Any good cardio exercise requires an equally as good cooldown stretch. While standing twists can be challenging, I love this revolved crescent lunge sequence for any post-cardio release.
Extend your knees wide behind you, and sink your torso down toward the ground. Reach your arms toward the top of your mat to touch, and rest your head down toward the earth. Aim to continually reach forward while lowering your hips back and down.
Take a few moments to relax in this pose. Clear your thoughts, and focus on your breath.
Move into a tabletop position with your hips stacked over your knees and shoulders stacked over your wrists.
Flow through a couple rounds of cow and cat, syncing your breath to the movements.
In cow, drop your belly and gaze up. Open your shoulders.
In cat, curl your spine toward the ceiling, and release your head toward the floor.
When you’re ready, transition into downward facing dog. Push your hips back and try to ground your heels toward the floor. Spread your fingers wide, and maintain equal distance between your feet and hands. If you need to, you can bend your knees any amount.
We’re going to start with the left side. So, lift your left leg high. Maybe roll out your ankle or leg. Try to keep your hips level.
Reach your left leg through into a low lunge. Your hands should be placed around your left foot.
Use your core muscles to transition into crescent lunge. Your left knee should hover directly over your ankle, creating a 90 degree bend. To keep your right leg engaged, lift up on your kneecap and bring your heel above your toes. Reach your arms overhead while maintaining space between your shoulders and neck. Spin your pinky fingers in slightly. Your core should remain engaged.
This graphic actually shows what a revolved crescent lunge to the right looks like. You will do the same thing on the left side.
Before you transition out of crescent lunge, bring your hands to heart center, and lean forward. Then, open your chest to the left, placing your right elbow on top of or on the outside of your left leg.
Try to stack your arms straight up while opening your chest. Keep your palms pressed together at heart center, and don’t let your shoulders or core collapse. Maintain the 90 degree bend in your left leg.
You can look up or to the side.
If you want to, come down to your back knee to focus on the twist.
Runners lunge is your release. Come down to your back leg and toe-heel your left foot out and in front of you toward the top left corner of your mat. Place both hands inside your left foot.
Avoid resting on your right kneecap. Try to sink your right quad toward the ground.
If it feels good for you, lean into this pose and come down to the ground. If not, you can maintain this posture. Let your head hang heavy and relax.
Reach your left arm back to grab your right foot or ankle for a quad stretch.
Step your left foot back into a high plank with your shoulders stacked directly over your wrists.
To transition into low plank, push your body forward with your toes, squeeze your arms in to your sides, and lower half way.
Flip to the tops of your toes and raise your chest. Keep your legs lifted off the ground. Widen your chest open, and look up or straight froward.
Finish the left side by flipping your toes again and raising your hips back to down dog. Complete the flow by repeating on the opposite side.