Finding Time for Fitness in a Busy Life

Active Recovery Stretch Session

Active Recovery Stretch Session

What is an active recovery stretch session?

An Active recovery stretch session is a stretching “workout” that you do on a “rest” day. This type of a workout tends to be a stretch or yoga session. A workout like this is great for muscle recovery from the week of exercise before. Also, an active recovery day can prepare your muscles for the upcoming week of workouts. An active recovery day is basically a “warm up” to the week ahead or a “cool down” from the prior week! At least that is how I look at it… 

Personally, I take a rest day and an active recovery day. The reason I do this is to prevent from overtraining my muscles. Overtraining my muscles could lead to fatigue, decreased performance or possibly even injury. Since, I workout 6 days a week, I make sure that one of those days is active recovery. On that day, I like to do 25 minutes or so of just stretching.

I also started doing yoga more. I do yoga 2 times a week. Yoga is very relaxing and helps with flexibility. Becoming more flexible is one of my fitness goals and yoga really helps with that! I find a lot of my yoga sessions on youtube! My favorite is from popsugar. Popsugar has a bunch of great 30 minute or less yoga flow sessions! Another great yoga series is from Heart Alchemy Yoga! If you are a member of a gym, you can check out their yoga classes as well!

Someday I hope to become a certified yoga instructor! That would be amazing! But for now, I will just continue to stretch and do other instructors’ yoga videos/classes.

Stretch

For this active recovery workout, I want you all to stretch with me. So, I put together a 22 minute stretch sequence that you can do at home with only a mat! With this sequence you are meant to take your time and enjoy the stretch. You will hold each stretch for 30 seconds or longer if needed. The best thing about stretching is you can take as much time as you need. If you worked legs a lot during the week, you can take more time on the lower body stretches. And if you worked upper body or core more, you can take more time on those stretches.

 

Pin this Active Recovery Stretch!

Step by Step Walk Through

Shoulder stretch

  1. First with feet hip width apart, cross left arm across chest
  2. With the right arm, hold left arm in place
  3. Try to keep shoulders down
  4. Then switch to other side

Tricep stretch

  1. First with feet hip width apart, raise left arm above head
  2. Bend at elbow to point down back
  3. Using the right hand hold elbow of left arm
  4. Then switch to other side

Star Reach

  1. First with feet wider than shoulders, reach arms out to sides
  2. Bending at the hips, reach right arm to left foot (or as low as you can go)
  3. Try to keep legs straight and back flat
  4. If you can look up towards the left arm
  5. Then switch to other side

Standing Adductor (Lateral Lunge)

  1. First with feet next to each other, Lunge your left leg directly to the left side, bending your left knee
  2. Hold while keep back flat and hands rest on bent leg
  3. Then switch to other side

Flat back

  1. First with feet wider than shoulders, bend at hips
  2. Stop at hip height
  3. With a flat back, hold

Forward fold

  1. Transition from flat back and fold completely forward
  2. Hold

Right side fold

  1. Transitioning from forward fold, stay low and bring upper body to right leg
  2. Keep legs as straight as possible

Left side fold

  1. Transition from right side fold to left side

Forward Lunge Rotate left

  1. First while standing and feet hip width apart, lunge left leg forward
  2. Sink into lunge, bending both knees
  3. Rotate over left leg with arms above head

Forward Lunge Rotate right

  1. First while standing and feet hip width apart, lunge right leg forward
  2. Sink into lunge, bending both knees
  3. Rotate over right leg with arms above head

Calf stretch

  1. First with feet staggered, left leg forward and right leg back, hinge forward at hips
  2. Then sink back into right leg and lift left toes off the ground
  3. Arms can be on bent right leg or on the ground
  4. Next, switch to other side

Runner’s lunge left

  1. First with feet hip width apart, lunge left leg out to a runner’s lunge
  2. Hands should be on the ground inside of your left leg

Twist

  1. Transitioning from the runner’s lunge, lift left arm up and twist upper body towards left knee
  2. If you can, look towards left arm
  3. Also, try to keep hips level with each other

Runner’s lunge right

  1. First with feet hip width apart, lunge right leg out to a runner’s lunge
  2. Hands should be on the ground inside of your right leg

Twist

  1. Transitioning from the runner’s lunge, lift right arm up and twist upper body towards right knee
  2. If you can, look towards right arm
  3. Also, try to keep hips level with each other

Down Dog

  1. First, start in high plank position
  2. Next push hips up and back, try to keep arms straight and legs can be bent if needed
  3. Try to keep back flat and head in line with spine

Down Dog Pedal

  1. While in down dog, bend left knee, keeping right leg straight
  2. Then straighten left leg and bend right knee
  3. Continue slowly

Child’s pose with arm through

  1. First sitting back on your legs, lower upper body down to ground
  2. Knees should be wide and arms should be straight above head
  3. Head can be on the ground and hold
  4. Next, reach right arm under left arm and turn head to the left
  5. Hold
  6. Next, reach left arm under right arm and turn head to right
  7. Hold

Cat Cow

  1. First in table top position, arch back and bring chin to chest (kind of like a Halloween cat)
  2. Then arch hips up and chest out (don’t let tummy sink, keep core tight) and look forward
  3. Fold through slowly with breath

Butterfly

  1. First while sitting, bend knees with feet infront of you
  2. If this is a good stretch as is, you can stay
  3. If you want a deeper stretch, you can push on your legs with your elbows and lean forward

Sitting forward fold

  1. First sitting up straight with your legs straight out in front of you, bend at waist and reach towards toes

Hamstring Sequence

  1. First, have left leg straight and right leg bent in half butterfly position
  2. Next fold forward and hold
  3. Then place right foot over left quad above the knee
  4. Next fold forward and hold
  5. Then slide left foot up towards butt, keeping right foot on top of quad
  6. Keep back straight and put hands on the ground next to your butt
  7. Next lower left leg and keep right leg vertical
  8. Twisting from your torso, bring left elbow to right knee
  9. Look over right shoulder if possible
  10. Then repeat all above steps on the right side

Knees to chest

  1. First lay on your back
  2. Then bring knees to chest as close as you can to feel the stretch
  3. Next hold

Single knee to chest and twist

  1. First transition from both knees to chest
  2. Next keep your left knee to chest and lower right leg to ground
  3. Hold
  4. Then bring left arm out to side at shoulder level
  5. Next twisting at hips, bring left knee to ground beside right leg
  6. Look towards your left hand
  7. And hold
  8. Then repeat with right side

 

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Disclaimer: I am a NASM certified personal trainer. I can give advice on what workouts would be great for just about anybody. If you have any medical conditions, please check with your doctor before starting a workout routine.

I may share food ideas and recipes, but I am not a licensed dietitian. I can show you foods I love to eat which may have helped me achieve my weight loss and health goals. I cannot provide meal plans.

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