A 15-minute stretch to stretch tight muscles

i amIt’s no secret that stretching feels great, but there are benefits beyond the joy of flexibility. “Research has shown that increased flexibility can reduce the risk of injury,” Austin Martinez, director of education at StretchLab, previously told Well+Good. “By having more flexibility, a joint can go through an increased range of motion.” Thus, flexibility increases mobility, which is associated with longevity.

Basically, flexibility is the range of motion through which your muscles or groups of muscles can stretch. The larger this ROM, the more flexible you are, and the more pressure you take off your joints and tendons, which are stressed when you exercise or throughout your day.

That would be reason enough to focus on flexibility training, but it also feels really good. And Nike Master Trainer and yoga teacher Tracy Copeland’s flexibility flow is no exception.

“I’m giving you some tools that you can use on your own to help your body feel great and move better,” Copeland says of the individual components of this 15-minute routine. One thing to remember about flexibility training: “It’s less about speed and more about control,” Copeland says in the video, “and allowing yourself to go deeper each time.”

Taking the time to start your day with this yoga routine is definitely a helpful way to wake up your body, but as Copeland points out, these moves are “great to do anytime, especially after a long day of sitting where you’re compressing your spine, Or if you’re on your feet all day. Throughout the class, Copeland will help you stretch your inner thighs, hips, hamstrings and lower back, as well as your shoulders—all areas that tend to be tight from a lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting.

When you’re ready, grab a mat and press play on the video above. Remember to breathe, center and enjoy.

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