This 7-move stretching routine increases your range of motion and boosts your recovery

woman doing the cobra pose on a mat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s so easy to just finish up a workout very abruptly and head straight for the shower without stretching out. Does it really matter if you stretch or not after exercise? If you want to reduce any muscle tension and speed up your recovery, then the answer is yes.

Whether you are a keen runner or gym junkie, stretching should be an extension of your workout and it doesn’t have to take long. It's also equipment free so you don't need to worry about finding any equipment in the gym to use. Although we would recommend stretching on top of a mat to protect your joints — any of the best yoga mats will do the job.

If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve found a seven move stretching routine designed by Coach Gerhard and it’s a fabulous recipe for speeding up your recovery process.

What is the 7-move stretching routine?

Coach Gerhard posted this stretching routine to Instagram suggesting the moves be used after a run. Of course, this is one for runners to benefit from but the mix of stretches are versatile and will work as a helpful recovery tool after any form of workout. 

There are just seven exercises to complete, you will spend 30 seconds on each side of the body with the unilateral stretches and 60 seconds on the bilateral stretches. You can watch Gerhard demonstrate each move below for notes on form.

Taking the time to engage in stretches, like the ones demonstrated above, will help to improve flexibility and increase the range of motion in your joints. Improved flexibility not only will have a positive impact on your exercise performance but also lower the risk of injury during exercise. 

Stretching can also be a game changer for those who too often fall victim to DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Intense exercise can cause muscles to contract and become tight, leading to discomfort and limited mobility. Stretching helps to alleviate this tension by promoting relaxation in the muscles and improving blood flow to the area. 

Plus, stretching after a workout can promote relaxation and stress relief. Although most of us use exercise as a release, it can be physically demanding and mentally taxing. But stretching is a great opportunity to slow things down, unwind and decompress, allowing the body and mind to relax after exertion. 

Why not spare seven minutes after your next workout and see how you feel after trying these seven exercises?

More from Tom's Guide

Category
Arrow
Arrow
Back to Yoga Mats
Colour
Arrow
Price
Arrow
Any Price
Showing 10 of 89 deals
Filters
Arrow
(Blue)
Our Review
1
Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat Exercise...
Amazon
(Black)
Our Review
2
Gaiam Yoga Mat Slap Band,...
Walmart
Our Review
3
Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
REI.com
Our Review
4
Gaiam Kids' Yoga Mat - Rocket...
Target
Our Review
5
Gaiam Stay-Put Yoga Mat...
CVS
Our Review
6
Manduka PRO Lite Yoga Mat -...
Amazon
Our Review
7
Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat Exercise...
Amazon
Our Review
8
Manduka PRO Lite Yoga Mat -...
Amazon
Our Review
9
Gaiam No-Slip Yoga Mat Towel,...
Amazon
Our Review
10
Manduka PRO Lite Yoga Mat -...
Amazon
Load more deals
Jessica Downey
Fitness Writer

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her love for keeping fit and fueling her body with healthy and enjoyable food quite naturally led her to write about all things fitness and health-related. If she isn’t out testing the latest fitness products such as the latest running shoe or yoga mat for reviewing then she can be found writing news and features on the best ways to build strength, active aging, female health, and anything in between. Before then she had a small stint writing in local news, has also written for Runners World UK (print and digital), and gained experience with global content marketing agency, Cedar Communications.

Born and raised in Scotland, Jessica is a massive fan of exercising and keeping active outdoors. When at home she can be found running by the sea, swimming in it, or up a mountain. This continued as she studied and trained to become a PPA-accredited magazine journalist in Wales. And since working and living in London, she splits her time between weight training in the gym, trying new fitness classes, and finding scenic running routes. Jessica enjoys documenting this on her fitness-inspired Instagram page @jessrunshere where she loves engaging with like-minded fitness junkies.

She is a big fan of healthy cooking and loves learning more about this area with expert nutritionists she has met over the years. Jessica is a big advocate for building healthy relationships with food rather than building restrictive attitudes towards it. When she isn’t eating or running she also enjoys practicing yoga in her free time as it helps her to unwind and benefits her performance in other sports.