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.
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.
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.
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.
Article created on: 1/20/2009
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