Cat Cow.jpg

AWESOME POST-WORKOUT STRETCHES TO DO AFTER EVERY INTENSE WORKOUT

Some of these post-workout stretches might already be your go-to moves, while others might be brand new to you—like the concept of CARS, which stands for controlled articular rotations. (FYI, they are super-slow rotations through the entire range of motion of a joint, where you try to get into every degree of movement). Do the following routine post-workout or when you feel tight. You'll do each stretch for 2 minutes. The best part? There is no equipment needed to do these stretches, so you can do them anytime, anywhere.

Cat-cow

1. Start on hands and knees with shoulders over wrists and hips over knees.

2. Inhale and drop your belly and lift the tailbone to lower into cow pose, pulling shoulder blades together and gazing up if it's comfortable.

3. Exhale to drop your head and tailbone and round the spine toward the ceiling for cat pose.

Repeat for 2 minutes.

Neck CARS

1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and extend arms by sides, keeping them engaged, making fists with both hands.

2. Slowly turn head to face the left, then drop chin towards chest. Keep rolling head to face the right, then lift chin to roll head from right to left to complete the circle.

3. Continue rotating the head very slowly through the entire range of motion.

Repeat for 2 minutes. Switch directions; repeat.

Shoulder CARS

1. Start standing with feet hip width apart and arms by sides.

2. Slowly lift the left arm (straight with fingers engaged) forward in front of body, thumb facing up. Once it's extended straight overhead, rotate palm to face away from the body and keep rotating arm back and down.

3. Keep rotating the arm and palm until the palm faces the ceiling, trying to rotate until the thumb points up and palm up faces away from the body.

4. Pause, then reverse the direction to slowly return to start.

Repeat for 2 minutes per arm.

World's Greatest Stretch

1. From a high plank position, step the left foot forward outside of left hand for a low lunge. Inhale to spiral chest open to the left, reaching left arm towards the ceiling to start.

2. Exhale and lower the left elbow toward the floor, reaching between the left foot and right palm. Only go as low as is comfortable.

3. Extend the left hand toward the ceiling to return to start.

Repeat for 2 minutes. Switch sides; repeat.

Standing Straddle

1. Stand with feet wide and hands on hips, legs are straight but not locked.

2. Hinge at the hips with a flat back, lowering until torso is about parallel to the ground.

3. Breathe slowly, trying to lower torso on each exhale.

Hold for 2 minutes.

90-90

1. Sit on the floor with the right leg bent at a 90-degree angle, the outside of the right leg on the floor and thigh extending straight forward from right hip. Position the left thigh at a 90-degree angle from the right thigh, pointing straight to the left, with knee bent at a 90-degree angle and inside of the leg on the floor.

2. Placing hands lightly on the floor on either side of the right leg, gently lean forward over right leg. Hold for 2 seconds.

3. Sit up straight then lean back, placing hands lightly on the floor behind hips. Lean back on glutes to flip legs over to the other side, so the left leg is in a 90-degree angle in front of the body and the right leg is in a 90-degree angle extending out to the side.

4. Placing hands lightly on the floor on either side of the left leg, and gently lean forward over. Hold for 2 seconds.

Repeat for 2 minutes.

Stretches courtesy of Shape Magazine