Jennifer Garner Demonstrated How to Do 3 'Easy' Stretches
Jennifer Garner may love intense full-body workouts, but she also understands the benefits of slowing things down. In a recent Instagram post, the actress shared a video of "three easy stretches to align the body and breath" with Peloton yoga and meditation instructor, Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Ph.D., whose birthday was this weekend. (Related: Brie Larson Shared Her Daily Morning Stretch Routine)
In the clip, Garner and Roberts perform three seated stretches that don't require any equipment: a body roll, a side body stretch, and a spinal twist. They demonstrate the moves through smiles while sitting cross-legged on the floor.
Taking the time to stretch like Garner and Roberts do has serious benefits. For one, stretching is a crucial part of post-workout recovery since it enhances "blood flow, which delivers more oxygen to speed up the recovery of muscles and other soft tissues," as Michele Olson, Ph.D., an exercise scientist at Huntingdon College in Alabama and a Shape Brain Trust member, previously told Shape. Stretching can also alleviate pesky aches and pains caused by sitting in place for extended periods of time (aka working at a computer all day), and combining deep breathing and stretching can soothe period cramps.
Plus, stretching before bed can help you unwind (and doing so make it easier you to fall asleep). "[Stretching is] a fantastic way to book time for yourself at the end of the day and be really honest with yourself and how you're feeling," Kimberly Washington, M.S., R.Y.T., a vinyasa yoga instructor and certified flexibility coach, previously told Shape. "When you actually slow down and take time to really notice and connect, you're going to find that it's going to relieve a lot of anxiety and allow you to get rid of a lot of stress, just things that you're manifesting in your body that you may or may not be aware of."
If you're interested in trying out the moves for yourself, you're in luck. Garner included written instructions for each stretch that you can follow throughout the video. Here's how it's done:
Jennifer Garner's Easy Stretching Routine
How it works: Complete each stretch as indicated. Hold and repeat as desired.
You'll need: No equipment.
A. Start in a cross-legged seated position on the floor with hands on knees.
B. Keeping back flat, drive chest forward on an inhale. Draw naval to spine on an exhale.
C. Rotate to the side, to the back back, and to the other side in a circular motion. Exhale and return to a neutral spine.
Switch directions; repeat.
Side Body Stretch
A. Start in a cross-legged seated position on the floor with both hands on the ground.
B. Raise right arm to the sky while crawling left fingers out across the floor on an inhale.
C. Draw right shoulder blade down back on an exhale.
D. Reach through right fingertips on an inhale, leaning over to the left side with right bicep by ear.
E. Reach both arms up through center, straightening torso to return to starting position.
Switch sides; repeat.
A. Start in a cross-legged seated position on the floor.
B. Reach both arms straight up on an inhale.
C. Slowly turn to the right side, bringing left hand to left or right knee. Hold.
E. Untwist to return to starting position.
Switch sides; repeat.