Your 5-Minute Full Body Stretch Routine

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I was not blessed with natural flexibility.  Unless I stretch on a regular basis, I have no hope of reaching down and touching my toes.  My tendency to skip stretching after runs (I know, shame on me) has come back to bite me in the past.  I’ve had a few running injuries that could easily have been avoided, had I been stretching on a regular basis.  Therefore, this blog is for both you and me.  Maybe it will give both of us a new stretching routine to add to our regular workouts, and if it only takes 5 minutes, it’s a short amount of time that’s well-spent.
These stretches are some of my favorites that target all of your major muscle groups and leave you feeling good at the end of your workout.  I always recommend stretching when your muscles are warm to help prevent injury.  Warm up, workout, cool down and then stretch at the end, holding each stretch for 10-30 seconds while taking deep breaths.  Feel free to repeat each stretch a few times, especially if you have tight areas that need it.  All of these stretches can be done from a standing position (or modified to a seated position if needed.) 
Looking for more stretching ideas?  Check out SparkPeople’s Reference Guide to Stretching, which includes more stretching routines and videos.
What are some of your favorite stretches that you could add to this list?  How have you found stretching to be a beneficial part of your exercise routine?