Stretching and Mobility

Child’s pose
Lie on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your right leg, slightly bent, up toward your head. Use both your hands to gently pull your raised leg toward your body until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat for your other side.

Pigeon pose
Begin on all fours, with your knees directly below your hips, and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders. Slide your right knee forward to the back of your right wrist; at the same time angle your right shin under your torso and bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. The outside of your right shin will now rest on the floor. Slowly slide your left leg back, straightening the knee and descending the front of the thigh to the floor. Lower the outside of your right buttock to the floor. Position the right heel just in front of the left hip. Slide your hands back toward the front shin and push your fingertips firmly to the floor. Lift your torso away from the thigh. Lengthen the lower back by pressing your tailbone down and forward; at the same time, and lift your pubis toward the navel. Roll your left hip point toward the right heel, and lengthen the left front groin.

Knee lunge
Kneel on the floor with your front knee bent and your back leg extended. Keeping your back straight, slowly bend the lead leg until a stretch is felt. Do not lean allow your knee to bend more than 90 degrees (it should never go beyond your ankle)

Knee split
From a lunge position (rest back knee on the floor, with front knee at 90 degree angle, abs in), slowly move backward until leg is slightly bent. Bend forward at the hip, keeping back flat until you feel gentle pull in the back of the leg. Switch legs.

Tricep + shoulder stretch
Reach your hand behind your head, grasp your elbow and gently pull downwards + Reach your left arm across your body and hold it straight. With your right hand, grasp your left elbow and pull it across your body towards your chest.

Calf stretch
Standing 3-4 feet from a wall with your feet in perpendicular to the wall in a ready stance, lean your forearms against the wall, maintaining a straight line through your spine and pressing your back heel into the ground. Lean forward further for additional stretch.

Sleeper stretch
Lie on one side in the position you would be in if sleeping on one side. Place the arm that is against the ground directly in front of you (perpendicular to your body), with the elbow bent at 90 degrees (hand pointing straight up). Using your other arm, push your hand down toward your feet, internally rotating your shoulder

Hamstring bent-knee breathe/stretch
Lying with your back flat on the floor and your knees flexed to 90 degrees, inhale a large breath and slowly raise and straighten one leg, grasping it loosely behind the thigh with both hands, continuing to hold your breath. Straighten and pull back the leg as much as is comfortable. After about 10 seconds exhale. As you exhale, pull leg back a little farther, inhale, and hold again. Exhale, pull back, and hold breath one last time. Do not stretch more than is comfortable, but the exhale in breath should allow you to stretch a little further.

Hamstring leg raise
Lie on a mat with your legs flat on the floor. Lift your right leg, slightly bent, up toward your head. Use both your hands to gently pull your raised leg toward your body until you feel a stretch in your hip and hamstring. Repeat both sides

Cossack stretch
Stand with wider than shoulder width apart. The Cossack is basically a lateral lunging motion. The toes can be slightly pointed out or straight forward. From that position, tighten the midsection and back, and lunge laterally. The bent knee moves forward tracking straight over the toes and the foot and heel stay flat on the floor. The straight leg should rotate so the toes point upwards. How far you can get into a bottom position will depend upon your flexibility and mobility. Try to keep your back straight as you do this versus hunching the shoulders.

Lying quad stretch
Start off by lying on your right side, with your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle resting on the floor in front of you (this stabilizes the torso). Bend your left knee behind you and hold your left foot with your left hand. To stretch your hip flexor, press your left hip forward as you push your left foot back into your hand. Switch sides.

Back of the couch stretch (ext/int)
(internal): Stand 6-12” from a (facing a) bench, couch arm, table, or chair (preferably a strong/firm padded surface). Lift one leg and place the bottom half of your leg across the surface so it is perpendicular to your body. Position the rest of your body so you feel a good stretch in your hip.
(external): Stand sideways 6-12” from a bench, couch arm, table, or chair (preferably a strong/firm padded surface). Lift one leg and place the bottom half of your leg across the surface so it is perpendicular to your body. Position the rest of your body so you feel a good stretch in your hip.

Elbow planks
Lay down facing floor, resting on forearms and balls of feet with knees up off of the floor, your forearms hands, elbows, and shoulders should all be in line and your arm forearm and upper arm should make a 90 degree angle. Be sure to not allow your butt to be too high or low…your body should be flat and rigid. Be sure to contract your abs while in the plank position.

Wrist circles
Tuck your elbows to your sides and have arms pointing out in front of you, close your hands in a loose fist. Roll your wrists around in a clockwise direction (repeat in a counter-clockwise direction)

Arm Circles
Start with hands straight out by sides. Slowly make circles with both outstretched arm, start with small circles and progress to larger circles. Repeat in both directions.

Samson Stretch
Lace fingers and turn palms outward fully extending the arms. Move hands toward the ceiling with arms extended. Use your shoulders to push hands even a little higher. Continue to look straight ahead and take one step out into a lunge position; allow the trailing leg’s knee to brush the ground, but not settle on the ground. Push your hips forward to feel a stretch in front leg and back. Maintain push to ceiling, perpendicular arms, and gaze forward. Hold. Repeat with other leg.

Arm Rotations
Extend arms out to sides so your body makes a T. Twist each arm and wrist in an opposite direction. Then switch direction of each arm.

Shoulder shrugs
With shoulders relaxed and arms resting loosely at your sides roll your shoulders in a circle (back, up, forward, down…). Repeat in the other direction.

Bend + stretch (alternating hand)
Stand up as high as you can and reach up and backwards with one hand, then in a controlled motion bend down and touch your foot on the opposite side. After touching the foot on that side, reach back up and backwards with the other hand, followed by lowering in a controlled motion, touching the foot opposite the hand.

Sky-to-shoulder, side-to-shoulder
Sky to shoulder: Standing vertical, fully extend arms straight upwards with palms facing each other, slightly closer than shoulder width. Bring arms straight down, keeping palms facing each other, and keeping elbows pushed back as far as possible. Touch shoulders just on the back half of the top of the shoulder.
Side to shoulder: Standing vertical, fully extend arms as far out and back as possible (parallel to ground, forming a “T” with your body) with palms facing the ground. You should feel a stretch in both the shoulders and chest. Pivoting at the elbow so only the forearm moves, bring hands in to touch the front of the shoulders

Iron Cross
Lay on the ground with your shoulders pressed to the ground and both legs extended flat. Lift one leg straight up while extended, then bring it across your body down to ground. Try not to roll your body or move the leg that is still on the ground as you lower the leg down. If can’t touch the ground, do the best you can until your flexibility improves. Hold this position for 1 full second. From this position bring the leg back to its starting position. As the leg returns to its starting position, trade the places of the legs (lowering the one initially used and raising the one not yet used). Then move into the same stretch with the new leg. This should be a smooth motion back and forth.

Scorpion
Lie face down on the ground with your legs together and your arms held out perpendicular to your sides. From the starting position, lift your left foot up behind you and over your body, as if you are trying to touch it to your right hand. Allow your left hip to lift off the floor, but keep your palms and your right leg down on the mat. You should feel the stretch in your left hip, along the sides of your torso, and in your left quad. Continue to lift your left leg, and then, after it passes over your right leg, bend your left knee and attempt to touch your left foot to the ground as close as you can to your right. After you have touched your left foot to the mat (if you are limited by your flexibility, just go as far as you can), reverse the motion and bring your left leg back to starting position. Switch legs and repeat the exercise with your right leg. It should be a smooth transition between the two.

One leg standing superman
Starting from a standing position, fully extend arms vertically, and lean forward. Keep your back straight and rotate only at the hips. As you lean forward, one leg should also lift up (while fully extended w/toe pointed). You should attempt to rotate so that your body makes a perfect “T”. This is called the superman because it should look as if you are trying to “fly” since everything but one leg is parallel to the ground.

Cossack stretch
Stand with wider than shoulder width apart. The Cossack is basically a lateral lunging motion. The toes can be slightly pointed out or straight forward. From that position, tighten the midsection and back, and lunge laterally. The bent knee moves forward tracking straight over the toes and the foot and heel stay flat on the floor. The straight leg should rotate so the toes point upwards. How far you can get into a bottom position will depend upon your flexibility and mobility. Try to keep your back straight as you do this versus hunching the shoulders.

Downward dog
Begin on your hands and knees with the wrists underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips. Curl the toes under and push back raising the hips and straightening the legs. Externally rotate the shoulders slightly and let the head hang, move the shoulder blades away from the ears towards the hips. Try to take the weight off the arms, shifting tension to the quads, in order to make this a resting pose. Keep the butt high and try to sink your heels towards the floor. Hold in this bottom position.

Hamstring band stretch
Sitting with both legs out in front of you. Loop the band around the middle of the foot on one leg. Holding the band in both hands lay back onto your back, keeping the non-banded leg in front of you and relaxed (the knee can be bent). Stretch the banded leg as far back as you can comfortably (the leg should be in line with your body and straight back, not off to the side). Once the leg is extended (with toe flexed back toward the shin), and as far back as possible, put resistance on the band with both hands, and begin to slightly bend the knee on the banded leg, then extend the leg out again, you should feel a nice stretch in your hamstring.

Hamstring Groin stretch
Sitting with both legs out in front of you. Loop the band around the middle of the foot on one leg. Holding the band in both hands lay back onto your back, keeping the non-banded leg in front of you and relaxed (the knee can be bent). Stretch the banded leg as far back as you can comfortably, the leg should also be just to the side of your body. Once the leg is extended (with toe flexed back toward the shin), and as far back as possible, put resistance on the band with both hands, and begin to slightly bend the knee on the banded leg, then extend the leg out again, you should feel a nice stretch in your groin (and also some in your hip, glutes, and hamstring).

Hamstring IT Band / Hip flexor stretch: Sitting with both legs out in front of you. Loop the band around the middle of the foot on one leg. Holding the band in both hands lay back onto your back, keeping the non-banded leg in front of you and relaxed (the knee can be bent). Stretch the banded leg as far back as you can comfortably. Now roll to your side a little, so the banded leg crosses your body. Once the leg is extended (with toe flexed back toward the shin), and as far back as possible, put resistance on the band with both hands, and begin to slightly bend the knee on the banded leg, then extend the leg out again, you should feel a nice stretch in your hip & IT band (and also some in your glutes and hamstring).

Regular jump rope
Jump off both feet swing rope to it goes under feet

Boxer shuffle
Jump off your right foot swinging the rope so it goes under right foot once, repeat. Switch to left foot for two jumps, back to the right for two jumps, etc…

Double unders
Jump off both feet swinging the rope so it goes under feet twice on one jump.

Jump squats
Start by doing a regular squat and then jump up, reaching up toward the ceiling. Land softly and lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep.

Slow lunge switch steps
Get into a lunge stance, right leg in front and left leg in back. (Never allowing knee to travel past the ankle). Jump up in a controlled manner, switching leg position in the air, landing in the opposite lunge stance with the left foot forward. Jump again returning to starting position. Be sure to land as softly as possible on each landing.

High knees
High knees are similar to running, except in each step the knee is pulled as high as possible.

Tuck jumps
Start by doing a regular squat and then jump up, reaching up toward the ceiling. As you jump, quickly tuck your knees toward your chest, then return them back down to land. Land softly and return to a standing position.