How do I improve my flexibility in 10 min. a day?
July 6, 2018 11:12 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to find an easy program or set of uncomplicated stretches to build into my daily routine. Where should I begin?


-A short time frame is important. I'd rather do a little bit every day, then an hour of yoga once a month (which is typically what happens in my relationship with yoga).

-Simple is good. I would consider my current flexibility status to be fairly poor, so I'll need to start small.

-I have long term flexibility goals: I'd like to make this a part of my lifestyle. If you've successfully done this, what does it look like?

Thanks very much!
posted by WaspEnterprises to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 72 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This is the book for you. It has routines. It is for normal people. Do you need/want an app?
posted by jessamyn at 11:24 AM on July 6, 2018 [4 favorites]

Best answer: If you don't mind spending money or video instruction, GMB has a good online program with videos.
posted by kokaku at 11:57 AM on July 6, 2018

Best answer: I think Kelly Starrett's MobilityWOD may fit your bill.
posted by hanov3r at 12:51 PM on July 6, 2018

Best answer: I have liked this yoga from your desk chair YouTube video. Also Yoga with Adrienne has some 10 min video practices on this playlist.

I have found that after following one or two of these videos, I've learned which moves I like best, and find myself stretching a little bit more here and there, or right before bed.
posted by ellerhodes at 1:09 PM on July 6, 2018

Best answer: The above suggestions are all good. Your challenge here isn't finding a routine so much as grooving a new habit. I started doing a yoga class once a week in 2011 with similar goals as yours. After six months, frustrated that I wasn't making progress, I started practicing on my own two or three days a week outside of the studio. Over time that turned into six or seven days a week. I'm going to make two additional suggestions that involve things that can help pull you along to make this a daily practice.

If your "little bit every day" is really short, then I'd suggest taking a look at Max Shank's 5 minute flow. This isn't a specific routine so much as the idea that anyone can spend five minutes a day on mobility. Shank explains in a couple of different podcast interviews that he'd rather you spend 20 minutes on mobility, but designed this routine because a five minute routine you do is better than the 20 minute routine you don't do. One of the core ideas is that you do it free form and make up your own routine. There isn't anything to buy or subscribe to here; Shank does have a private Facebook group where people post videos or you can just look for the hashtag on Instagram and get lots of ideas. I have a regular yoga practice and I still do a five minute flow every morning when I wake up.

If you wanted to commit to something a little longer, like 10 to 20 minutes a day, you might look at ROMWOD. This is a follow-along video routine. It might be a little offputting, as the target audience is CrossFit people. However, the programming is straight up Yin yoga minus the Sanskrit. If you aren't familiar with Yin style, it emphasizes long, passive holds. ROMWOD works on a subscription model and you get a short (like 12 to 15 minutes) and a long (like 20 to 25 minute) routine every day of passive Yin yoga poses and breathwork. It has a two week free trial. I tried this about 2.5 years ago after my regular yoga teacher stopped teaching and I was feeling a little burnt out in Vinyasa flow style yoga. I've been doing it daily ever since.
posted by kovacs at 3:41 PM on July 6, 2018 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I was you. My salve is this [free] 20-minute yoga podcast, because cmon who can't find 20 minutes. There's a lot of internal variety and sometimes I just browse the archives for the body part(s) or energy thing I'm feeling that day. Most are tin-length, so a little longer than the 10 minutes you mention, but 1) they sneakily have shorter as well as longer ones; 2) as others mention, it's the showing up that's the challenge, not the actual number of minutes; and 3) you're going to be relaxing and breathing or whatever for the last few minutes anyway.
posted by redpajamas at 5:41 PM on July 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There are a lot of apps out there:
- Stretching Sworkit
- Here's a list
posted by Crookshanks_Meow at 7:27 PM on July 6, 2018

Best answer: You might find the Eight Brocades of Qigong useful. There are many variations, and YouTube has lots of videos to help you. The exercises take only a few minutes daily.
posted by bryon at 9:36 PM on July 6, 2018

Best answer: I came in to recommend the Bob Anderson book, but others beat me to it. I have done exactly what you are trying to do. I started with the "Everyday Stretches" from the book, then added and modified as I went along. I now spend about ten minutes EVERY morning stretching, with a focus on my problem areas (lower back, hips) and am one of the most flexible older women I know. This one daily habit has been a game changer for me. It will be for you too.
posted by eleslie at 5:58 AM on July 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

"I have long term flexibility goals"

Okay, what are your goals? That may matter a lot for getting good advice leading to said goal. :)
posted by talldean at 9:50 PM on July 7, 2018

Best answer: I've been using the Daily Yoga app for more than a year now. I started out doing the 10/12 minutes sessions, now I do the 30 min ones. Strangely I seem to be able to fit them in more on days I work rather than at weekends, but I think that is about habit rather than time.

The app is free, but there is also a premium version. The free is more than sufficient to get started.
posted by Fence at 10:38 AM on July 8, 2018

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