When it comes time to stretch, most people want to get done as soon as possible or skip it altogether. That’s not always the right move—it pays to give your mobility your full attention. If you’re impatient, this full body mobility exercise from trainer Sean Garner, C.P.T., will get you ready to perform more efficiently.
The exercise, the Brettzel stretch, aims to mobilize your thoracic spine, stretch your hip flexors, and, if you buy into Garner’s hype, stretch out your soul. That last claim might be a bit out of left field—but if you’re ready and willing to embrace the move whole-heartedly, you’ll definitely feel much better after a full session.
How to Do the Brettzel Stretch
To perform the Brettzel stretch, start on the ground. Lay on one side, extending your bottom arm and leg straight out. Bend your top leg at the knee over the other at a 90-degree angle and rest it on the ground as you reach behind yourself with your top arm. Grip your bent knee with the bottom hand, pulling slightly to drive your knee into the ground. Bend your bottom leg and grab your foot with your top hand, pulling your heel toward your butt. Finally, release any tension in your neck and allow your head to relax.
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As you hold the Brettzel position, focus on pressing your top knee to the ground, pulling your back leg to your rear, and finally pulling your top shoulder blade toward the ground as you slightly rotate to look upwards.
Hold the stretch on each side for 40 seconds each. If you’re struggling to stay in the position at all, that’s okay, too—work your way up to 40 seconds in 10, then 20 second increments.