Warm up for 5-10 minutes with a brisk walk or another workout.
STANDING REACH TO CHAIR WITH CHEST OPENER
Standing tall with legs hip’s distance. Reach arms up and stretch fingertips to the ceiling on a deep inhale.
Exhale and sit back into a chair position keeping knees over heels as you swing the arms back and behind as they externally rotate inside the shoulder joint. Thumbs should point out.
Repeat this up to 10 times. Hold last reach up for a few deep breaths; hold last sit back for a few deep breaths. ***Clasp hands behind for an extra chest stretch.
Tip: Remind yourself to breathe as it’s very tempting to hold breath through movement.
Holding support, step right leg back while bending left knee and keep it above the heel. Make sure the upper body stays hinged forward while you allow the hip flexors to open. Take a few deep breaths.
ADVANCED RUNNER’S LUNGE
If you feel ready, let go of support and reach right arm up and over to the left to increase the stretch through the hip flexors and into the side body (obliques and lats). Take a few deep breaths here. Repeat other side.
Tip: Stay strong in your position and feel the heat building in the body.
STANDING QUAD STRETCH
Holding support, raise right foot to right hand. Soften left knee and draw hips slightly underneath the torso as you draw right knee back and behind to stretch quadriceps. Hold for a few deep breaths and repeat other side.
Tip: Stand super tall through crown of the head and make sure the knee is pointing straight down.
FIGURE FOUR STRETCH
Holding support, cross left shin on top of right thigh. Keep sternum and chest up and sit back as far as you can, keeping hips untucked to stretch your glutes. Hold for a few deep breaths and repeat other side.
Tip: Keep foot flexed and make sure as you sit back you turn your knee out more to open the hips more.
You’ll need a level and sturdy support like a banister or sofa ledge. Take left shin onto the top of the sofa as you lift your right heel up. Keep left knee outside the shoulder. Hold for a few deep breaths. Change sides.
***This may be too intense for the flexibility of your hips so listen to your body. If it’s too hard or deep, just stick with Figure Four, pictured above, for now.
Increase the stretch by dropping right heel and turning right hip forward.
Stand back from your support while holding onto it with arms just in front of shoulders. Keep legs straight and under the hips, and take the tailbone up toward the ceiling. Drop upper body just a little to encourage openness in the shoulders and backs of legs. Hold for a few deep breaths.
Tip: If your hamstrings (or back of legs) are tight, you can slightly bend the knees to get a little deeper stretch through the shoulders. If your shoulders are a bit tight, you can stay a bit more elevated in the upper body so that you can straighten the legs. If, like many people, you are pretty tight all over, shift back and forth as you modify both ways so that you can get the benefit of this compound stretch.
Intensify this stretch as you gain flexibility by really dropping the chest down.
HIP TO HIP HINGE
From Shoulder Hinge, bend left leg deeply and shift into the right hip. Hold for a few deep breaths. Switch sides.
Once you gain mobility in the hips, hamstrings, and lower back, bring left hand down to the floor while twisting the torso to straighten the right arm all the way up as you follow with your gaze and spread your fingers wide. Hold this stretch for a few deep breaths. Shift and repeat to the other side.
Have you tried this stretch? What do you think?
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