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Paige Waehner

Exercise of the Week: Timesaver Total Body Stretch

By November 6, 2012

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Today's exercise of the week is one I've blogged about before, but I was inspired to do so again when I asked a client if she was doing her stretching after her workout. Her response: "Well, do you always stretch after your workouts?"

Answering a question with a question is a common deflection tactic among clients, but it never really works. Trainers are like parents and clients are like children - You must do what we say, not what we do. That's wrong, I know, but don't hate the player...hate the game.

The truth is, many of us skip stretching because we run out of time and/or don't really see the point. However, we really do need to stretch - For recovery, better range of motion and relaxation and this total body timesaver stretch is a great option if you run out of time.

This is one of my favorite stretches because it hits multiple muscles at the same time, if you do it right. The lunge stretches the quads and hip flexors of the front leg and you get the calf involved with the back leg. If you stretch your opposite arm overhead and slightly back, you should feel a nice stretch in the shoulder and chest.

Do it right: Get into a lunge position, right leg forward, left leg back. Bend the knees and squeeze the right glute to push the hip forward, stretching the quad and hip flexor. At the same time, press the left heel to the floor and reach the left arm up and back, stretching the chest. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Do this stretch about 3 times for maximum flexibility results.

If you do have more time, try my all time favorite stretching routine Total Body Ball Stretch and let me know what you think.

What's your favorite timesaver stretch? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

Comments
December 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm
(1) TrainerMike says:

Stretching is just as important as cardio or strength training. I neglected stretching for years, and I paid th price with injuries, limited range of motion, and less strength (because of injuries and less range of motion). This is a great stretch that anyone can do in a couple of minutes after their workout. Thanks for the great tip, and keep ‘em coming!

December 12, 2011 at 7:09 pm
(2) liz says:

I have 5 faves that go together, stretching the major muscles, but my favorite involves bending forward, flat back, arms to the side, while holding stomach in. Then a slight lifting of the upper chest. You can lower the stretch, breathing all the while, and still keep the same pose. Hold for 30 secs or 1 min. after tries. This is easy and can be done by over 50′s

December 13, 2011 at 9:34 am
(3) Suzanne says:

Love this as a combo stretch! Especially useful during the stressful, I-don’t-have-time-for-anything holiday season.

December 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm
(4) amy says:

i guess i will start doing stretching as a routine henceforth. thank you for the insight on its importance.

December 15, 2011 at 3:24 am
(5) abdulla says:

hi yuo;ll yes morning time is my favorite to do stretch

regards

April 9, 2013 at 12:34 am
(6) lazermario says:

Interesting. I’ve not done such a quick stretch for multiple muscle groups up until now. I’ll try it tonight as I’m on a limited schedule (thanks to spending extra time catching up on reading exercise newsletters… :) ).

One of my favorite stretches is for the lower back and abdomen. I’ve heard it called the upward dog. It involves lying on the floor in a prone (face down) position and pushing oneself up onto the palms (think of prostrating yourself before your absolute ruler).

Though it stretches the rectus abdominus (abs), I mainly feel it as a squeezing (contraction) in the muscles of the lower back (at the waistline). It releases tension out of that region for me. It is especially useful after a long day sitting at the desk (or anywhere for that matter).

I find I usually do it for about 45-60 seconds, longer than most stretches, but it also helps to release tension from the glutes after the first 20 secs or so. If I’m especially tense I even do it 2 or 3 times.

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