Warm & Stretch: Mat is the last workout in Linda Wooldridge‘s Warm & Stretch Series. The other three are Upper, Ball and Standing. All of them are available for free on YouTube or you can get the entire series on DVD from Amazon or Linda’s website. You can also purchase the downloads from Linda.
I had to put off doing this one until my surgeon released me to do planks because it starts with planks! This workout starts with an active, mat based warm up that (for me) was not easy. I am coming off of 10 weeks of limitations but I didn’t sit on the couch doing nothing for 10 weeks! Astonishing how difficult a plank is when you haven’t done one for more than 2 months. I was able to do these, but it wasn’t easy like it used to be. I know planks work your core but unless a trainer adds additional movements to the planks, I rarely actually feel my core working while in plank. Well, it turns out that was because I had a pretty strong core. Now I don’t and wow–just holding plank, I can feel it throughout my entire core! This Warm & Stretch is lower body focused so that is what you are warming up and, again, I felt all of the warm up moves. My quads were actually starting to fatigue! I did do an active Classical Stretch workout before this, so I was already warmed up and Miranda worked my lower body, but nothing like this. Miranda only made me warm. Linda started to fatigue my legs. At least at the beginning of this workout. The warm up is about 9:30 minutes then you move into holding stretches for the remainder of the workout.
I love all of the Warm & Stretch workouts and, just like the others, this one felt really good. I do have something exciting that I discovered in the course of this workout. I’ve had chronic shoulder problems for well over a year that have gotten worse with each cancer treatment I get (right mastectomy messed up my right shoulder, chemo port messed up my left shoulder, left mastectomy + bilateral reconstruction made both shoulders worse). After reconstruction I am finally on the other side of the cancer nightmare. I am on a journey to not only heal my shoulders and regain range of motion in them but to be able to do push ups on my toes again. For the past year, when I do lying spinal twists, I cannot keep both of my shoulders flat on the floor when I do them (and I used to be able to before cancer). In addition to Classical Stretch, I have also started doing Yin Yoga. I have only done Yin Yoga for a week. And I haven’t really noticed any big difference. Well, you do lying spinal twists in this workout and I was able to keep my shoulders almost flat when I twisted to the right! When I twisted to the left I couldn’t remain flat, but I was still able to keep them flatter than I have been able to in over a year! I think Yin Yoga really is helping my shoulders heal! So I am very excited and recommitted to doing Yin Yoga practices for my shoulder!
Warm & Stretch: Mat is 22:30 minutes; 30 second intro.
- Start on hands and toes (beast position) and push butt back, bending knees deep then come forward into plank
- In straight arm plank, alternate tapping knees to floor
- Kneel on floor with legs together, lower glutes to side until they touch floor, then raise back up and lower glutes to other side–keep alternating sides while holding arms out straight in front of you (I found this move very challenging)
- Lay on one hip, upper body resting on elbow and bottom leg bent, top leg is straight–rotate top leg in big circles
- Sit on bottom, legs extended straight in front of you, lean torso back and rest weight on palms behind you, alternate raising legs, bringing bent knees into chest
- Lay flat on back and raise legs off ground–bicycle legs while keeping head/neck on floor
- Still laying on back, feet on ground, knees bent, raise hips, lower hips, raise feet off ground bringing knees into chest, return feet to ground and keep repeating
- Still laying on back, extend arms out to sides in a T, knees bent and feet raised off ground, rotate knees/hips side to side
- Sit on bottom, knees bent, toes on ground and hands gripping thighs, roll onto back then roll back up to bottom
- Lay flat on back and raise legs off ground, knees bent and rotate legs/knees to one side until they are on the floor, keeping torso/shoulders on the ground with arms extended straight to sides in a T–hold this spine stretch; extend top leg and continue to hold the stretch
- Lay on back with one leg extended straight on the floor and the other leg extended straight to ceiling, rotate hips, bringing leg that was extended to ceiling over to the side to tap the floor, alternate legs
- Lay on back with one knee bent and foot on floor, extend the other leg straight to ceiling, hold the calf with one hand and pull leg toward you, stretching the hamstring; cross ankle over bent knee and lift foot off floor (figure 4 stretch or reclining pigeon); in the figure 4 stretch position, rotate hip to side so thigh is on the ground; cross thighs so knees are close together, thighs touching and grab feet, pulling legs toward you; extend both legs to ceiling then open them in a V to stretch the inner thighs; happy baby pose; happy baby pose but with legs extended straight, hold legs with hands and rock side to side
- Lay on one hip, upper body resting on elbow and bottom leg bent, top leg is straight, use hand to pull leg toward you; bend knee then extend leg straight again
- Side lying quad stretch
- Sit cross-leg but with one ankle on top of opposite knee (fire log pose), lean torso forward over legs; pick up top leg and bring it into chest, pressing down on knee with one hand; raise leg higher, bringing foot up in front of face
- Sit on bottom with legs open as wide as you can and alternate reaching hand toward opposite foot; bend one knee, bringing sole of foot toward opposite thigh and lean torso toward straight leg reaching for foot, while reaching other arm overhead; turn torso to face straight leg and reach both hands to foot; while hinged forward in this position, alternate sweeping arms from side to side
- Kneel with body straight from knees to head, place palms on small of back and arch spine, hold this stretch; deepen this stretch by reaching hands back and grabbing heels
- Cat/cow stretches on all 4s
- Child’s pose with knees wide