Stretching, you’re either on it or don’t give it a second thought and guaranteed if you do it you’ll get the odd judgemental ‘you stretch?’ wide-eye gasp. We know it’s essential for the overall health of our body and athletic performance (for those who are active a lot), so why don’t we do it? Put simply, because we’re lazy and will say ‘we don’t have time’. But this full-body mobility movement has been dubbed “the world’s greatest stretch” by Dr. Aaron Horschig (who if you don’t know runs the famous ‘Squat University’ Instagram account) and it will only take you a few minutes.
I’m not judging if you don’t stretch, for years I used to be the same and would scoff at the thought of spending 10 minutes at the end of my weightlifting workout to do some (don’t be silly, I need to go home and eat). Now, I’ve come to accept what I already knew, but refused to acknowledge, which is that stretching and mobility is SO important for our bodies (plus, dinner can wait). So, at the very least, make time to do this one mobility stretch, if anything.
In the video Dr.Aaron makes this move look pretty fluent, but we will say now it’s not the most ‘beginner friendly’. But that doesn’t mean you can’t adjust it to your own ability. Here’s a breakdown of what he does:
- Get into a plank position balancing on your hands and lunge forward with one leg
- Take your hand of the same side you’ve lunged forwards on and reach it through behind the opposite arm as far as you can (hold it here for a few seconds and you should feel a good stretch in your upper and mid back)
- Then, with the same arm, remove it from behind the opposite arm and reach up towards the sky, twisting your torso as you do so and look up at your hand (hold it here for a few seconds)
- You then want to repeat the movement (start with 5 reps) and then complete it on the other side
This is a variation of the runner’s lunge stretch but, if you struggle to loop your hand behind your opposite arm, you can always do a runner’s lunge with a twist or a standard runners lunge without it. If you need a more specific stretch, such as back pain, these two exercises help relieve mine in two minutes. Otherwise, if you need something a little more beginner friendly, our beginners guide to stretching shares some simple moves to stretch all areas of the body.