Strengthening & Stretching Tips

To have freedom of movement in your life, you need to incorporate stretching and strengthening into your exercise regimen. Try out these stretching and strengthening tips to feel your best.

Band Exercises

1. Place the band slightly above your ankles while standing in a slight squat position with your spine straight and buttocks sticking out. Walk to the right 6-10 times then back to the left 6-10 times.

2. In the same position as the first exercise (band slightly above your ankles in a slight squat position, straight spine and buttocks sticking out), walk diagonally forward 6-10 times, then diagonally backwards 6-10 times. Remember to keep your spine straight, buttocks sticking out, chest tall, and bend your knees.

Stomach Exercises

1. Lie down on your back and then bend your knees out to the sides so the soles of your feet come together. Begin to lift the knees and feet together, tightening gluteus and hamstrings. Try to lift at least 10 times, working up to 20 times. Then repeat 2-3 sets.

2. Come onto all fours (hands and knees), then kick your right foot back and up so the right foot is toward the ceiling, keep your knee bent at a right angle using right gluteus and hamstring. Try to do 2-3 sets of 20-30 reps on each leg, alternating legs between each set.

On Your Back

Lie on your back and bend your knees, bringing feet to standing parallel to your hips. Tighten gluteus and lift and lower pelvis 20 times. Make sure not to make it a big lift from the floor. Now, using only the left leg and gluteus, lift your right leg to the ceiling, and then lift and lower pelvis 20 times. Make sure to keep your pelvis level. If this begins to feel easy, place a large exercise ball under the lifted leg. The exercise ball will challenge your balance and core. Try to do 2-3 sets of 20 reps, alternating legs between sets.


Standing Stretch Routine

Separate Leg Stretch

Spread feet wide apart and bend forward at the hips, bringing your upper body down to the floor. Grab the outside of each foot (you may need to bend your knees to do so). With knees bent, pull down more so the top of your head is towards the floor, and then begin to straighten your knees. Take your time because this is a slow active stretch. In time, you want to be able to have your knees straight. Continue to pull down with your hands to lengthen the spine, open the shoulder blades as well as the hamstrings and gluteus. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.

 Side-to-Side Stretch

In a wide stance, bend the right knee to lower your pelvis to the floor over your right heel (right heel comes up). Left leg is long and stretched out to the left side, flexed ankle. Place your hands on the floor in front of you. Feel the inner groin on the left side stretch out and hold stretch for 15 seconds. Shift pelvis to left side with the right leg stretched out, flexing the right foot, and hold for 15 seconds. Alternate 2-4 times.

Low Lunges with Pyramid Stretch

Continue in your wide stance; pivot your body to the right, placing your hands on either side of your right foot allowing your right knee to bend. Make sure your left leg is long, your right knee is straight, and you are only on the toes of the left foot. Bend deeply with the right knee again, keeping the left knee straight, locked, and strong. Hold this lunge position for 15 seconds then begin to straighten the right knee, keeping your hands on the floor near your right foot, and then the left heel comes down. Try to have both legs straight and both knees locked out; this may take some time to accomplish. Hold for 15 seconds and then return to the lunge position. Alternate 3-5 times, pivot back to center and repeat on the left side.


Bring yourself to downward dog. Lift your right foot/leg and bring it forward and place up near your hands. Allow the lower part of right leg to bend to the left. Keep the left leg long, knee slightly lifted and toes tucked under like in a runner’s position. Slowly try to lower the right buttocks and leg to the floor while keeping hips parallel. Think of pulling right hip/gluteus back as the left groin and psoas stretches open. Hold for at least 30 seconds, return to downward dog and change legs. Repeat 2-3 times.

Spinal Stretch

Return to the pigeon position on the right side (right knee up to hands, lower right leg to the left). From this position, roll onto your right hip and bring left leg around, placing left foot to the right of the right knee. Place your right arm/hand to the outside (left side) of the left knee on the floor. This creates resistance so that the left buttock/cheek stays on the floor. Left hand is behind you so you can begin to twist to the left. Stay as tall as possible in your spine while twisting. Hold 30 seconds before changing to the other side. Repeat 2 times.

Leg Up The Wall

Find a wall, fence, or something 4-5 feet high. Stand about 2 feet away from the wall, with your back to the wall. Kick your right leg behind you to touch the wall or fence. Bend forward with your upper body to bring your hands to the ground. Now, with your standing left leg, lock out your left knee. It is okay for the right knee (on the wall) to bend. Focus on the standing left leg and locking out your left knee. This allows for the entire hamstring, gluteus, and gastrocnemius to fully lengthen. Hold for 30 seconds and change legs. Repeat 2-4 times.