From Big Fit Girl by Louise Green
March 2017, Greystone Books
A limber body is a happy body. From my own experience, I know this to be true. Stretching isn’t just about cooling down and calming your body – it’s about the overall health and functionality of your body’s biomechanics.
Stretching your muscles helps you perform better physically because a body with sound flexibility moves with an optimal range of motion. Stretching also helps your joints move better because the surrounding muscles are limber, which, as a result, allows you to move with ease. It can also prevent injury.
Here is the full stretching routine that will help you feel limber and perform better.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Execution: Position your body in a slightly forward lunge position, then push your hips forward while slightly tilting your pelvis up. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
Execution: Extend one leg and lean forward, folding the upper body forward from the hips. Your hands can rest gently on your hips or on your upper leg. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
Execution: Move one leg forward in a slight lunge position and extending the opposing leg straight back, placing your heel flat on the floor. Lean towards a chair (or wall) until you feel the stretch in the calf of your back leg. Hold for thirty seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
Oblique and Lat Stretch
Execution: Raise your arms overhead and lean your body to one side to engage a stretch down the side of your upper body. You will feel the obliques and lats stretch at the same time. Stretch for 20 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
Execution: Extend one arm across the body and assist the stretch with the other hand to help push the arm across the body. Stretch for 20 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.
Upper Back Stretch
Execution: Reach your arms forward, pressing your chin into your chest, and roll out your upper back like a cat. Stretch for 20 seconds.
Excerpted from Big Fit Girl: Embrace the Body You Have by Louise Green. Published by Greystone Books, March 2017. Condensed and reproduced with permission of the publisher.