Physically and mentally start your day off on the right foot with this invigorating 5-minute stretch from F45 Recovery trainer Cristina Chan.
You might think of stretching as something performed only by gymnasts, dancers or track athletes. But stretching is something that everyone should be doing on a daily basis. Yes, every day.
Building recovery into any daily regimen is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stresses of exercise and life in general. Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints.
Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.
Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.
As simple as it may seem, sitting down for a stretch isn’t always the easiest part of recovery.
So where to start? Here is a 5-minute full body stretch you can do anywhere at any time.
5-minute morning wake-up stretch
How to do it:
Perform each movement for 30 seconds, repeat the sequence to complete two rounds. For movements isolating one side of the body, switch to the opposite side in the second round.
1. Begin standing tall, with your hands on your hips.
2. Exhale as you bend forward at the hips, lengthening the front of your torso.
3. Bend your elbows and hold on to each elbow with the opposite hand. Let the crown of your head hang down. Press your heels into the floor as you lift your hips toward the ceiling.
1. Begin in a plank position with hands directly below shoulders.
2. Step your right foot forward to the outer edge of your mat next to your right pinky finger.
3. Relax through your hips and back, letting them sink toward the ground.
4. Switch to the left side in the second round
1. Transitioning from runner’s lunge – lower the back knee to the ground placing your hands under your shoulders.
2. Shift your hips back and extend your front leg straight with your front heel planted on the ground.
3. Keep your hips square and stacked over the bent knee.
4. Inhale to lengthen your spine and as you exhale, begin to fold over your front leg
1. From all fours, bring your right knee forward towards your right wrist. Your right ankle will be somewhere in front of your left hip.
2. Slide your left leg back and point your toes, your heel is pointing up to the ceiling.
3. Keep your hips as square as possible, if you need support you can place a block or towel under the right buttocks.
4. As you inhale, come onto your fingertips, lengthen your spine, draw your navel in, lift your chest and draw your shoulders back.
5. As you exhale, walk your hands forward and lower your upper body towards the floor. You can rest your forearms and forehead on the mat.
Reverse Shoulder Stretch
1. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart
2. Clasp your hands behind your back
3. Fully extend your arms, and keep your elbows facing each other
4. Slowly lift your hands to stretch
Cristina Chan is the face of F45 Recovery. Head here for more information or follow her on Instagram @cristina_veronica_fit.