This yoga-inspired sequence emphasizes static contractions and dynamic stretches to both challenge and restore. This routine will help relax your body and stretch out tight muscles, so do it as often as you like, but especially after a long week of workouts or an especially tough session.
You may want to grab a mat or a towel to lie down on for some of these movements.
WATCH THE VIDEO for moves, demonstrations, and form tips.
Start standing with feet hip-width apart, knees soft. Inhale deeply as you sweep arms up overhead, palms facing in. Exhale fully as you press your arms down and by sides. Repeat 3x.
Forward Fold (1 minute)
Take a breath and sweep arms overhead again, and as you exhale, hinge forward from the hips with a flat back, opening arms out to the sides of your body as you reach chest parallel to the floor. Next, ‘fold’ upper body over your legs, bringing your chest to your thighs, reaching your hands to the floor and dropping the crown of your head to the ground. Allow your knees to bend as much as needed to reach the floor. Hold this position for one minute.
Downward Dog (1 minute)
From fold position, ‘walk’ hands forward out in front of you, until your body resembles an upside down letter ‘V’ — sharing your bodyweight between your hands and your feet. Press your palms into the floor, reach your chest towards your thighs and drop your heels into the ground, bending at the knees if needed. Hold this position for one minute.
Wave (5 times)
From downward dog, lift both heels off the floor, and slowly begin to shift your weight into your upper body as you round your back and roll through the spine to drop the pelvis towards the ground (but without touching the ground), arch through the back and lift chin and chest towards the ceiling, in upward dog. Reverse the wave by tucking chin to chest and rolling back through spine, lifting hips and shifting weight back until heels touch the ground again in downward dog position. That’s one wave. Repeat this 5 times.
Warrior Lunge (1 minute)
From downward dog position, lunge right foot forward between hands, pressing hips towards the floor and keeping back leg straight. Center your balance and then sweep both arms out to sides and up overhead, clasping hands together as you bring your body upright, looking straight ahead. Maintain a deep bend in the right knee, keeping knee behind toes and thigh parallel to the floor. Hold this position for one minute.
Lunge Twist (1 minute)
Holding Warrior Lunge, press palms together, bending elbows out to the sides, and then turn torso towards the right leg, bringing your left elbow across the right leg, pressing left elbow into the outside of the right knee and turn chin and eyes up to the ceiling looking over the right shoulder, using the pressing of your left elbow to help you balance. Hold this position for one minute.
Hip Stretch (1 minute)
Maintaining the lunge, slowly untwist your torso, and bring your hands to the inside of your right leg, and bend left knee to the floor, releasing the left toes to the ground. Try to lower your upper body down onto your elbows, shifting your weight off the left leg and sinking the pelvis towards the floor to open and stretch your left hip flexor and front of the thigh.
Repeat warrior lunge, lunge twist and hip stretch on the left side.
Plank (1 minute)
From the hip stretch, place both hands on the floor about shoulder distance apart, extend arms and press into the ground. Step front foot back bringing both feet and legs together at the top of a push up position. Hold plank pose for one minute. (If you are unable to hold for a full minute, stay as long as you can and build up over time.)
Bow (5 times)
From plank position, bend elbows and gently lower your body onto the ground. Lying on your abdomen, bend knees and bring heels in towards body and reach back for your feet with your hands. Holding onto feet, slowly arch back and lift chest and thighs off the floor, extending as high as you comfortably can and hold. Gently release back to the floor (still holding onto your feet) and then slowly extend again. Repeat 5 times.
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