I'm not the only person who finds stretching to be so boring, right? I'm always trying to find a routine I can actually stick with, because I know it's good for me. But I usually end up losing interest halfway through, X-ing out of the YouTube video in a fugue state, and realizing I've spent a full five minutes lolling around on my yoga mat and scrolling through TikTok. This is probably why I'm always battling at least one persistent body ache.
The only time I enjoy stretching is when I go to a studio and someone physically manipulates my body, leaving me feeling sore and mangled the next day (in a good way). Nothing else feels productive. But stretching studios can be expensive — and right now, amid the pandemic and social distancing guidelines, I'm still steering clear.
So I decided to look for a different at-home routine. My requirements: It had to be active enough to keep me entertained; it had to hurt enough that I knew it was working; and it had to be fast enough for me to actually stick with it. I ticked all three with this full-body stretch circuit created by Natasha Nikolaeva and Marina Skladchikova, the co-founders of the StretchIt App, which is entirely devoted to stretching.
The five moves are dynamic and take only a few minutes to cycle through. Each stretch targets several muscle groups at once, so even if I do just one before bed, I can feel good about it. And post-stretch, my muscles feel relaxed and a little sore in a healthy, warmed-up way — like I just undid at least 80% of the damage I caused from being hunched over at my computer all day. Finally, a stretch routine I can really stick with.