28 Of The Best Stretching Routines In the Land
Wouldn’t it be handy if the best stretching routines in the world were all neatly arranged in one place?
Trawling the web to discover the latest and greatest ways to limber up takes precious time (which could be spent training).
But what if the most effective mobility workouts were arranged in one big resource guide that you could bookmark and come back to at your leisure?
Ask and you shall receive.
Improving mobility has been a massive focus of mine over the past few years, and in my eyes is a key part of living a healthy lifestyle. Ever since I realised that freeing up my joints would not only help diminish my back pain and reduce my injury risk, but also lead to significant improvements in my movement capabilities and performance – it’s been a no-brainer.
Below you’ll find the best and most effective routines around for doing all of the above. There’s a nice mixture of dynamic mobility and joint articulation workouts, and a few basic static stretching vids thrown in too. Mostly full body routines, but some that are more focussed on specific problem areas – like the shoulders, jaw and hips.
The cool thing is that other than maybe a few resistance bands and a foam roller, all you need is your own bodyweight, an open space, and an open mind.
Before we jump into the stretching routines, I’ve put together a free bonus video (and workout guide) for you…
Bonus Vid: The HERO Warmup
Full Body Mobility and Stretching Routine
28 Of The Best Stretching Routines In the Land
In no particular order…
1. Fix Your Posture With Antranik’s Yoga Class
Antranik is the resident hero over at r/bodyweight fitness.
If you’re looking to get in shape and you haven’t checked out that sub-reddit, I highly recommend you do. I lurk around and post a few ideas there now and again, but Antranik is always on hand with helpful training advice and tutorial videos.
His Yoga for Posture Routine is a prime example of that, and does exactly what it says in the title. A great one to add into your training schedule a few time a week if you’re looking to become a more flexible, well-rounded athlete.
2. Unlock Your Posterior Chain With Foundation Training
The brainchild of Dr. Eric Goodman, foundation training involves numerous decompression techniques, which essentially means lengthening the spine and focussing on proper breathing mechanics.
Their signature move the Founder is one of the best I’ve come across in terms of fixing a myriad of postural issues – core instability, lower back pain and rounded shoulders to name a few. I actually include a variation of it in The HERO Warm Up above for this very reason.
Their short beginners routine above is a great introduction to the main concepts of the program. And if you want to get stuck in with more detail, I highly recommend the book: True to Form – How to Use Foundation Training for Sustained Pain Relief and Everyday Fitness.
3. Master Your Basic Joint Rotations With Emmet Louis
Emmet is another one of my go-to sources for anything movement and mobility related.
It may look a little strange (and the flute music in the background may drive you crazy), but his joint rotation routine feels so damn good.
You also need to check out Emmet’s Blackboard series if you wanna take things to the next level.
4. Get Agile With Tom Merrick
I almost feel like Tom (aka The Bodyweight Warrior) is a younger, stronger, smarter, English version of myself…
His loaded mobility routine is awesome, and he does a great job of explaining each exercise and giving variations for programming.
As well as a load of good stuff on mobility, Tom’s channel is jam-packed full of content related to bodyweight training, nutrition and recovery. His editing is pro too – I can seriously binge watch his vids for hours…
Definitely worth checking out.
5. Move Like an Animal (And Free Your Hips) With GMB
GMB are another one ofgo-too to sources for movement and mobility info, and a massive source of inspiration with regards to how they structure their content. It sounds cheesy, but they really are one of my favourite companies out there.
I could have picked any number of their videos to include in this post, but I thought I’d share one of their locomotion vids, as it’s a little different. The animal movements are such a great way to test your mobility, prep your body for more advanced movements (squats, handstands etc), and as Ryan explains in the vid – just to have fun with.
As a bonus, for those of you with tight hips, you’re gonna want to give their hip mobility routine a try. It’s a keeper.
6. Open Your Hips and Shoulders With Ido Portal
Some of you may recognise Ido as the movement coach of current featherweight king Conor McGregor.
He’s widely considered a thought leader in this movement culture, and for good reasons. Love him or hate him, Ido is one of the best I’ve seen when it comes to artistic movement and mobility.
Above are a couple of his best stretching routines for opening the hips and shoulders – two massive problem areas for most people.
7. Free up Your Joints With Scott Sonnon
I first stumbled upon Scott’s work when he made an appearance on the Rewild Yourself health and fitness podcast.
The long time martial artist and fitness coach presents some pretty out of the box ideas when it comes to movement and mobility.
The above video is just a sampler of Scott’s work. If you want to follow along with a free full length stretching routine, I recommend checking out his Recuper8 program. It was originally designed for service men and women, but is applicable to anyone looking to get more mobile.
8. Build a Strong Core With Dave Tilston
Long time readers, you may remember Dave from an interview I did with him back last year.
Since then he’s been jet-setting all over the place doing what he does best – teaching people yoga and calisthenics.
His routine above is a great one for combining mobility with an element of core strength. From my experience the two go hand in hand.
9. Open Those Hip Flexors With David Procyshyn
Another yoga Dave!
David Procyshyn is the founder of Do Yoga With Me, one of the first websites that introduced me to real yoga. It’s jam packed full of free classes from a wide range of teachers and various yoga styles (and a ton of awesome free guided meditations).
Above is one of my favourite vid for getting into those hips and releasing the lower back.
10. Unlock Those Hips Even More With Dr. Andreo Spina
Dr Spina is the founder of Functional Range Conditioning, a movement system aimed at helping you develop a combination of mobility, joint strength and total body control.
The video above is a great floor routine for opening up your hips and improving active range of motion. One of the main takeaways from FRC is developing strength in those end ranges, as opposed to just being able to get into those positions, which is something I’m fully behind.
11. Master Eric Cressey’s Must Try Mobility Drills
Eric is someone I was introduced to by one of my tutors at the FFT Academy, where I completed my Personal Trainer qualification.
I’ve yet to delve deeply into his work, but what I’ve seen so far has been really useful. Working through his Must Try Mobility Drills will leave you feeling ready for anything.
12. Let Kit Laughlin Free Up Your Jaw
I smashed my mouth up pretty badly as a little boy during a run in with a tree, and ever since then have had a serious case of clicky jaw syndrome – aka TMJ.
This little routine from world renowned flexibility coach Kit Laughlin really helps. It’s also great for anyone with a forwards head carriage and tight upper traps (which is most of us).
As well as the jaw sequence, Kit has a load of great videos over on his channel all about getting super strong and flexible.
13. Get Your Flow on With ManFlow Yoga
ManFlow yoga is described as yoga without the spiritual side. Less chakra aligning and sun saluting, more holding gnarly poses that make you tremble and feel all manly.
Personally, I quite like the spiritual side of yoga. Nonetheless, Dean has done a great job of reaching those that prefer the physical aspects, and his free routine above is like medicine for the joints.
14. Build Your Foundation With Fiji McAlpine
Another great vid from Do Yoga With Me, this time from instructor Fiji McAlpine (who may have the coolest name I’ve ever heard).
It’s a great introduction to yoga, and is actually one of the stretching routines I was performing on a regular basis when I first started the long old process of rebuilding my broken body.
15. Prep for Parkour With the TappBrothers
Parkour has always been something that’s fascinated me. I love watching it and would love to get involved, but have yet to take that first step and actually go to a gym or meetup.
The Tapp Bros have a load of great tutorials that I practice secretly on my own. They also have the above stretching routine, which is kinda like yoga meets kung fu meets parkour. Feels great.
16. Get Ready to Lift Heavy S**t with Alan Thrall
Alan is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to picking up heavy stuff, putting it back down again, and much more.
His full body warm up is great for anyone looking to get stronger and perform better. Mobility means more range of motion, which means more potential to generate force.
He also has an epic beard.
17. Go Joint By Joint With Kellen Milad
I’ve been following Kellen (not in person, just online) since he hosted the MovNat Instagram challenge earlier this year.
Above is his simple joint by joint mobility routine, which in many ways is similar to the HERO Warm Up Stretching Routine. The main difference is that Kellen looks way cooler than me whilst doing it…
18. Become a Supple Leopard With Kelly Starrett
No resource guide on mobility and joint prep would be complete without a few videos from the Supple Leopard himself, Kelly Starrett.
If you’re anyone with a body that wants to move and perform better, Mobility WOD is one of those must-subscribe-to YouTube channels.
I could have listed any of the hundreds of videos Kelly has posted over the years, but the two above are a good starting point.
19. Salute the Sun With Tim Senesi
When I first saw Tim’s surname I thought it said “Sensei”, which would have been amazing. Senesi is still cool, but anyways…
If you stop by Tim’s channel you’ll find a ton of great yoga workouts. Above is a longer class that opens up the whole body. The meditation at the end is a nice touch too.
20. Release Those Tight Traps With Jill Miller
Jill is one of the best in the business when it comes to myofascial release, and combining it with the dynamic and static flexibility that comes with yoga.
The above vid on releasing the upper traps is one of many golden gems in the Yoga Tune Up series that you should check out. Great for anyone who suffers from any sort of neck pain or shoulder discomfort.
21. Build Functional Shoulders with Naudi Aguilar
At first glance, some of Naudi’s Functional Pattern training routines may seem a little overcomplicated. But the guy knows his stuff, and I’ve successfully integrated many of his techniques into my own training.
His shoulder routine above feels hella good, and has really helped with my own issues with internal rotation and impingement. Be sure to check out some of his TRX and landmine training vids too.
22. Get Grounded With Elliott Hulse
Elliot has been in the game for a long time, and is someone I really look up to.
Performing his shaking/vibrating exercise in the routine above may well make people around you want to call an exorcist, but it’s one of the best ways to release tension that builds up from modern day living.
I actually do it in the shower after a heavy lifting workout. I find that it really helps press that reset button and start that process of downregulating. It also speeds up the drip drying process. Win win.
23. Limber Up With Joe Defranco’s Limber 11
Joe-D is a world renowned coach strength and conditioning coach who works with some of the top athletes in the world at his gym in the Onnit Academy.
Although he’s arguably most well known for his strength training methods, he also has a pretty good mobility routine, listed above. It’s nothing fancy, but it doesn’t need to be. Just a combination of foam rolling and lacrosse ball work with some simple posture stretches.
*Note – the first exercise in the video involves foam rolling the IT band. Whilst there are conflicting opinions on the subject, the IT band is actually a collection of fascia as opposed to just being a muscle . Rolling it can potentially lead to inflammation and more pain, so you’re probably better off loosening up the areas surrounding the IT band – the outer quad, hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes etc, but avoid putting too much pressure through the IT band itself.
24. Lengthen With Garth Neily
Garth is someone I’ve only recently started following. So far it seems like he has some great ideas relating to mobility, locomotion and calisthenics.
His daily flexibility routine is along the same sort of lines – a great one for opening the hips and getting you ready for the day ahead!
25. Get Metabolic With Ben Greenfield
Time for something a bit different…
In true Ben Greenfield fashion, we have a nice foam rolling and stretching routine, combined with intermittent bursts of bodyweight strength exercises – all whilst wearing an elevation training mask.
Mobility with a biohacking twist. Because why not?
26. Another Nice Hip Opener From the Lean Machines
In my opinion, you can never have enough hip mobility videos. It’s actually one of the tenets that I live by…
This one from the Lean Machines is bunch of simple (yet effective) static stretches, including lunges, pigeon pose, and my favourite – the pancake.
27. Prep For Powerlifting With Katie Anne
Bodybuilder/Powerlifter Katie Ann takes you through her typical stretching routine, with detailed explanations of each exercise and why she’s performing them. This is a big point that many people miss – why is this particular movement/stretch/variation useful? How does it actually apply to your life and training goals?
Katie’s training vlogs are also really cool to watch – go check her out for some inspiration!
28. Find Your Centre With Paul Cavel
Let’s finish up with another unconventional one.
This is less of a stretching routine, and more of a moving meditation. Dave takes you through the calming Dragon and Tiger Medical Qigong sequence, something that I used to practice in one of my previous morning routines.
Gets the old chi flowing, mobilises the joints, and brings a nice sense of calm for you to carry with you through your day.
Are there any stretching routines or mobility workouts that I missed? Anything that you would add to the list?
Let me know in the comments section below and I’ll check ’em out!
Joint Mobility, Made Simple
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A simple, yet effective mobility and stretching routine to help free up your joints, reduce pain, and improve performance.