The Only Stretch You Need to Know

The Only Stretch You Need to Know
 

There's a reason this stretch is referred to as the "world's greatest."

 

Each and every one of my clients will begin their workout with some form of this stretch. I usually call it a "walkout."

 

The beauty of this warm up is that it can be fully customized to fit the need of the athlete that day.

Too many lunges last week?   Throw in a quad stretch.

Calves tight from wearing heels last night?   Flex your foot in the hamstring stretch. 

 

Here's my most basic interpretation of that stretch broken down piece by piece. 


 
 1 // Begin standing, feet hip distance.

1 // Begin standing, feet hip distance.


 2 // Fold forward with a flat back aiming to touch your toes. Gaze can be 1-2 feet in front of you or directly at the floor. 

2 // Fold forward with a flat back aiming to touch your toes. Gaze can be 1-2 feet in front of you or directly at the floor. 


 3 // Bring your hands to the floor in front of you and walk forward until you reach plank position. 

3 // Bring your hands to the floor in front of you and walk forward until you reach plank position. 


 4 //Be sure that your wrists are directly below your shoulders and your gaze remains down. 

4 //Be sure that your wrists are directly below your shoulders and your gaze remains down. 


 5 // Place your right foot directly outside of your right hand. Square your hips to the floor and drop the hips down until you feel a stretch in the opposite hip flexor. 

5 // Place your right foot directly outside of your right hand. Square your hips to the floor and drop the hips down until you feel a stretch in the opposite hip flexor. 

 

Here is where you can begin to get creative! Test out these options to find the best fit for you. 

  • Reach back and lift the left foot for a quad stretch
  • Reposition the hand and push the hips back for a hamstring stretch
  • Plant the right hand and lift the left arm straight up, pressing the right elbow into the right knee
  • Plant the right hand and slide the right foot forward into a full split
  • Plant the right hand and move your right knee toward the right wrist and ankle toward the left for pigeon

 6 // Keeping your hips pushing toward the floor, raise the right arm up toward the ceiling, bringing your gaze toward the fingertips of the right hand. It's important to keep a tall, neutral spine here and to maintain space between the shoulders and the ears. 

6 // Keeping your hips pushing toward the floor, raise the right arm up toward the ceiling, bringing your gaze toward the fingertips of the right hand. It's important to keep a tall, neutral spine here and to maintain space between the shoulders and the ears. 


 7 // Walk your hands back toward your feet, keeping your heels on the ground for a deep calf stretch. 

7 // Walk your hands back toward your feet, keeping your heels on the ground for a deep calf stretch. 


 8 // Touch your toes and either walk forward to complete the left side, or roll yourself up to stand bringing the head up last. 

8 // Touch your toes and either walk forward to complete the left side, or roll yourself up to stand bringing the head up last. 

 
 

repeat 3-5 times per side

at the beginning of a workout

 

*Note: Step #5 is where my version deviates from the world's greatest method -- in which the right elbow is placed inside of the right foot and rests on the floor - feel free to add that!