Fitness

Lean and Limber: The Total-Body Flexibility Routine

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Why is it that so many of us skip the flexibility portion of our workout? I mean, I’m guilty too… Many people just don’t understand that incorporating a flexibility routine is just as important as cardiovascular exercise AND weight training!

By now we know that performing cardio keeps the heart & lungs healthy, improves endurance and burns calories. Strength training offers a multitude of benefits including improved physical appearance, feeling healthier, stronger and sleeping better! I have news for you… A proper flexibility routine will allow both of these things (cardio and strength training) to become easier, yielding even greater results.

Flexibility training is a key component of any workout routine. ALL of my online training programs come with a flexibility portion, allowing for improved range of motion which will greatly reduce the risk of injury. When you’re more limber and flexible, you’re body will move more comfortably and naturally. If performed consistently, this total-body routine will improve your quality of life.

Total-Body Flexibility Routine

What you need:  A yoga mat or a soft, flat surface and a stopwatch or phone timer.

What you’ll do: I’ve included a link to an instructional video for each stretch just to make sure you are performing it correctly. I want you to hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds, or as long as 60 seconds. Try to focus on controlling your breathing with long deep breaths. This will allow you to get a full stretch.

1. Seated Hamstring Stretch

Instructional Video HERE.

Stretches: Hamstrings (back of thigh) / Hold each leg 30-60 seconds.

2. Adductors (Butterfly) Stretch

Instructional Video HERE.

Stretches: Adductors (inner thighs) / Hold for 30-60 seconds.

3. Knee Crossover Stretch

Instructional Video HERE.

Stretches: Low Back, Glutes and Abductors (outer hips) / Hold each side for 30-60 seconds.

4. Child’s Pose

Instructional Video HERE.

Stretches: Muscles of the Spinal Column / Hold for 30-60 seconds.

5. Forward Lunge Hip Opener

Instructional Video HERE.

Stretches: Hip Flexors / Hold each side for 30-60 seconds.

6. Pigeon Pose

Instructional Video HERE.

Stretches: Hips, Glutes and Abductors / Hold each side for 30-60 seconds.

7. Standing Quad Stretch

Instructional Video HERE.

Stretches: Quads (front of thigh) / Hold each leg for 30-60 seconds.

8. Standing Calf Stretch

Instructional Video HERE.

Stretches: Calves (back of lower leg) / Hold each side for 30-60 seconds.

9. Doorway Pec, Bicep & Shoulder Opener

Instructional Video HERE.

Note: In order to stretch biceps, grab door frame with hands instead of elbows. 

Stretches: Chest, Biceps and Shoulders / Hold for 30-60 seconds.

10. Upper Back Doorway Hang

Instructional Video HERE.

Stretches: Upper Back and Traps / Hold for 30-60 seconds.

11. Overhead Tricep Press

Instructional Video HERE.

Stretches: Triceps (back of arms) / Hold each arm for 30-60 seconds.

12. Neck Roll

Instructional Video HERE.

Stretches: Neck and Upper Traps / Slowly roll from side to side for 30-60 seconds.

Get Your Gumby On

How do you feel? Pretty relaxed, huh? It’s amazing how great a total-body flexibility routine can make you feel! You can perform this every day if you’d like. At the very least, practice it on your workout days. Just like with other forms of exercise, stretching needs to be consistent to make a difference. The more often that you do it, the better you will feel!

Until next time…

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I'm a 26 year old NASM certified personal trainer with a corrective exercise specialization! My love for fitness and nutrition blossomed several years ago. It has changed my life. Now it's my mission to help and encourage all of you through my blog as well! Feel free to contact me!

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