Stretching Workouts for Women

Total-Body Mobility Circuit

Tabata is not just for high-intensity interval training — this routine uses it to mobilize and elongate.

Regular mobility practice ensures that your body is functioning at its best, and though we understand this as athletes, it’s not always easy to find the time, the space or the right exercises to construct a meaningful session.

This full-body mobility circuit is the perfect solution: It’s simple to follow and it’s effective, hitting all the major muscle groups with both static stretching and banded distraction — a technique in which you use the pull of a resistance band to create space within a joint, helping the bones track more smoothly. What’s more, this routine uses a Tabata-style interval structure to keep things moving, increasing the effectiveness of each stretch in less time. It also enables you to focus more intently on your stretch, increasing your mind-body connection.

Perform a 20-second stretch and a 10-second rest for each move. During the stretch interval, your goal is to keep the intensity of the stretch high; during the rest interval, release the stretch a bit to rest, but don’t go completely slack. Start by doing two rounds of each move on both sides, and build from there. Do this routine postworkout or on an active recovery day for best results.

Banded Ankle Stretch

Banded Ankle Stretch

Secure a resistance band around a rack or rig at calf height and step your left foot inside the loop. Position the band on top of your ankle joint, turn your back to the rack/rig and then step forward with your left foot to create resistance. Bend your left knee while keeping your left heel flat on the floor and hold there for 20 seconds. During the rest interval, extend your left knee slightly to soften the stretch for 10 seconds.

Lizard Lunge

Lizard Lunge

Start at the top of a push-up with your hands underneath your shoulders. Step your left foot forward and to the outside of your left hand with your knee close to your shoulder. Keep your right leg straight and strong as you drop your left elbow toward the floor and hold for 20 seconds. During the rest interval, place both palms to the floor for 10 seconds.

Half-Squat

Half-Squat

Stand with your feet outside shoulder-width apart, toes forward. Keep your left foot flat as you bend your left knee and drop your hips, keeping your chest lifted and your right leg straight, foot flexed, going as low as you can. Hold for 20 seconds, then straighten both legs and come into a wide-legged forward fold for 10 seconds.

Banded Pigeon Pose

Banded Pigeon Pose

Anchor a resistance band around a pole or rack at shin height, then step your left leg into the loop and slide it up your thigh until it’s near your groin. Stand so the pole/rack is at about 4 o’clock behind you, then drop down to your hands and knees. From there, bring your left knee to the floor so your shin is as straight as you can get it in front of you and extend your right leg behind you. Scoot away from the pole to create tension with the band, square your hips and hold for 20 seconds. During the rest interval, roll onto your outer left hip for 10 seconds.

Banded Lat Stretch

Banded Lat Stretch

Secure a band loop around a high pull-up bar and slide your right hand through the other end. Step away from the anchor to create tension, then drop your right knee to the floor and extend your arm, palm down. Sit your hips back, allowing the band to stretch the right side of your body for 20 seconds. Rise up for a 10-second break.

Reverse Tabletop

Reverse Tabletop

Sit with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent, and place your hands behind you, fingers forward. Press your hips up until they align with your shoulders and knees. Rock your weight slightly forward over your heels and hold for 20 seconds. Lower your hips to the floor for the rest interval.