You’re reading Move, the nudge we need to get active, however makes us happiest and healthiest.
Our adult bodies become riddled with tension thanks to the demands of everyday life. But imagine how nice it would be to banish that stiffness and feel as loose and carefree as a kid again.
We can’t turn back the clock, but we can encourage suppleness. And Amy Brogan – personal trainer, Pilates instructor and founder of A Body Forever – is here to show us how.
She’s provided HuffPost UK with a fast, five-minute workout that requires zero equipment, designed to leave you feeling a little more agile.
Whizz through each stretch holding for 30 seconds each for a quick five-minute workout, or, better yet, pick out the movements that are calling to your body today and enjoy them for a little longer.
“Always remember to breathe deeply, long inhales through the nose, long exhales out through the mouth,” says Brogan. “Use the breath to stretch further and get more out of the stretches above. Do as much or as little as you like and most importantly listen to your body. It will tell you everything you need to know.”
Begin sitting crossed legged or with one leg hooked over the other. Anchor your sit bones. Lift one arm up to find length, take the arm down and place it on the knee and twist. Back hand placed down behind you to ground down. Do both sides.
Lateral side stretch
Seated, knees or standing
Lift up through your spine and side bend from left to right. Don’t collapse into your spine, find length, and stretch into this space.
Back extension: Cobra
Lying on your stomach, prop yourself up onto your forearms, lift through your chest, lengthen through your spine, pull your shoulders back, flow up and down in this position keeping your glutes switched on.
Full up dog
If Cobra feels good you can push into your hands to straighten your arms and move into a full up dog without letting your shoulders ride up to your ears.
Release: shell stretch
Come into a shell stretch. This is a round back child’s pose.
After you have released your spine you can come back down and stretch your shoulders. On your stomach, hands intertwined behind your back, lift through the chest, open the shoulders, and stretch. Keep your glutes squeezed.
Crossed legged or legs out
Sit on your bum choose a position (legs out or crossed) and forward fold, feel the stretch across your lower back, and hamstrings (if the legs are out).
Lunge position with the back knee down. Hands inside the front foot. Push down through your back hip and do little circles or rocks. If you have the flexibility, you can come all the way down onto your forearms. Another progression is to keep the back leg straight, knee lifted and bounce through the hip.
Sitting on your bum, feet together, knees out, bounce through the knees to stretch the hips laterally or push the knees down using the elbows.
Ankle to knee
Sitting down, cross your legs and take one ankle and place it on top of the knee closest to it so the knee and ankle are stacked. Do this to the underneath leg as well. If you don’t have the flexibility extend the bottom leg. Using the same arm as the leg that is on top push down into the knee. Or fold forward.
Legs out in front of you and as wide as you can go. Hands back or forward depending on your range. If your hands are forward, try and take your chest to the floor. Make sure your ankles stay flexed and your legs are engaged.
Sitting as you choose, take your chin to your chest and your hands to the back of your head. Pull your shoulders away from your ears by pulling gently down with your hands at the same time, open your upper back and stretch your neck as you wrap your elbows inwards.
Standing forward fold
Standing, intertwine your hands behind your back and forward fold. Soft bend in your knees, chin to chest, arms over head.
Move celebrates exercise in all its forms, with accessible features encouraging you to add movement into your day – because it’s not just good for the body, but the mind, too. We get it: workouts can be a bit of a slog, but there are ways you can move more without dreading it. Whether you love hikes, bike rides, YouTube workouts or hula hoop routines, exercise should be something to enjoy.