Fitness Articles

Quick and Easy Stretching Routine

3 Fast Moves to Stretch Your Whole Body!

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By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor         
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When you're short on time, proper stretching can be the first thing to go! That's why we created this short and effective full-body stretching routine that you can breeze through in fewer than five minutes. Remember to warm up first and never stretch to the point of pain. For more stretching tips and guidelines, refer to our Reference Guide to Stretching.

Hold each stretch listed for 15-30 seconds, repeating two or three times, depending on how you feel. For detailed instructions and larger photos, click on the name of each stretch.

Triangle Pose
Stand tall with back straight, feet wider than the hips, and arms in line with the shoulders (like a "T"), palms down. Turn your right toes out to the side and point your left toes forward. Lean to the right as if reaching your right fingertips toward the right wall. From there, bend at the side of the waist, allowing your right hand to fall naturally, resting on your knee, shin, ankle or the floor. Breathe deeply and hold. Repeat on opposite side.

Torso Twist
Sit on the floor, back straight, shoulders down, abs engaged, and legs extended in front of you. Bend your right knee to place foot flat on the floor. Wrap your left arm around your right leg and twist to your right side, supporting yourself by placing your right hand behind you. Breathe deeply and hold. Repeat on opposite side.

Child's Pose
Come to hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart, knees hip-width apart, abs engaged, and back flat (spine neutral). Keep your knees and ankles separated and your toes curled under as you shift your weight back over your heels, lengthening your spine, relaxing your head and neck, and reaching forward through your fingertips. Breathe deeply and hold.
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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.

Member Comments

  • 1385157
    This is helpful. I went to the gym today for the first time in a long time and after walking on the treadmill I realized I wanted to do some stretches but didn't really KNOW what to do... so I just did a few stretches I could remember. Will save these for future reference. Everyday gets better! - 12/31/2015 8:54:23 PM
  • DANDYLINES
    This article is decent until you get to the exercise recommended. Did anyone who has mobility issues really look at them ? Probably not. Should not be under this category.
    The articles should address limited mobility period. - 3/17/2015 4:04:20 PM
  • I need to get better about stretching. I do great stretching after a work out but I could do it on a more regular basis
    - 4/4/2014 1:36:15 PM
  • Great. Need this workout. Help my body feel better. - 9/17/2013 4:22:23 PM
  • The article says to warm up before stretching but I thought stretching was warming up? - 6/28/2013 3:25:03 PM
  • Good tip :) - 9/19/2012 3:19:00 PM
  • EMMANYC
    This is a useful article but the cover photo that accompanied it is terrible. The model's position (especially the slumping curve of her back) looks dangerous. - 9/19/2012 12:05:00 PM
  • REDROSEBUD4
    Thank you for this, it is something to help me start the day and not feel so stiff. - 9/19/2012 11:56:49 AM
  • GOTHOPOTAMUS
    So simple
    So effective
    Warmed all of me up and revitalised me!
    I will be doing this on a regular basis - 9/19/2012 7:54:33 AM
  • The torso twist is my FAVORITE move, anytime, anywhere. If your back is sore, it helps SO VERY MUCH. - 8/19/2012 12:18:00 PM
  • SKITTLESINSOCKS
    My knees weren't having the child's pose. Too much pressure on them. Otherwise good. - 2/2/2012 6:07:33 PM
  • I have been remembering to do these three every day. I love the feeling of not ignoring stretching. Thanks for the easy add! - 11/18/2010 11:01:06 PM
  • This is good ... Thanks! - 11/16/2010 3:40:57 PM
  • EVACLAIRE
    Sometimes during my break at work I do the childs pose. Its a good way to destress quickly. - 9/7/2010 4:39:39 PM
  • Love a good stretch after a workout!! - 8/6/2010 4:48:07 PM

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