Andrea Rogers Shares Her 8 Favorite Stretches
It’s no secret that Openfit’s Andrea Rogers is big on stretching. The creator of our popular Xtend Barre and XB Pilates programs counts it as one of the ways she ensures every workout is a good one. Stretching is also one of the self-care habits that she builds into her schedule. In fact, Rogers stretches out multiple times a day using short but consistent sessions.
Let her serve as your inspiration. Clear 10 minutes from your schedule to loosen up your tight muscles and get back in touch with your body. If you need inspiration for your stretching routine, try going through Andrea’s top stretches:
1. Seated Mermaid
For those of you familiar with yoga, the seated mermaid pose is an advanced version of pigeon pose. Rogers likes this stretch because it releases tension in the hip flexors, which can even help relieve lower back pain.
- Start on all fours, with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
- Place your right ankle on the floor near your left wrist, and your right knee near your right wrist.
- Extend your left leg straight behind you. Your kneecap and the top of your left foot should touch the floor.
- Bend your left knee and hold the outside of your left foot with your left hand.
- As your muscles relax, position your left foot so that it’s held in position by the inside of your left elbow.
- If you feel comfortable, reach your right arm behind your head and grasp your left hand. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then switch sides.
2. Seated Figure 4
Rogers can’t go a day without doing this stretch, which loosens up the hips and glutes. It’s one of Andrea’s top stretches for anyone who sits in a desk chair for hours a day.
- Sit in a chair with your back straight and your feet hip-width apart flat on the floor.
- Place the outside of your right ankle on top of your left knee.
- Try to keep your right leg parallel to the floor and both of your sit bones on the chair.
- You should feel a stretch through your right hip and glute during the stretch.
- To deepen the stretch, lean your upper body over your right leg. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
- Return the right foot to the floor and repeat with the left leg.
3. Runner’s Lunge
This stretch can challenge your balance and strengthen your legs, all while stretching your hips. (And it’s not just for runners…)
- Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. With knees slightly bent, bend forward at your waist and place your palms next to the outer edges of your feet.
- Bend your right knee and extend your left foot behind you, placing the ball of your left foot on the ground. For added stability, gently lower your left knee to the ground. You can place a towel or mat under your knee for comfort if needed.
- According to your level of flexibility and comfort, lower your hips, allowing your body to sink into the stretch. You should feel the stretch in your hip flexors, quadriceps, and calves.
- Hold for up to 30 seconds before switching legs.
4. Thread the Needle (Child’s Pose Variation)
This variation on child’s pose helps stretch the back and shoulders while also opening up the hips.
- Start in a tabletop position with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. The tops of your feet should be on the floor.
- Push your hips back and down until your glutes are on your heels, and then walk your hands forward until your forehead touches the floor. This position is known as child’s pose.
- Thread your right arm under your body to your left, pressing your right shoulder into the ground until you feel a stretch.
- Hold, and then return to child’s pose (both arms forward).
- Repeat with your left arm.
5. Chest Opener
Rogers calls this another “great go-to stretch if you sit at a computer all day” because it can reverse poor posture and release tension in the shoulders, chest, and neck.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart without locking your knees. (You can also do this from a seated position.)
- Reach both arms behind your back and clasp your hands together.
- Gently drive your shoulders back and draw your shoulder blades together with your arms down to open up your chest.
- You should feel the stretch running from shoulder to shoulder across your chest. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
6. Pilates Roll-Up
Wake up your full body and ease tension in your back with Pilates roll-ups. They’re a great way to connect with your core and one of Andrea’s top stretches.
- Start by lying flat on your back on the floor or a mat with your arms resting by the sides of your body. Pull your shoulders down, away from your ears.
- Engage your core so that your back is pressed flat against the ground. Rest your arms up over your head so they’re on the ground.
- Raise your arms and bring them up over your head. As they pass your ears, allow your chin to drop and your upper back to curl as they join the movement.
- Relying on your core, continue to curl your body up and over toward your toes.
- Reach for your toes while keeping your back rounded.
- Slowly reverse the position, uncurling your body back toward the floor by engaging your core muscles. Think of slowly putting one vertebra on the ground at a time. Repeat for at least a few reps.
7. Side Reach
This stretch, which is easy to do as you’re just getting out of bed, warms up both sides of your body and loosens up the inside of your legs.
- Place your right foot on a stable surface like your couch or bed, keeping a slight external rotation in this leg.
- Raise your left arm over your head and bend your body toward your right foot until you feel a stretch along the left side of your body.
- Press the left hip out away from your right foot to deepen this stretch.
- Return your right foot to the floor and repeat with the left foot.
8. Wrist Stretches
Rogers doesn’t want you to underestimate how much tension the wrists can hold. Release tension from typing on your computer (or scrolling on your phone) with this stretch.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. (You can also do this seated at your desk.)
- Reach your left arm out in front of your chest with the palm facing up, fingers together.
- Use your right hand to gently pull your left fingers down until they point toward the floor.
- Hold the stretch for a few moments, and then perform on the right side.