You might imagine you need to head to a gym or take a home workout class to build strength and mobility in your lower body. But, with these two bodyweight stretches, you can boost your flexibility throughout the day without any equipment — you just need a bit of space.
As you'll know from your morning stretches, flexing your muscles can feel good good. Adding mobility and flexibility stretches into your day can help improve your posture, boost your workout performance and develop your mind-body connection in a similar way to taking on a yoga routine.
But it can be challenging to find time for an hour-long yoga class or dedicated stretching session; that's where this two-move routine from Alo Moves yoga instructor Ashley Galvin comes in. It consists of just two yoga-inspired stretches designed to help you open up your lower body.
You don't need any equipment, so you can do them whenever you want to add some extra movement to your day — handy if you're desk-bound for extended periods. The only thing we might suggest is rolling out a yoga mat if you've got one for extra support and additional grip as you lean into the stretch.
Watch Alo Moves' lower body stretches
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Galvin demonstrates each move and explains where you should feel the effect as you get deeper into the stretch. There are two poses for you to try; a low lunge and a lizard lunge. To get the most from each move, it's worth practicing how to do a lunge to get the technique right.
You can follow Galvin's instructions to perfect your form, but she doesn't recommend a specific duration or a particular number of repetitions. Try holding each one for 30 seconds on each side to begin with, then increase the time and depth of the stretch as your flexibility increases.
As you don't need equipment, you can easily add these two moves into your routine as a break from your daily activities or a dedicated flexibility session.
According to a study published in the Journal of Gerontology, yoga is "just as effective as stretching–strengthening exercises in improving functional fitness". The authors even conclude that it might be a preferable way to exercise since you don't need much equipment and can adapt the moves to suit your body.
This is why many people use core yoga to develop their abs, improve their balance and promote circulation, but those aren't the the only benefits. Regular yoga practice can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and boost your overall wellbeing in a similar way to learning how to meditate.
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James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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