- Duration: 15 Minutes
- Calorie Burn: 45-105
- Difficulty: 3/5
- Equipment: Mat, No Equipment
- Training Type: Low Impact, Pilates, Warm Up/Cool Down, Stretching/Flexibility
- Video Player: View on YouTube
This Fitness Blender Stretching Workout is meant to feel good - it's a flow of both fluid stretching and light toning exercises. This is yoga and Pilates inspired, without necessarily sticking to the traditions or rules of either.
Stretching and flexibility is far too often overlooked in it's importance in terms of it's role in achieving and maintaining a fit, healthy body. It's as crucial to the foundation as fitness as cardiovascular training or strength building.
We know it's easy to get zoned in on technical product goals associated with the more superficial appearance of being fit (weight loss, mass gained, inches lost, etc) and lose sight of goals that are actually indicative of true health and fitness. Add this relaxing and effective stretch routine to your program (preferably after your workouts) to treat your muscles to a nice refreshing stretch so that you can keep doing the more intense workouts that you love.
This routine can be used as a warm up; you could also use it as a morning stretch routine or something that you do to help clear your head before you lay down at night.
Cobra to Child's Pose: From a prone position place hands palms down next to your rib cage, slowly press into your hands lifting your chest as high up as is comfortable for your lower back, then hold for 2-5 seconds before dropping your chest and sitting back in your heals stretching arms away for child's pose again hold for 2-5 seconds before moving back to cobra position.
Cat to Cow: On hands and knees starting with a neutral spine, with knees under your hip joint and hands under shoulders. Slowly arch your back up pulling your shoulders and hips together and tucking your head slightly to feel a stretch along the spine, then slowly lower your back dipping down and looking up slightly feeling a stretch throughout your abdominal muscles and possibly even your chest.
Lying Side Jacks: Lying on your left side with your left hand out at a 45° angle against ground for balance and legs extended out straight in line with torso. Lift your right arm and leg up so that they meet just above your torso then slowly lower them just off the ground stretching them in opposite directions for 2-5 seconds to feel a stretch through right side of rib cage, shoulder and possibly hip and thigh repeat motions for set time or repetitions. Repeat motion on opposite side.
Pilates Saw: From a seated position extend your legs out straight on the ground as wide as is comfortable. Elongate your spine sitting erect and raise your hands out to your sides at shoulder height. Rotate you shoulders and lean forward bringing your left hand to the outside of your right foot sit back up then repeat on the opposite side. You should feel this throughout your torso and hamstrings.
Toe Touch Swoops: From a seated position similar to the Pilates Saw, but with your hands in front of your body reach both hands down the left leg to your maximum then slide in between your legs to the right leg and return to start position then reverse the motion. You should feel this through your hamstrings, glutes, lower torso and possibly even upper torso.
Butterfly + Chest Stretch: Sitting on the ground put the soles of your feet together with your knees pointing off to the sides. Slowly pull your thighs down towards the ground using your outside leg muscles while pushing your chest forward and pulling your shoulders behind you holding for 2-5 seconds before letting your legs relax and relaxing your chest and shoulders. Repeat this motion for a set number of repetitions or time.
Squat Circle Stretch: Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder width and extend your arms up over your head. Squat down keeping a flat back swooping your arms of to the left as you drop, coming to the center at the bottom of your squat the bringing arms up across the right as you stand back up. Once at a full extension pause then squat down again bringing your arms down to the right this time performing the motion in the opposite direction. Keep alternating each repetition.
Back & Hamstring Windmill: Standing with feet shoulder width apart slowly reach down in between your feet rounding your spine. Slowly come up across the left in a circular pattern up over your head then down across the right back to the starting point before moving in the opposite direction to complete one repetition. This should be felt in the hamstrings, along the spine, obliques and even abdominal muscles if you lean backwards slightly at the top of the motion.
Quad Pull Pulses: Stand on your right leg kick your left foot into your left hand and hold it as close to your butt as is comfortable. Slowly tilt forward and drop into a 1/4 or 1/2 squat pulling your left leg back and up before standing back up and repeating the motion. Switch legs and repeat with right leg up. You should feel this in your quadriceps (front of thigh) and hip flexors (front of hip).