10 Minute Stretch Routine
This 10 minute stretch routine will help to improve flexibility though the whole body, paying particular attention to legs, hips and glutes. The stretch routine can be used after a training session or as a daily nourishing moves health practice.
Aim to hold each of the stretches for anywhere between 20 seconds and 1 minute, listening to the muscles and coming out of the stretch when you feel you need to. The main purpose is learning to relax into these stretches so that the muscles can begin to let go. This is why the breathing is so important. By letting go of your breath you can begin to let go of the muscles.
You can follow the video below or written description. If you have any questions please use the comments section below. Enjoy.
1. Single Leg forward fold Stretch
Sit on the floor with your left leg out straight and right leg tucked in with the foot touching the inside of your left thigh.
Turn your chest to face your left foot and reach forward keeping your eyes focused on your big toe. You can take hold of your foot or calf depending on your flexibility.
As you breathe in feel your body inflate and spine lengthen, when you let go of your breath reach and curl further forward. Continue to move in this subtle way in time with your breath.
Repeat on both sides
This stretch is great to help loosen the hamstrings, lower back and inside of the thighs.
2. Cross leg forward fold
Sit on the floor and cross your legs. Lengthen through your spine and reach your body forward and down. Let the arms stretch away from you, connecting your palms with the floor.
As you breathe in lengthen through your spine, as you let go of your breath lower further into the stretch.
Cross the legs the opposite way and repeat
The cross leg forward fold will stretch around your hips and lower back.
3. Butterfly Stretch
Place the soles of your feet together and bring your heals in close to the centre of your body.
Breath in, lengthening through your spine, lifting your ribs away from your hips. As you let go of your breath open the hips, lowering your knees closer to the mat.
It helps to hold your feet with both hands. Try to open the feet as if trying to open a book to assist the stretch.
You will likely feel this stretch mostly on the inside of your thighs.
4. Butterfly Fold
From the butterfly stretch position take your feet forward as if making a diamond shape with your legs.
Breathe in lengthening through your spine, on the exhalation reach down taking your head towards your feet.
Take low wide breaths in this stretched position feeling your rib cage open and expand with the breath.
You will feel this stretch on the inside of your thighs as well as lower back.
5. Straight Leg Forward Fold
Sit on the floor with both legs out straight. Bring the legs and feet together making sure that the knuckles of the big toe are touching.
As you breathe in lengthen through your spine taking the ribs away from your hips, folding forwards on the exhalation.
Keep your eyes focused on your big toes to help you stretch forward in that direction.
You can improve the stretch by squeezing the thighs, lifting the knee caps and sucking your belly in towards the spine.
Continue to breath in lengthen further through your spine, when you let go of your breath reach further forwards.
This stretch will work your hamstrings and lower back as well as building a strong connection and strength in your center.
6. Bent Knee Spine Twist
Sit on the floor with your left leg out straight. Step your right foot over your left leg with the right knee pointing up to the ceiling or sky.
Hug your right knee with your left arm taking a strong vice like grip with the crease of your elbow.
As you breathe in lengthen up through your spine taking your ribs away from your hips. On the exhalation twist through your spine looking over your right shoulder. Imagine wringing your spine out like a dish cloth.
Repeat this stretch on the other side.
You will likely feel this stretch through your spine and hip area.
7. Pretzel Stretch
Lay on your back and bring your right knee into your chest. Place your left ankle on your right thigh. This should create a right angle between your right thigh and left shin. To increase the strength of the stretch pass your left hand between your thighs and take your right arm round the outside to grab your right shin. It works best when you have your hands on top of each other pulling your right knee into your chest.
You will most likely feel the Pretzel stretch in the hip joint and backside muscles.
8. Lying Quad Stretch
Lay on your front using your right forearm as a pillow for your forehead. Bend at your left knee gripping your foot with your left hand.
Aim to keep your knees in line with your hips and spine straight.
You will feel this stretch on front of your thigh and hip area.
9. Lunge Stretch
Step your left leg forward with right knee below your hip. Sit tall with a straight spine. You should feel this stretch in your right hip and maybe up though into your upper body. If you don’t walk your left foot a little further forward and lengthen up further with your spine.
Repeat on both sides.
10. Overhead Lunge Stretch
From the lunge stretch position take both hands up above your head placing your palms together. Draw your shoulder blades down your back while lengthening through to your fingertips. Lift and lengthen through your spine pushing your chest up to the sky. Breathe low and wide to open and expand your rib cage.
Repeat on both sides.
This stretch will work from your hip area right up though to your shoulders.
11. Pigeon Stretch
Take your left leg in front of you and bend the knee to create a right angle between your shin and thigh. Take your right leg behind you and level the hips. You should feel this stretch in your hips and backside muscles.