It can be so easy to let the stretching fall out of your workout routine. That’s really a shame because stretching is key for our flexibility, our health and truly has the ability to make us stronger. So today I have an awesome full body stretch and open routine that is absolutely perfect for you.
Full Body Stretch & Open
I promise you stretching will help improve your overall wellbeing and athletic performance. It is totally worth your time! I feel a significant difference in the way I move and perform when I incorporate proper stretching.
It is very common to not be flexible by nature! I am certainly not. Do not let that discourage you. These moves should be done to the best of your ability. It is also helpful to use props where necessary. You will see in the video that I use a dumbbell for one of the exercises. A yoga block would also work well as an aid if you need the extra support getting into positions.
These stretches can be done before or after a workout. They are also just the thing for an off day when you just feel like you need to work on getting more limber. You will feel amazing from head to toe after these full body stretch exercises!
General Approach for Stretching
You don’t want to twist yourself into the positions. Establish a good posture and then lower yourself into the position. You want to set up with the joints aligned and then work your way to get more deeply into the position.
- This is a inner hip and thigh opener. You will want to keep the foot firmly planted with the big toe firmly planted.
- A prying stretch will open up the over tensed area. You are going to slide back into the hip socket feeling the hamstring stretch. Do not drive the butt up or round the back. Crawl forward into the lizard.
- Spend 15-30 seconds in each position. Go back and forth 2-3 times. Repeat on other side.
»»Pigeon on a Bench
- Make sure your body is square to the bench. Imagine creating a box between both shoulders and hips.
- Rotate open the thigh and place the right shin on the bench. Pay attention to not twist the knee.
- Holding this posture lower your left knee to the ground. If you cannot reach the ground go as far as you can while maintaining good posture.
- Keep the back foot tucked under you to distribute the weight. Spend 1-2 minutes holding and relaxing into the position. Repeat on other side.
- This stretch combines your kneeling hip flexor stretch with a quad stretch. Hop the front leg out about 2 feet in front of the bench.
- Place your back ankle on a bench or box and lower your knee down to the ground. Adjust the front leg as needed so that you ankle is directly under your knee and your shin is vertical.
- Keep your back thigh slightly turned in and your front thigh slightly open. Make sure your pelvis is tucked under you and your ribs are down. Hold for 1-2 minutes.
- Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Pull your left thigh into your chest. Pause to set the position.
- Rotate toward the left and hold your right ankle with your left hand. Open out your right arm into the twist.
- You can hold this position or perform a large arm circle in either direction. Spend 1-2 minutes exploring this position. Repeat on other side.
- Kneel with your elbows on the bench. Keep your shoulders slightly more narrow than shoulder width. Your hands are holding a pipe, stick or cable attachment with hands outside the elbows.
- Rock back into your hips while keeping your ribs crunched down. Head stays in line with your spine.
- Drop your whole body down between your straight arms. Do not let either the upper or lower back to arch. Curl the stick to touch the back of your head.
»»Achilles Wall Stretch
- Prop the ball of your foot onto a wall or ledge with the heel on the ground. Stand up tall and straighten the leg.
- Keep your pelvis tucked under you. Push your butt forward from the back leg toward the wall. Do not let it stick out!
- The goal is to lengthen the achilles – not to get as close to the wall as you can. Hold this portion for 1 minute.
- Squat straight down pushing the knee forward, but still keeping the hips under you. Torso is vertical. Hold this portion for 1 minute and then repeat on other side.
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Other Full Body Workouts:
Below is an awesome exercise mat (affiliate link) if you don’t already own one!
How about You?
- How often do you stretch?
- Do you prefer stretching before or after a workout?