You’ve probably had those cold winter mornings when you awaken feeling stiff, and creakily stumble out of bed. Or those marathon desk sessions when you finally get up and feel like you can’t stand as tall as you could before you sat down. Unfortunately, it’s not just your imagination. “When we sleep, our body lays down cobwebs, which is why people are tighter in the morning,” says Ann Frederick, founder of the Stretch To Win Institute in Tempe, AZ and creator of fascial stretch therapy, which she’s used to keep Olympic athletes limber. “The body starts to glue together when movement doesn’t occur on a regular basis, like when you sit all day. If you don’t address it, it starts to become cumulative.”
Now, for some very good news: It’s actually pretty easy to address your stiffness. “It’s much quicker to develop and improve flexibility than cardiovascular or strength, and a new routine has an impact much faster,” Frederick says. Before you have flashbacks to trying to touch your toes in gym class, this is not your traditional stretching routine. Each of these four exercises has you moving through a range of motion, which is really what being flexible is all about. Not only that, they actually feel good to do — not painful or uncomfortable.
Read on to learn how you can get more fluid and flexible in just 30 days.