy firm and chest out. Clasp your hands behind your back, palms facing your body, raise your hands and arms until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10-30 seconds
Arms / Chest
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and your knees slightly bent. Keep your tummy firm and chest out. Clasp your hands above your head, palms up or down – depending on your flexiblity. Hold for 10-30 seconds.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and your knees slightly bent. Keep your tummy firm and chest out. Extend one arm up then bend your hand down between your shoulder blades, in the center of your back. Your elbow should be pointing upwards besides the top of your head. Place the opposite hand on top of the bent elbow. Hold for 10-30 seconds then swap arms.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and have your knees slightly bent. Keep your tummy firm and chest out. Bring your right arm up across your chest so that your right hand is up near your left shoulder. Raise your left arm so that the inner side of your left hand (the side your thumb is on), pushes slightly on the back of your right upper arm. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then swap arms.
Stand facing frontwards with your feet about shoulder width apart and your arms folded lightly across your chest. Rotate your shoulders to your right side – make sure you’re not slouching keeping your back straight and good posture. Hold for around 10-30 seconds. Return your upper body to starting position and repeat with the left side.
Hold Count for Stretching Routine Exercises
Beginners up to 10 – 12 seconds
Intermediate 15 – 20 seconds
Advanced 20+ – 30 seconds
© Mandy Gibbons
Virtual Fitness Trainer
IMPORTANT: The above workout is an excerpt from my newsletter. It is provided free on this site but does not include support or customization.