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Stretching is important – everyone knows this, but not everyone realises that you can promote healing, WHY it is important or how it benefits your body to do a stretching routine. That’s where I come in. I have created a routine that combines yoga moves and dynamic stretches for a full stretching session that is perfect for a rest or recovery day.

This routine (if done correctly) should take less than 20-25 minutes so it’s quick and easy to fit in around everything else.

You can choose to do it on a rest day, as a way of increasing blood flow to those sore and achy joints or you can do the full routine after a workout to unwind and increase flexibility. However, do not do this routine before strenuous exercise as you leave yourself prone to injury risk after stretching out your muscles. Either way, there are many benefits of the overall routine:

The Importance of Stretching:

  • Improved flexibility – you’re less susceptible to muscle strain and soft tissue injuries
  • Reduced injury risk
  • Increasing range of motion
  • Increasing blood flow – this can reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery
  • Promoting healing
  • Improves your posture – by lengthening tight muscles so they don’t pull on areas of the body and helps keep the spine in better alignment

Why you should pay attention to your form

These moves are great tools for recovery and improving your performance, however if performed incorrectly (especially repeatedly) they can lead to serious injury. Ensure you pay attention to the instructions of how to perform each move and easy into them slowly, never bounce or push yourself too far past your limit.

Basic seated ankle lean


  • Stretches the Shins and ankles
  • Improves blood flow to the feet

How to do it

  1. Sit on your knees
  2. Place your hands equally spaced behind you
  3. Roll back and lift your knees
  4. Balance on your feet and keep your toes flat (you can try pointing them if you’re struggling)

Note: Do not force the stretch too far

Downward dog


  • Strengthens back
  • Strengthens Achilles tendon
  • Stretches Calves and hamstrings
  • Improves Flexibility

What to do

  1. Bend your knees
  2. Place your palms flat on the floor
  3. Lift your bottom so you form an upside down V shape
  4. Keep a straight spine
  5. Straighten your legs

Variation: Pedal your heels if you have tight hamstrings and can’t put your heels on the floor

Bound Angle pose


  • Relaxes/ De-stresses
  • Opens Hips
  • Stretches inner thighs and knees
  • Particularly beneficial for runners and those who sit a lot

How to do it

  1. Sit with a straight back
  2. Bend your knees, feet facing inwards
  3. Using your hand, gently pull your ankles to your pelvis
  4. Try to drop your knees (or gently use your elbows to push your knees)

Notes: If you have tight hips you can place a towel or something under you to raise you up slightly

Simple Quad Stretch


  • Quads
  • IT Band
  • Helps knee strengthening and injury

How to do it

  1. Stand with both feet together
  2. Bend one knee and hold on at the ankle
  3. Pull your ankle to your bottom and hold (you can hold onto something for balance if necessary)

Variation: Push hips forward to feel a deeper stretch down your IT band and quads

Note: Do not pull on the toes or feet, only hold at the ankle or it can strain the muscles and tendons in your feet

Seated twist stretch


  • Stretches the spine and hips
  • Improving posture
  • Stretching your sides and obliques
  • Good for lower back pain

How to do it

  1. Sit on the floor, legs outstretched,  feet flexed
  2. Take your leg and place it over the knee of the opposite leg (keep foot flat to the floor)
  3. Twist away from your bent leg
  4. Use the opposite arm to gently pull the bent knee into a deeper stretch

Wrist Extensor stretch


  • Forearm
  • Wrist extensors
  • Great for strengthening the wrists to avoid repetitive strain injuries

How to do it

  1. Straighten your arm, palms down
  2. Bend your wrist
  3. Using your other hand, gently pull your fingers and hand towards your forearm
  4. Hold

Backward Clasp


  • Stretching of the arms,  shoulders and chest

How to do it

  1. Intertwine your fingers behind your back
  2. Turn them inside out so they are laced facing downwards
  3. Straighten the arms
  4. Raise your arms behind your back slightly to deepen the stretch

*Note: Do not push too hard or “bounce” *

Pigeon Pose


  • Hip rotators and Flexors
  • Increases flexibility
  • Relieves tension

How to do it

  1. Start by sitting on your knees
  2. Extend one leg behind you with the underside of your foot facing up
  3. Bend the other leg in front of you across your body
  4. Gently ease down into the stretch

Variation: To deepen the stretch you can slowly bend forward and plant your palms straight out in front of you on the floor and hold there

Note: Keep your hips level as you are lowering (don’t let one side dip further than the other) to ensure you don’t damage your lower back

How does it all fit together?

You can either approach this routine working from the ground up (this is how I do it) or you can do the moves in order of whichever you find easiest. The important thing to remember is to go at a pace you are comfortable with and ease into the stretches and poses. If you found these useful then why not check out our Health & Lifestyle board on Pinterest? 

*Disclaimer: Before undertaking any form of exercise you should consult a doctor or healthcare professional*