CORE STRETCHES

Click on each tab to open or close the stretch details

ABDOMINAL STRETCHES

TOE TOUCHERS

Muscle Group: Abdominals

Equipment: None!

Guide:

  1. To begin, lie down on the floor or an exercise mat with your back pressed against the floor. Your arms should be lying across your sides with the palms facing down.
  2. Your legs should be touching each other. Slowly elevate your legs up in the air until they are almost perpendicular to the floor with a slight bend at the knees. Your feet should be parallel to the floor.
  3. Move your arms so that they are fully extended at a 45 degree angle from the floor. This is the starting position.
  4. While keeping your lower back pressed against the floor, slowly lift your torso and use your hands to try and touch your toes. Remember to exhale while perform this part of the exercise.
  5. Slowly begin to lower your torso and arms back down to the starting position while inhaling. Remember to keep your arms straight out pointing towards your toes.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
STEP 1: ab1
STEP 2: ab2
VIDEO:
TORSO ROTATION
Main Muscle Worked: Abdominals

Equipment: Exercise Ball

Guide: 

  1. Stand upright holding an exercise ball with both hands. Extend your arms so the ball is straight out in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  2. Rotate your torso to one side, keeping your eyes on the ball as you move. Now, rotate back to the opposite direction. Repeat for 10-20 repetitions.
STEP 1: ab3
STEP 2: ab4
VIDEO:
LOWER BACK CURL

Main Muscle Worked: Abdominals

Equipment: None!

Guide: 

  1. Lie on your stomach with your arms out to your sides. This will be your starting position.
  2. Using your lower back muscles, extend your spine lifting your chest off of the ground. Do not use your arms to push yourself up. Keep your head up during the movement. Repeat for 10-20 repetitions.

STEP 1: ab5

STEP 2:ab6

VIDEO:
OVERHEAD STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Abdominals

Equipment: None!

Guide: 

  1. Standing straight up, lace your fingers together and open your palms to the ceiling. Keep your shoulders down as you extend your arms up.
  2. To create a full torso stretch, pull your tailbone down and stabilize your torso as you do this. Stretch the muscles on both the front and the back of the torso.

STEP 1: ab7

STEP 2: ab8

VIDEO:
SCISSOR KICKS

Main Muscle Worked: Abdominals

Equipment: None!

Guide: 

  1. To begin, lie down with your back pressed against the floor or on an exercise mat (optional). Your arms should be fully extended to the sides with your palms facing down. Note: The arms should be stationary the entire time.
  2. With a slight bend at the knees, lift your legs up so that your heels are about 6 inches off the ground. This is the starting position.
  3. Now lift your left leg up to about a 45 degree angle while your right leg is lowered until the heel is about 2-3 inches from the ground.
  4. Switch movements by raising your right leg up and lowering your left leg. Remember to breathe while performing this exercise.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variation: As you get more advanced, you can wear ankle weights for resistance.

STEP 1:ab9
STEP 2: ab10
VIDEO:
STANDING LATERAL STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Abdominals

Equipment: None!

Guide: 

  1. Take a slightly wider than hip distance stance with your knees slightly bent.
  2. Place your right hand on your right hip to support the spine.
  3. Raise your left arm in a vertical line and place your left hand behind your head. Keep it there as you incline your torso to the right.
  4. Keep your weight evenly distributed between both legs (don’t lean into your left hip). Switch sides.
STEP 1: ab11
STEP 2: ab12
VIDEO:
STOMACH VACCUM STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Abdominals

Equipment: None!

Guide: 

  1. To begin, stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart from each other. Place your hands on your hips. This is the starting position.
  2. Now slowly inhale as much air as possible and then start to exhale as much as possible while bringing your stomach in as much as possible and hold this position. Try to visualize your navel touching your backbone.
  3. One isometric contraction is around 20 seconds. During the 20 second hold, try to breathe normally. Then inhale and bring your stomach back to the starting position.
  4. Once you have practiced this exercise, try to perform this exercise for longer than 20 seconds. Tip: You can work your way up to 40-60 seconds.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of sets.
STEP 1: ab13
STEP 2: ab14
VIDEO:

LAT STRETCHES

DYNAMIC BACK STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Lats

Equipment: None!

Guide: 

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, swing them straight up in front of you 5-10 times, increasing the range of motion each time until your arms are above your head
STEP 1: lat1
STEP 2: lat4
VIDEO:
CHAIR LOWER BACK STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Lats

Equipment: Chair

Guide: 

  1. Sit upright on a chair.
  2. Bend to one side with your arm over your head. You can hold onto the chair with your free hand.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat for your other side.
STEP 1: lat3
STEP 2: lat4
VIDEO:
LATS FOAM ROLL

Main Muscle Worked: Lats

Equipment: Foam Roller

Guide: 

  1. While lying on the floor, place a foam roll under your back and to one side, just behind your arm pit. This will be your starting position.
  2. Keep the arm of the side being stretched behind and to the side of you as you shift your weight onto your lats, keeping your upper body off of the ground. Hold for 10-30 seconds, and switch sides.
STEP 1: lat5
STEP 2: lat6
VIDEO:
ONE ARM AGAINST THE WALL

Main Muscle Worked: Lats

Equipment: Wall or Doorway

Guide: 

  1. From a standing position, place a bent arm against a wall or doorway.
  2. Slowly lean toward your arm until you feel a stretch in your lats.
STEP 1:lat7
STEP 2: lat8
VIDEO:
SIDE-LYING FLOOR STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Lats

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. First lie on your left side, bending your left knee in front of you to stabilize your torso (use your abdominal muscles as well to hold you upright).
  2. Straighten your right leg and rest the right foot on the floor behind your left. Straighten your right arm over your head and gently pull on your right wrist to stretch the entire right side of the body. Switch sides.
STEP 1: lat9
STEP 2: lat10
VIDEO:

MIDDLE BACK STRETCHES

MIDDLE BACK STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Middle Back

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Stand so your feet are shoulder width apart and your hands are on your hips.
  2. Twist at your waist until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then twist to the other side.
STEP 1:mid1
STEP 2: mid2
VIDEO:

 

SPINAL STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Middle Back

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Sit in a chair so your back is straight and your feet planted on the floor.
  2. Interlace your fingers behind your head, elbows out and your chin down.
  3. Twist your upper body to one side about 3 times as far as you can. Then lean forward and twist your torso to reach your elbow to the floor on the inside of your knee.
  4. Return to upright position and then repeat for your other side.
STEP 1:mid3
STEP 2: mid4
VIDEO:

LOWER BACK STRETCHES

CAT STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Lower Back

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Position yourself on the floor on your hands and knees.
  2. Pull your belly in and round your spine, lower back, shoulders, and neck, letting your head drop.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds.
STEP 1: mid4
STEP 2: lower2
VIDEO:
CHILD'S POSE

Main Muscle Worked: Lower Back

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Get on your hands and knees, walk your hands in front of you.
  2. Lower your buttocks down to sit on your heels. Let your arms drag along the floor as you sit back to stretch your entire spine.
  3. Once you settle onto your heels, bring your hands next to your feet and relax. “breathe” into your back. Rest your forehead on the floor. Avoid this position if you have knee problems.
STEP 1: lower3
STEP 2: lower4
VIDEO:
DANCER'S STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Lower Back

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Sit up on the floor.
  2. Cross your right leg over your left, keeping the knee bent. Your left leg is straight and down on the floor.
  3. Place your left arm on your right leg and your right hand on the floor.
  4. Rotate your upper body to the right, and hold for 10-20 seconds. Switch sides.
STEP 1: lower5
STEP 2: lower6
VIDEO:
HUG A BALL

Main Muscle Worked: Lower Back

Equipment: Exercise Ball

Guide: 

  1. Seat yourself on the floor.
  2. Straddle an exercise ball between both legs and lower your hips down toward the floor.
  3. Hug your arms around the ball to support your body. Adjust your legs so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees line up over your ankles. Keep a good grip on the ball so it doesn’t roll away from you and send you back onto your buttocks.
STEP 1: lower7
STEP 2: lower8
VIDEO:
HUG KNEES TO CHEST

Main Muscle Worked: Lower Back

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Lie down on your back and pull both knees up to your chest.
  2. Hold your arms under the knees, not over (that would put to much pressure on your knee joints).
  3. Slowly pull the knees toward your shoulders. This also stretches your buttocks muscles.
STEP 1: lower9
STEP 2: lower10
VIDEO:
LOWER BACK SMR

Main Muscle Worked: Lower Back

Equipment: Foam Roller

Guide: 

  1. In a seated position, place a foam roll under your lower back. Cross your arms in front of you and protract your shoulders. This will be your starting position.
  2. Raise your hips off of the floor and lean back, keeping your weight on your lower back. Now shift your weight slightly to one side, keeping your weight off of the spine and on the muscles to the side of it. Roll over your lower back, holding points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
STEP 1: lower12
STEP 2: lower11
VIDEO:
SUPERMAN STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Lower Back

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. To begin, lie straight and face down on the floor or exercise mat. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you. This is the starting position.
  2. Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor and hold this contraction for 2 seconds. Tip: Squeeze your lower back to get the best results from this exercise. Remember to exhale during this movement. Note: When holding the contracted position, you should look like superman when he is flying.
  3. Slowly begin to lower your arms, legs and chest back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions prescribed in your program.

Variations: You can also perform this exercise using one arm and leg at a time. Simply elevating your left leg, arm and side of your chest and do the same with the right side.

STEP 1: lower13
STEP 2: lower14
VIDEO:

GLUTE STRETCHES

ANKLE ON THE KNEE

Main Muscle Worked: Glutes

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. From a lying position, bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor.
  2. Place your ankle of one foot on your opposite knee.
  3. Grasp the thigh or knee of the bottom leg and pull both of your legs into the chest. Relax your neck and shoulders. Hold for 10-20 seconds and then switch sides.
STEP 1: glute1
STEP 2: glute2
VIDEO:
KNEE ACROSS THE BODY

Main Muscle Worked: Glutes

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Lie down on the floor with your right leg straight. Bend your left leg and lower it across your body, holding the knee down toward the floor with your right hand. (The knee doesn’t need to touch the floor if you’re tight.)
  2. Place your left arm comfortably beside you and turn your head to the left. Imagine you have a weight tied to your tailbone. let your tailbone fall back toward the floor as your chest reaches in the opposite direction to stretch your lower back. Switch sides.
STEP 1: glute3
STEP 2: glute4
VIDEO:
ONE KNEE TO CHEST

Main Muscle Worked: Glutes

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Start off by lying on the floor.
  2. Extend one leg straight and pull the other knee to your chest. Hold under the knee joint to protect the kneecap.
  3. Gently tug that knee toward your nose.
  4. Switch sides. This stretches the buttocks and lower back of the bent leg and the hip flexor of the straight leg.
STEP 1: glute5
STEP 2: glute6
VIDEO:

ALL DATA COURTESY OF:

bodybuilding