Stretches for when you don’t know what the f*ck you need
Now that I am finally emerging from burnout, I have the energy to share some of the things that helped me while I was deep in it. The reality is so many of us spend the bulk of our time in our heads, and dynamic stretching is an incredible way to help get our blood flowing and tap into our bodies.
I’ve listed some physical and emotional sensations that may correlate to these stretches; play around to see what works for you.
Psst: dynamic stretching is especially good if you’re hypermobile. The best way to help tighten connective tissue is by strengthening through elongated force… which is basically dynamic stretching and bodyweight movement.
I’ve included a video with visuals of the 6 different stretches with full descriptions below.
As always, one of the most important things is to breathe properly, inhaling the belly out and letting it fall on the exhale.
Let me know if these were helpful and/or if you’d like to see more like this.
1) Knees to chest
low back pain
exhale, engaging the core, and curl in like a potato bug hugging your knees; inhale relax. repeat a few times. pro tip: add some stimulating music for added effect
2) Childs Pose Decompression
Gently pull against the bed to create space betwen the shoulders and ears, and push into the hips by tilting the pelvis toward the ceiling as you exhale, release on the inhale. pro tip: imagine a bit more weight lifting from your body each time you release on the inhale. repeat as much as feels good
3) Spinal twist (and shout)
achy low back
stiff hips & legs
As you exhale, gently pull the legs in the opposite direction the upper body while keeping the shoulders on the bed, and let out whatever noise feels natural as you twist; inhale release the pull; repeat a few times. notes: put a pillow under the knee for hip comfort and grip clothing or use a strap to help with the pulling; position legs in any way that’s comfortable.
4) Leg hang
Gently rock the hanging leg back and forth; you should feel a stretch in the front of that hip bc pssst this is a psoas stretch too. Keep opposite leg on bed in whatever position is comfortable. Pro tip: ball up the fist and lightly pound the bed alternating with the leg rocking for some bilateral stimulation.
5) The opener
shoulder blade knots
Slowly inhale the arms overhead keeping the shoulders away from the ears and shoulder blades in contact with the bed; slowly exhale the arms down. Only go as far as comfortable both directions. Try to keep arms straight up. Pro tip: imagine feeling a little more pressure lift from your chest each time you exhale your arms down.
6) Bed Angels
clenched jaw/sore teeth
sore throat/neck muscles
full body crunch wrap
loss of autonomy
This one is all about freedom so there aren’t many instructions other than staying within your range of motion, so maybe don’t get too overzealous if you’re hyper-mobile. Pro tip: add any form of vocalization or jaw stretching. you may prefer this without the friction of clothing if you’re comfortable/safe/able to do so (good for shame ❤️🩹)