Active stretching can be a real treat for the body and the mind. Gentle stretches that involve movement can help improve circulation, boost mood, and bring a sense of relaxation to the muscles.
The stretches in this workout are largely fluid in motion, involving repeating different combinations of specific movements intended to provide tension relief for the hips, lower body, and core (with a handful of opportunities to focus on the upper body, as well).
All the way through this routine, I invite and encourage you to focus on your breath. There are a lot of opportunities (and real time cues) about how to breathe in coordination with the movements, but there’s also a lot of room for creativity, personal interpretation and implementation. I recommend focusing on slow, deep breaths through the nose, with extended (longer than your inhale) exhales. Focus on sending your breath to different places in your body — especially deep down into your lower belly, but also, variably, through your ribs, shoulder blades, armpits, and chest (and sometimes, all of the above in a comprehensive effort to “expand”).
If you don’t have the capacity to focus on breathwork in addition to showing up for your workout today, I want to let you know that whatever you're capable of putting forward right now is enough. So if you’re following along with this in your pajamas to your favorite guilty pleasure show — I see you, I support you, and I want you to know that I often do the same. It all counts. This routine can be used in a lot of different ways, and all of them are good enough.
If at any point you come across an exercise or range of motion in this routine that causes you pain or severe discomfort (physical or mental), simply replace it with a stretch that you feel more comfortable with.
The first few minutes of this routine are meant to be a light “warm up” for cold muscles, and it involves gentle motions, just to get your brain and body ready. A few minutes in, we move onto active, fluid stretches in lengthy intervals, meant to help with muscle tension and overall relaxation. We’ll be doing each range of motion for 45 seconds active, followed by a full 15 seconds of rest or transition time. You won’t need any equipment or a separate warm-up or cool-down for this workout.
Printable Workout: 45 Seconds Active, 15 Seconds Rest/Transition
Standing Torso Twist Arms Swing (passively then with grip for stretch through arms)
Overhead Stretch + Arm Sweep to Floor
Rainbow Reach + Pivot Step
Super Slow Walkdown with Foot Pedaling
Active Thread the Needle (push back into Child’s Pose between)
Quadruped Torso Rotation + Spinal Flexion (between sides)
Spinal Circles (1 each direction) into Bird Dog (1 rep on each side)
Quadruped IT/Torso Stretch + Lean & Look (1 leg stretched behind other, alternating)
Mermaid Rocks + Forward Lean
Other Side (switch leg positions)
Middle Stretch (freestyle)
3 Figure 4 Leans + Switch Extended Leg
Pretzel Leg Drops
Pretzel Leg Drops + Torso Twist Holds
Seated Chest Stretch
Side Lying Pilates Stretch (freestyle: calves, core, sides, chest, wrists, ankles, etc)
Other Side (repeat both exercises)
Supine Torso Twist + Thoracic Rotations (alternating sides after thoracic rotation)
Supine Leg Extensions (Freestyle Hamstring & Calf Stretch)
Knee Hug Back Rub
Full Body Stretch + Single Leg Pull (Alternating)
I hope that you enjoyed this workout and that it treats you well. Let me know what you would like me to film next!
Thank you for working out with me,