I'm stiff as a board, no matter how much I stretch. It probably doesn't help that I spend most days hunched over, staring at a laptop or computer screen. I often do strength training, go for runs, and I love rolling my calves and hamstrings with foam rollers; yet, flexibility eludes me. At least that was the case until I stumbled upon this 15-minute stretching session on Youtube.
When a workout video has almost 50 million views, you'd expect it to be at least somewhat helpful. Sadly, this isn't always the case, but views do equate to quality on rare occasions such as this one. Better still, it's not one of those videos where the host talks at you constantly, complimenting you on your form (how would they know?!) so I could focus on my muscles being pulled in all the right ways.
And let's be honest, 15 minutes a day isn't that long, is it? Surely everyone can spare that much time to improve flexibility and mobility? I did this stretching workout in the morning as nothing sets me up better for the day than moving my body around before work, especially if the day involves a lot of sitting around, which it usually does.
Okay, enough waffling, let's get stretching!
Mady Morrison's 15-minute full body stretch: Here is how to do it
This is a 15-minute follow along stretch so you don't need to do much, just look a the screen and copy what Mady does. She doesn't explain the exercises but there is a counter with a beep when you have to change positions. As much as I appreciate the lack of encouragement, I guess it would be better if the exercises were at least introduced so I don't have to turn around on my yoga mat to see what's going on.
A small price to pay for relaxation, if you ask me.
You'll do each exercise for 30-45 seconds and leave a 10-second rest between movements. The below list might look quite long but remember: you'll only be doing each exercise for a short period of time. Always stretch as far as you comfortably can and breathe into the movement. Try to relax the muscles stretched as much as possible to allow them to expand properly.
Here is how this full-body stretch is split:
- Dynamic side stretch
- Neck stretch
- Thread the needle – Right
- Thread the needle – Left
- Wrist stretch
- Walk the dog
- Deep lunge – Right
- Runner's stretch – Right
- Lizard pose – Right
- Deep lunge – Left
- Runner's stretch – Left
- Lizard pose – Left
- Shoulder stretch & Spine twist – Right
- Shoulder stretch & Spine twist – Left
- Extended puppy pose
- Butterfly forward fold
- One-legged forward bend – Right
- One-legged forward bend – Left
- Straddle forward fold
- Lying twist – Right
- Lying twist – Left
Gosh! This is indeed a long list of exercises but this is a full-body stretch, after all. Make sure you hydrate before and after the workout to help boost metabolism; adequate hydration is good for your body in general and helps muscles move around the right way.