True story: flexibility is earned, not given—and it’s crucial that you continuously work to maintain it. Enter stretching. It keeps you limber and “increases the overall range of motion in your joints,” explains Karen Joubert, PT, owner of Joubert Physical Therapy in Beverly Hills, who works with celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Cara Delevingne, and Cher. “It, along with breathing, can also be an important tool in stress management,” Joubert says.
For optimal results, you should be doing dynamic stretching (going from movement into a stretch) prior to workouts, and static stretching (simply holding a position) post-sweat. We trust you do the latter, but folks often forget the dynamic kind. Not anymore. “This routine allows you to utilize movement to create space within the body,” says Alicia Archer (above), a flexibility specialist and group fitness instructor at Equinox in New York City who designed and demos the following dynamic stretches. “It also gets tissues to mobilize and recruits more muscles while encouraging your body to adjust and recover,” Archer says. Remember: Stretching is not supposed to hurt. So if something feels painful, back off, Joubert adds. Now let’s loosen up!