• 08/16/2023

This Full-Body Stretching Routine Will Limber You Up From Head to Toe 

full-body stretching routine

Revivalist is a reader-supported endeavor and our posts may contain affiliate links. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

A full-body stretching routine is an integral part of your total exercise plan. However, what part of your workout do you skip during a time crunch? You’ve left during the cool down, neglecting flexibility more than once, haven’t you? Many of us have. Yet missing out on this fitness facet can leave you sore and even result in injury. 

You need a practice that effortlessly fits your schedule as smoothly as a wannabe Casanova sliding into your DMs. How can you do it all without exhausting yourself? Split your routine up, taking flexibility snacks throughout instead of forcing yourself through an hour-long class at day’s end. Keep each segment to 10 to 20 minutes, and before you know it, you will accomplish 30 to 60 minutes of daily yoga without breaking much of a sweat. 

What should you do? The following full-body stretching routine will keep you limber from head to toe. 

Morning: The Wake-Up Call 

An a.m. full-body stretching routine is better than morning coffee for getting you going. It makes getting out of bed less painful, easing any muscle cramps and stiffness built up overnight. 

You can begin this routine right on your mattress. Begin by pulling your knees into your chest and giving yourself a morning hug as you rock on your lower back. Breathe into it, feeling it open. Then, extend your legs, stretching your arms overhead as you try to grow an inch. Bend one knee into your chest, crossing it over your body for a supine twist. Repeat on the other side. 

Then, hop onto your floor in an all-fours position for a few cat-cows. Curl your toes beneath you, rising into a downward dog position. Pedal your feet a few times to stretch your calves and elongate the entire posterior chain before walking forward, dangling in a forward fold for a few breaths, then slowly rising to stand. 

Flow through three to five yoga sun salutations to limber yourself up from head to toe. Start slowly, gradually building your pace through each subsequent repetition until your heart rate increases and you grow slightly breathy. 

Mid-Day: The Re-Energizer 

Lunch is the perfect time to re-energize yourself with an invigorating vinyasa flow that works strength and cardio while keeping you loose and limber. If you telecommute, it’s ideal for busting the 3 p.m. doldrums without turning to coffee — tossing and turning half the night as a result. 

Many yoga guides use the sun salutation as the basis for many flows. Additionally, practice the following moves, combining them in different ways to create unique full-body stretching routines. Challenge your neuroplasticity by testing yourself. Can you remember the moves well enough to repeat them without a mistake? 

Here’s a brief list of stretching poses to master: 

  • Forward folds: You can do closed-leg or wide-leg variations, crossing one foot in front to change the angle. 
  • Triangle: With your feet approximately three feet apart, point one foot forward and the other at a 45-degree angle. Lean sideways, supporting yourself on the leg or floor in front of the forward foot. 
  • Side angle: Spread your legs approximately four feet apart, with one foot forward and the other at 45 degrees. Bend the front knee, leaning to that side, supporting yourself on the bent leg or the floor beside it. 
  • Pyramid: Step one foot approximately three feet in front of the other, both feet pointed forward. Ragdoll over the forward leg. 
  • Dancer: Balance on one leg, leaning forward and lifting the opposite leg behind you. Bend it, holding the ankle in your hand and feeling the front of your leg open. 
  • Low lunge: With both toes forward, bend your front knee at a 90-degree angle, bringing your hands to the floor on either side of the leg. Do a lizard/dragon variation by placing both hands inside the bent leg and bringing the elbows and rear knee to the ground — play with everything in between. Take anjaneyasana by bringing the back knee to the ground and bringing the hands to the forward thigh or lifting them overhead. Increase the stretch on your rear leg by placing the knee on the floor, bending it and grabbing the back ankle. 
  • High lunge: Take the same position as a low lunge but lift yourself upright. Extend your arms overhead or play with wrapping them around the forward leg in a bind. 
  • Tree: Work the external rotation of your hip by balancing on one leg. Place the opposite leg inside the angle with the knee pointed out at 45 degrees or lift the foot, placing it along the inner thigh above the knee. How long can you hold your balance? 
  • Standing backbends: Clasp your hands above your head and lean back. For a variation, lean to either side, gazing up at your joined palms. 

Pro-tip: Keep a slight softness in your elbows and knees to protect the joints while stretching. 

Evening: Ease Into Sleep 

A bit of gentle restorative yoga is the perfect full-body stretching routine to ease yourself into dreamland. Here, the idea is to calm your central nervous system by focusing on slow, steady movements coordinated with deep breathing and perhaps some meditation and daily reflection. 

Take an easy sukhasana seated position on your mattress — that way, you can curl up when finished instead of taking savasana. Inhale as you stretch yourself tall and perform gentle twists from side to side, bracing your hand on the opposite knee. You might reach up with the back hand to extend the sensation along the side of your body. Dip your chin to your chest and leisurely roll one ear toward one shoulder and then the other direction, easing any neck tension built up from your day. 

Extend your legs in front of you and squish a pillow firmly against your belly to remind you to keep your lumbar spine straight. Lean forward, taking several slow, deep breaths as you stretch your hamstrings. Remove the pillow, bend your knees and take a reverse tabletop position to unwind the stretch. Come to a kneeling pose, clasping your hands behind you and leaning forward to release shoulder tension. 

Lie back on your pillow, taking a supine pigeon to ease tension from your hips. Switch sides. Finish by taking a supine twist to either side and finally curl into a cradle pose by pulling both knees to your chest and giving yourself a congratulatory hug. Recline in your favorite resting position and tune into a guided meditation or yoga nidra recording to ease your way into a deep, restful sleep. 

A Full-Body Stretching Routine to Keep You Limber from Dawn to Dusk 

It can seem impossible to fit a full-body stretching routine into your busy day. The trick? Break it up into smaller segments. 

The following suggestion for a full-body stretching routine will keep you limber from head to toe. Play with unique variations each day and enjoy increased flexibility and freedom of movement. 

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

We would love to connect deeper with you!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.