This is a free flexibility routine meant to mimic the short but frequent sessions of my minimalistic upper body strength training routine. The body can be stretched in literally countless ways but I have narrowed the routine to 7 sections that will cover the major muscle groups. As a result, this whole thing will take only 7 minutes once you get used to it. The first couple sessions will take a bit longer since you’re learning the stretches, but after that it’s a breeze. This can be a solid way of alleviating stiffness from prolonged inactivity to limber up, maintain or exceed your current flexibility in a short amount of time.
- Below you will find 7 sections. Some sections have multiple options. Start with the first one.
- Do ONE stretch from each section for 30secs and you’re done. If it’s a unilateral exercise, do 30secs per side. Use a timer or breathe for 5-10 breaths. The order is not too important.
- Do it daily or multiple times a week and build the habit. If you don’t have a flexibility practice currently, these short but frequent sessions will work like a charm.
- If you have prefer a different stretch for any muscle group, do that instead!
This is a simple, scrumptious neck stretch when done correctly.
This forward fold with the arms behind you, coming overhead, are one of the most accessible stretches that stretch multiple muscles at once. All you need is a towel or band if it’s too restricting to do it with hands together.
- Forward Fold Shoulder Rinse (30secs)
- Level 1: Static: Forward Fold with Arms Overhead
- Level 2: Dynamic: Bend one knee and pull arm down to the side.
- Level 3: Do it with a weight in your hands (not pictured)
The hip flexors are the muscles at the front of your thighs and hips that lift your legs up in front of you. They are always flexed when seated. These are probably the most important to do daily to undo sitting, alleviate lower back pain and excessive anterior pelvic tilt.
- Hip Flexors (30sec each side)
- Level 1: Static Lunge (Master this!)
- Level 2: Foot-Bind Lunge: Grab your Back Foot with your Opposite Hand
- Level 3: Couch Stretch
- Level 4: Seeing through Time Hip Flexor Stretch
No matter which level you are at, the cues in this follow along video can and will be applied to ALL the hip flexor stretches you will ever encounter, so start here with Level 1:
This will stretch your lats, provide spinal mobility and increase thoracic extension to help oppose any excessive rounding of our upper back. Watch this 3 minute video to get acquainted with it in detail and know you’re doing it correctly.
- Cat Cow with Hands Elevated (10reps):
The glutes are hip extensors (opposite of the hip flexors) and this is a knee friendly way to stretch them.
- Level 1: Figure Four Stretch
- Level 2: Grab shin instead of thigh
Standing splits require zero equipment and are a fantastic way to stretch the hamstrings by actively using the glutes and hamstrings of the lifted leg at the same time. You could hold them statically or try any of these dynamic variations to help pass the time if it’s excruciating.
Dynamic Standing Splits Variation #1:
I recommend you end the session with one or both of these. The following 2 clips were taken from this 20min yoga video.
Feet Together, Knees Apart, Sit on your heels and rest your forehead on the ground.
Lay down, put the hands in a T position, lift the knees and twist to one side as you look the other way.
I hope you enjoyed that little routine of wonders! As you probably know, I have a ton of follow along yoga and flexibility videos but this routine is for people who want to do their own thing by just looking at a gif or video and doing it on their own (similar to my splits or toe-touching routines which are a bit more complex). If you prefer my follow along videos and would like the cream of the crop in regards to maximizing effectiveness of your flexibility training, check out my ultimate flexibility bundle.
Let me know how you like this routine! If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below and thanks!