Photography by Freepik
“I could sit in the first stretch for days — it feels that good!”
Yes, we’re actually bragging about stretches…
For their annual #WHGetsFit winter fitness challenge, Leigh Cann and Susan Barrett chose calisthenics, a practice based on bodyweight moves aimed at building strength and flexibility. Of course, from day one the near-hysterical kitchen chat revolved entirely around two monster end goals: namely (smug cough) the pistol squat and typewriter pull-up. And, yeah, why not toss in a human flag for a giggle…
Six weeks in and those lofty goals, albeit great motivation, are no longer dominating the coffee run convo. What’s really got them talking and bragging, and encouraging every unsuspecting bystander to try, are the stretches. How insanely, ridiculously good they feel. How insanely, ridiculously good they are for you. How your body can change massively through the simplest movement. Who would have guessed?
Here are a few of their faves. You’ll love them too. Trust.
Deep squat sit
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Push your butt out as you squat down as deep as possible with arms stretched out and resting on your knees. Ideally, your butt should be clear of the ground with your knees plugged into your armpits. Sit for as long as it feels comfortable, breathing deeply. Note: Keep your weight on your heels and keep your chest pushed out throughout the move. Try not to hunch or round your back.
Good for: Loosening the hips.
Hinge and squat hammy stretch
From standing, lower into a split squat with your foot against a bar, while holding on firmly with your hands. Hold for a few deep breaths and return to the start position. Pull your body back up with your arms, keeping that front leg locked out. Repeat on the other side.
Good for: Hamstring, knee and hip flexibility.
Hip flexor lunge
From standing, sink into a lunge, keeping your front knee at a 90 degree angle and your back leg bent, knee on the floor. Drive your hips forward for a deeper stretch in the hips and back leg. Hold for a few deep breaths and switch legs.
Good for: Stretching out quads and hip.
Neck and shoulder stretch
Kneeling face-down beneath a moveable bar, pull bar backwards over your head until the bar is hovering above your shoulders. Push back as far as your mobility allows. Repeat for a minute.
Good for: Neck and shoulder flexibility.