Sometimes you find yourself really in sync with your fitness routine. You’re visiting the gym regularly and noticing the results such as stress release or increased energy, maybe weight loss or muscle gain. But, are you giving yourself enough rest or recovery time between workouts or stretching enough?

We’ve crafted a stretching workout that you can insert into your weekly routine to help improve muscle performance and reduce soreness. Follow the stretching guide below on a rest day or after a workout when you feel your muscles need some attention. Ensure if you are stretching and you have not worked out that you have warmed up with a brisk walk, some sun salutations or 10 mins on a cardio machine. This will help to lubricate the joints and increase core body temperature for the safest stretch. Over time you may notice increased flexibility or range of motion around a joint as muscle elasticity increases.

This routine takes less than 15 mins and moves from standing to seated to supine poses, holding each stretch for 45-90 seconds. You might even want to spend an extra few minutes in our final stretch, Child’s pose, as it is a great way to mentally rest and prepare for your next challenge!

Perform this routine 2-3 times/week.

1-Standing Forward Fold (hamstring stretch)
Standing feet shoulder width apart, fold forward placing elbows on thighs or folding right over the body, hands falling towards the floor.

2 and 3- Standing Door Chest/Back Stretch (Pectoralis and Latissimus Dorsi)
Standing with arms stretched out to the sides facing an open doorway. Keep shoulders down and relaxed and press hands into sides of doorframe while guiding chest through the doorway. Release and clasp hands together in front of the body, shoulder height, stretching out upper back.

4-Hip Flexor Lunge with Twist (Psoas, quadriceps, back)
Step one foot forward into a lunge. Place back knee on the floor. Place hands on the floor on either side of the front foot. Remain here to stretch hip flexor or lift the same hand as the front knee to the sky to twist and stretch upper back.

5-Seated Figure 4 Stretch (gluteus stretch)
Seated on the floor, legs out long, cross right ankle over opposite thigh. Place hands on the floor beside or slightly behind hips and slide long leg (left) to place left foot on floor. The closer the left foot comes in the more you will feel the stretch in the right hip and glutes.

6-Lying Quad Stretch (quadriceps stretch)
Lying on your right side on the floor, stretch your right arm out above you, palm down, resting head on arm. Bend top knee bringing heel towards your butt and hold your foot. Gently draw heel closer, stretching out the front of your leg, the quadriceps.

7 and 8-Sphinx and Childs Pose (Abdominals, upper back and glutes)
Lying on stomach, place elbows on the floor under shoulders, palms down. Inhale and lengthen spine to stretch abdominals. From here, reach your hips back over heels for Child’s pose, keeping arms extended on floor overhead or resting them by the sides of the body to release shoulder tension and stretch out upper back.

If you enjoyed this routine and want to improve your stretching even further, try GoodLife’s BODYFLOW or YOGA Group Fitness Classes. Our range of mind and body classes are a gentle, non-competitive approach to physical fitness, utilizing strength, flexibility and stamina. Learn proper body alignment, breathing, and specific yoga techniques in one of our mind and body fitness classes.