Flexibility Training Plan

With the new year quickly coming up, I thought it would be a great time to develop a little stretching plan to help improve you flexibility levels, especially after the holiday break! This plan is designed to take just under 30 minutes, each exercise targets different areas of the body and most are choreographed to the set music. If you choose to use different music be aware that the timings may change and that it may not fit in the same structure as what I have written here. I’ve written each exercise out with all the counts you need to follow along and the moves you need to do at certain times, as this is my first one though be sure to give me feedback about how it can be improved. What’s more, I’ve also created a PDF version of the plan so you can print it out and have it next to you as you complete it, which you can find at the bottom of this post. I definitely recommend printing it off as it’s much easier to use that way!

The playlist I’ve used is linked below, I’ve used Spotify which may give you ads, just view these as a little bit more time jogging on the spot!

 

>>>> SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: HERE <<<<<

Complete the 30 minutes of stretching at least three times a week and you’re sure to see improvements in your flexibility levels. It is often helpful to take pictures of your current flexibility levels, key examples of this are your back flexility and your splits, in order to see how much you’ve improved by doing these stretches. Within the 30 minute routine there are a few different types of stretching, many of which are dynamic stretches, this means you continue stretching the whole way through the movement. These types of stretches are particularly useful for those wishing to develop their flexibility as the static (stretches that don’t move) stretches can actually harm your flexibility for a few hours afterwards.

 

Exercise 1 – Warm up

Suggested track: “Blue Skies” by Noah and the Whale

While I’ve chosen a track for many of these exercises the warm up and cool down are particularly easy to be switched out for a different tune if you’d like. For the whole track I want you to choose your favourite active movement. Examples of this could be that you grab a skipping rope and jump over it for the whole track, jump on the spot, do star jumps, or jog. The choice is up to you. Just remember to choose something that will warm up your body and leave you a little bit warmer and out of breath.

 

Exercise 2 – Whole Body Stretch

Set to “Called Out in the Dark” by Snow Patrol:

Patterning: Start by marching on the spot for 2 lots of 8, complete the VERSE on the right side then the left, followed by the right then the left and the right again. Complete the CHORUS twice, then have an 8 count rest. Continue with the VERSE on the left then the right then the left again, followed again by the CHORUS twice. Finally finish by performing the VERSE on the right then the left.

Verse –

RIGHT SIDE

1,2,3,4 – to lean back slightly in your standing position, to increase this you can also take your hands above the head.

5,6,7,8 – to roll through the spin to the floor as you bend your legs

1,2,3,4 – shoot the left leg backwards so you’re in a right leg lunge

5,6,7,8 – step the right leg to meet the left and hold the high plank

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Push the hips to the sky to create an A-frame or downwards dog position. Try to straighten the legs and press the heels into the floor, but don’t worry if you need a slight bend in your knee. Hold this position or slowly press each heel down alternatively to get a little bit more stretch as you ease into it.

1,2,3,4 – Step the right leg forwards so you’re in a lunge position again

5,6,7,8 – Step the left foot next to the right and stack the spin back up to standing again.

LEFT SIDE

1,2,3,4 – to lean back slightly in your standing position, to increase this you can also take your hands above the head.

5,6,7,8 – to roll through the spin to the floor as you bend your legs

1,2,3,4 – shoot the right leg backwards so you’re in a left leg lunge

5,6,7,8 – step the left leg to meet the left and hold the high plank

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Push the hips to the sky to create an A-frame or downwards dog position. Try to straighten the legs and press the heels into the floor, but don’t worry if you need a slight bend in your knee. Hold this position or slowly press each heel down alternatively to get a little bit more stretch as you ease into it.

1,2,3,4 – Step the left leg forwards so you’re in a lunge position again

5,6,7,8 – Step the right foot next to the right and stack the spin back up to standing again.

Chorus-

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – March the feet on the spot slowly taking them out a little if you need.

1,2,3,4 – Reach upwards to the sky

5,6,7,8 – Reach down towards the floor

1,2 – Reach to the sky

3,4 – Reach to the floor

5,6 – Reach to the sky

7,8 – Reach to the floor

1,2,3,4 – Reach towards the sky

5,6,7,8 – Reach towards the floor

 

Exercise 3 – Middle Splits Stretching

Set to “Somewhere Only We Know” by Lily Allen:

Patterning: Wait for the piano music to start and simply follow along with the stretched until the end.

1,2,3,4 – Lean to the right side, make this stretch a little harder by raising the arms above the head

5,6,7,8 – Bring the upper body back to being upright

1,2,3,4 – Lean to the left side

5,6,7,8 – Bring the upper body back to being upright

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Lunge the right out to the side, and touch the right toes

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend both knees as the hands walk into the middle of the legs

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend the left knee and walk the hands over to the left side

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Stretch the knees and stand upright to give your legs a rest

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend the left knee and reach down to the left toes

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend both knees and walk the hands into the middle of the legs

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Straighten the left knee and walk the hands over to the right side

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Straighten the legs and stand upright to rest the legs

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Lunge the right out to the side, and touch the right toes

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend both knees as the hands walk into the middle of the legs

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend the left knee and walk the hands over to the left side

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Stretch the knees and stand upright to give your legs a rest

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend the left knee and reach down to the left toes

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend both knees and walk the hands into the middle of the legs

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Straighten the left knee and walk the hands over to the right side

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Straighten the legs and stand upright to rest the legs

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bring the feet slowly in so they are parallel next to each other. Turn out the feet as the music appears to stop, when it restarts continue counting

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Pick up the right leg bending it at the knee and holding it in a turned out position, pulling it slightly into the body before letting it back down

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Repeat the above action with the left leg

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Repeat with the right again

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Repeat with the left

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Lunge the right out to the side, and touch the right toes

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend both knees as the hands walk into the middle of the legs

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend the left knee and walk the hands over to the left side

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Stretch the knees and stand upright to give your legs a rest

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend the left knee and reach down to the left toes

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Bend both knees and walk the hands into the middle of the legs

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Straighten the left knee and walk the hands over to the right side

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Straighten the legs and stand upright to rest the legs

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Walk the feet in so they are parallel next to each other

Until the end – Roll down to touch the toes and hold that stretch until the music ends

 

Exercise 4 – Forward Splits Stretching

Set to “Yellow” by Coldplay:

Patterning: There’s a small intro of a 2 counts of 8 where you can rest and repair from the last exercise and then once the beat kicks in you go, repeat this phrase 3 times if using the music I’ve used. The second time you repeat, only hold the splits for 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4 on both sides if stretching to the song “Yellow”. Then do not take a rest before going into the 3rd and last repeat, on this repeat do not go into the splits at all, this will give you 8 counts at the end of rest where you can test your splits if you’d like.

Main Body –

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Step the right foot out far infront of you and bend the leg at the knee keeping the back leg straight, once in this position gently pulse your hips up and down to the beat in order to increase the stretch

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Switch legs and repeat the same action as above but with the left foot infront

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Switch back into your right leg lunge and hold it at it’s deepest point

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Try and pulse your hips in this position, trying not to push too hard

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Back to lunging with the left leg forwards, holding at the deepest point

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Again, try and pulse the hips from that position to help get an active stretch

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Next switch back to a right leg lunge and hold the stretch, aiming to be a little lower than the last time

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Eight more pulses with the beat

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Slowly stretch out the legs into a right leg split position that is comfortable to you, if you don’t want to hold the lunge position during these counts

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Come out of the splits position and hold the left leg lunge trying to be a little further than you were last time

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Little hip pulses in that lunge position to create a slightly deeper stretch

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Stretch out the legs in a left leg split position, again you go as far as you feel comfortable

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Slowly come up and shake out the legs as this is your rest time, before you you repeat.

 

Exercise 5 – Back Stretching

Set to “Secret Love Song, Pt. II” by Little Mix:

Patterning: Wait 8 counts before starting the INTRO as they begin singing. Then complete the VERSE followed by the CHORUS, repeat the VERSE and CHORUS, before performing the BRIDGE and finishing with the CHORUS. Then use the last few chords to rest or sing along to the tune.

Intro –

Lean to the right for 2 counts of 8 really stretching the left side, before circling around and coming back up to centre.

Then lean to the left for 2 counts 8, stretching the opposite side, before coming back up to standing.

Verse –

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Circle the upper body to the right side and end with the hands trying to touch the floor between your feet.

1,2,3,4 – Bend then straighten the legs, twice.

5,6,7,8 – Stack the spine up so you are standing upright again.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Circle the upper body to the left side and end with the hands trying to touch the floor between the feet.

1,2,3,4 – Bend the straighten the legs, twice.

5,6,7,8 – Stack the spine up so you are standing upright again.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Reach the arms above the head and reach them forwards trying to keep the back in a straight line as you do so

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Then reach down towards the toes trying to get the head by the knees or your hands to touch the floor.

Chorus –

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Knee down onto the floor and then lie face down on the floor with the hands placed next to the shoulders.

1,2,3,4,5,6 – Push on the arms to lift the upper body off the floor, hold the stretch in the back.

7,8 – Place the body back on the floor to recover.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4 – Push back up onto the arms and hold the stretch for a little longer this time, aiming to get a little higher.

5,6,7,8 – Relax the upper body and stretch the arms out in front of you.

1,2,3,4,5,6 – Lift up the upper body, without using the hands this time.

7,8 – Relax and recover.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4 – Lift the upper body off the floor again, aiming not to use the arms, but if you need to do use them.

5,6,7,8 – Fold the legs at the knees to bring you into child’s pose to relax the back a little.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Stand back up rolling through the spine, the head should be the last thing to come up.

Bridge –

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – From your standing position, feel free to find a wall, lean backward aiming to stretch out the back and get into a crab position. If using a wall you can walk the hands down the wall aiming to get a little further each time it is repeated.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – In your crab position, straighten the legs without moving the hands or the feet, to increase the curve and stretch within the back.

1,2,3,4 – Bend the knees and bring the body to the floor.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Hug the knees to curve the spine the other way to give it a little rest.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – From this sitting position reach the arms over the head and once again go into the crab position.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Straighten the legs without moving the hands or the feet to increase the stretch in the spine.

1,2,3,4 – Kneel up to standing or ripple up through the spine from the crab position.

 

Exercise 6 – Pulse Raising Static Leg Stretches

Set to “Lights” by Ellie Goulding:

This exercise incorporates some of the activities you may have done throughout the warm up to help keep your heart rate high as we go into some more static stretches. In all these stretches you have the option to make them a little deeper by slightly pulsing in the position to create a deeper stretch and then releasing the tension a little. During each chorus you will go into a different splits based stretch which can be altered depending on your flexibility level.

Start with High Knee Marches on the Spot until you hear the CHORUS begin.

CHORUS 1 – for the duration of this (around 30 seconds) hold a deep second position plié, and either pulse here or hold the stretch. You can also choose to slide into the splits and hold that position as well.

Next, during the verse keep the heart rate high by doing star jumps.

CHORUS 2 – Step forwards with the right leg and straighten the left so you are in a deep lunge position, or a splits position if you prefer. Again for the duration of the chorus you can either hold or pulse the legs slightly.

Before the next chorus begin do heel flick jogs on the spot.

CHORUS 3 – Step forwards with the left leg and straighten the right so you’re in a deep lunge position, or a splits position if you prefer. Again, you can choose to either hold or pulse the legs slightly.

For the rest of the track go back to doing star jumps.

 

Exercise 7 – Cool Down

Suggested song “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran:

This exercise is up to you. The song I’ve suggested is 3.40 minutes long and is an opportunity to stretch out anything else you want to. Or to stretch areas that have already been stretched for a little longer. Everyone has different goals, and so this is an opportunity to give yourself a little time to reach your own stretching goals. Just be sure not to hold any of your stretches for longer than 30 seconds, as this can actually be bad for the muscles.

Suggested movements include:

Standing and sitting toe stretches,

Quadricep stretches,

Side bends,

Back stretches,

Split practise,

The butterfly position,

and many more.

 

>>>> RADanceFitness 2018 New Year Stretching Plan PDF <<<<<

Have fun with this plan and be sure to send your progress shots! There should be a lot happening over the course of this year on all my social media and the website, so be sure to check back regularly!

Instagram: @RADanceFitness

Twitter: @RADanceFitness

Facebook: @RADanceFitness

Email: radancefitness@gmail.com

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