Boost your flexibility and open up stiff hips with this 15-minute recovery routine

Whether you're recovering from a heavy workout or need to undo some of the damage of sitting, this short stretching routine can help

Man doing butterfly pose
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's important to take rest days after a tough workout. This gives your body time to recover, which is when muscle growth actually takes place. But if you spend your whole rest day hunched over your desk, your body will end up feeling stiff and sore. 

To keep yourself limber (and to give your muscles some much-needed TLC) we'd recommend this routine from personal trainer Anna Engelschall. It features several hip-opening stretches, like the low yogi squat, which will feel very satisfying after sitting down all day. 

You don't need any equipment to do the routine and it's only 15 minutes long, so you can squeeze it into your lunch break to add some movement into your day.

Watch and follow Anna Engelschall's stretching routine

Engelschall has shared this 15-minute, full-body stretch video as part of her 'Back To Basics' series, which features short, effective workouts to help you get fit and strong.

The routines are ideal for beginners or anyone who might be feeling a little bit bored by their workout routine. Anyone can try this stretching session, as you don't need any equipment and all of the exercises are low-impact.

You'll do several static stretches in the session, which you'll need to hold for 50 seconds. If you can, try moving deeper into the stretch around 20-30 seconds in, when your muscles should have warmed up a little bit.

How it works

The exercises in this video will provide a full-body stretch, but they'll help you open up the muscles in the hips in particular. If you work a desk job, you probably have tight hips, which could lead to a range of other problems including back pain and bad posture. The hip-opening moves in this routine, including the yogi squat and the lunge, could help to relieve that.

A stretching routine like this one is as good for your mental health as it is for your physical wellbeing. Try to relax throughout by focusing on your breathing, taking deep inhales through your nose and long exhales through your nose or your mouth.

This also a great session to try after a strength workout, in order to help your muscles cool down. Add it into your exercise routine if you want to decrease the risk of injury and increase your flexibility.

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.