Warm & Stretch: Upper is another nice dynamic flexibility workout from Linda Wooldridge. Just like the other two Warm & Stretch workouts (Standing and Ball), Linda starts with some very active dynamic flexibility movements to get you warmed up. Since this is entirely upper body focused the entire workout is done on a mat. This was a feel good workout. The beginning did start to burn my arms out a little, but not too much. Once warmed up, she stretched me out very nicely. This morning was feel good workouts for me all the way around. I started with a Classical Stretch workout called Pain Relief that was very gentle and effective. Then I did this Warm & Stretch workout and I ended with a YouTube Yin Yoga workout that focused on the upper body. The end result was an hour of effective and gentle stretching and flexibility.
A little bonus in this workout was Linda’s cat Minnie. You see Minnie in many of Linda’s workouts but I never hear her. She was meowing in this workout and rubbing herself on Linda while she stretched. When Linda continued the workout without stopping to serve Minnie’s needs, Minnie sat and stared at her haughtily.
This and the other 3 Warm & Stretch workouts are available free on YouTube but you can also get it on DVD on Amazon with the other 3 Warm & Stretch workouts, or you can buy it on DVD or download from Linda’s Website.
Warm & Stretch: Upper is 21 minutes; 30 second intro. No equipment is needed, just a fitness mat.
- Sit cross-leg and do “swan” arms (graceful flapping of arms, like bird wings); using the same graceful flowing motion, open and close arms, sweeping them in front of you then back
- Still sitting cross-leg, do alternating side bends, reaching arm overhead and to the side, other hand is on the floor so you can go deeper into stretch; changes to sweeping arms from side, around in front of you to the other side, still alternating arms
- Still sitting cross-leg, round arms overhead with fingertips touching and lower arms to floor then raise back overhead, turning hands so palms face the ceiling when they are overhead and backs of hands tap the floor at bottom
- Still sitting cross-leg, reach arms out to side and overhead and when you lower them, pull elbows into waist; changes to pushing arms across body in front of you with palms flexed, alternate arms; hold arms out to side with elbows bent in a goal post and rotate arms/torso side to side; arms in same position but now you reach one arm across body when twisting, keeping arms/elbows at shoulder level
- Still sitting cross-leg, do shoulder rolls; rotate head side to side; tilt head side to side, bringing ear to shoulder; changes to tilting head forward and back
- Child’s pose w/ arms extended in front of you; flow from child’s pose into cobra; hold cobra; return to child’s pose, but stretch arms out to side
- Thread the needle pose; extend arm out to side (rather than under the body), pushing shoulder down to floor
- Return to cross-leg position and roll shoulders; pull one arm across chest, stretching shoulder; tricep stretch; bring one hand behind you so back of hand is against your mid back with elbow bent, push elbow behind you keeping hand against back; extend arm straight in front of you and pull down on your fingers with your other hand to stretch forearm; reverse this, bending hand down and pressing on back of hand with opposite hand; rotate the wrist
- Still sitting cross-leg, do eagle arm pose; place hands on opposite knee and round back
- Sitting on bottom with knees bent and heels on floor, hinge forward and grab the bottoms of your feet, press feet into hands while rounding back
- Extend one leg straight in front of you, bend other leg across straight leg placing foot on floor, wrap arm around bent knee and twist spine, looking behind you
- Mermaid side stretch: sit with legs in a pretzel or a Z and reach arm overhead, bending to side, alternate sides
- Sit cross-leg again, interlace fingers and stretch arms out in front of you, rounding spine; reach arms overhead and stretch, then lean to the side and stretch; place one hand on floor beside you and reach the other arm across body, rounding back; interlace hands behind you, stretching arms straight behind you as you lean torso forward over crossed legs
- Cat/cow stretches on all 4s
- Kneeling with bottom on heels, swing arms in front of you and to the side while bending torso side to side