In a recent YouTube video, Tia-Clair Toomey says she does these stretches at the start of each day before she starts her workouts so that she feels more mobile and can move more freely.
Moving more fluidly can help us perform better in dynamic workouts and help everyday movements feel easier and more relaxed.
Throughout these unilateral (one-legged or one-armed) poses, Toomey advises you to stretch both sides of the body, but you can hold the positions for longer on one if you are tighter in particular areas.
Toomey uses this position to focus on the ankles, but she says she also uses it to stretch the groin. She keeps her foot flat on the ground and moves her knee forward beyond her toes, pushing the weight of her torso down towards the ground. She recommends holding the position for between 30 seconds and two minutes.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Spending a lot of time sitting down can lead to a shortening of the hip flexors, so frequently stretching them is a good idea. With the hip flexor stretch, keep your shin vertical so that your knee sits directly over the ankle, and gently drop your hip forward. You can also move the knee outwards to stretch some of the muscles on the inside of the hip.
Chest & Shoulder Stretch
Toomey uses an awkward-looking, but highly effective method to stretch out her chest and shoulders. She lies down on her belly, moves one arm out to a 90-degree angle from her torso and flips her body over backwards in the same direction so she feels a stretch through the pectoral muscle nearest the ground. Toomey says this is particularly important for those who do a desk job and spend a lot of time slouching over a computer.
Puppy Dog Pose
The puppy dog pose is a classic yoga move to stretch out the lats. She gets down into a kneeling position and drops her chest right down to the ground. This helps to release tension in the upper back and enables you to feel loose and free through your upper body.