Here are descriptions of the Seven Stretches that form the end of my cardio+abs workouts. The Stretches are referred to as Stretches S1 through to S7.
Each exercise within the Seven Stretches takes 40 seconds. By adding a few seconds set up time between each stretch, plus the time getting into and out of the stretch, this should utilise around 5 minutes at the end of the above workouts. Note that the time given for each stretch is the time you should be in the full static stretching position – you don’t start your timing until you are in the fully stretched position, and you don’t relax from that pose until the stated time is complete.
Stand with toes of one foot touching the wall, that knee bent and also touching the wall, other foot far behind and also pointing forwards, hands and forehead on or very close to the wall. If you don’t feel a great stretch in the rear calf, then straighten that leg by pressing the heel into the ground – 2 x 20secs
Stand with one leg straight out in front, foot pointing upwards and heel resting on a bench. Bend forwards, reaching one the left arm and hand towards or to the toes of that leg, keeping the leg perfectly straight. Curling the toes towards you to add to the stretch – 2 x 20secs
Kneel on the floor with buttocks on heels and knees slightly apart. Lean backwards. Leaning further backwards during will increase the stretch. Lean the head slightly back, and arms can be crossed in front of the body, or can be placed behind the back to add to the rearward and downward force – 40 secs
Stand upright and pull one arm straight and horizontally across the chest. Push that arm into place towards the shoulder by the thumb edge of the other hand, which should be pressing at the elbow.
The elbow of the side being stretched can be bent or straight – 2 x 20 secs
Stand, and move one arm to a vertical position upwards, then reach over and behind at the elbow so your fingers reach to the shoulder blade, the elbow being pushed backwards by the thumb edge of the other hand and alongside the ear.
Use your fingertips to gradually walk down the backbone to increase the stretch – 2 x 20 secs
S6 – Chest
Stand at a corner of wall or in a doorframe. Keep your side forearm and part of the upper arm against the wall. Keep the forearm vertical and the elbow bent at 90 degrees. Walk a little way forward, stabilising yourself with a split stance. The further forward you stand, the greater the stretch – 2 x 20 secs
Lie flat on the floor, face-up, arms alongside ears so that the hands reach away from the body. The palms should be upwards and knuckles on the floor. Stretch further to straighten the arms – the heels, bum, shoulder blades, back of the head, elbows and knuckles should all touch the floor. Use a dumbbell or another object to reach to – 40 secs