It’s no secret that stretching feels great, but flexibility has benefits beyond its pleasures. “Research has shown that increased flexibility can decrease the risk of injury,” Austin Martinez, the director of education for StretchLab, previously told Well+Good. “By having more flexibility, a joint can move through an increased range of motion.” In that way, flexibility increases mobility, which is linked to longevity.
Basically, flexibility is the range of motion through which your muscles or groups of muscles can stretch. The larger this ROM is, the more flexible you are, and the more you’re taking pressure off of your joints and tendons, which get put under strain as you exercise or simply go about your day.
That would be reason enough to focus on flexibility training, but it also happens to feel really good. And the flexibility flow from Nike master trainer and yoga teacher Traci Copeland is no exception.
“I’m giving you some tools you can use on your own so you can help your body feel great and move better,” Copeland says of the individual components in this 15-minute routine. One thing to keep in mind about flexibility training: “This is less about speed and more about control,” Copeland says in the video, “and allowing yourself to get deeper every single time.”
Taking time to start your day with this yoga routine would certainly be a helpful way to wake up your body, but as Copeland also notes, these moves are “great to do anytime, especially after a long day of sitting where you’re compressing your spine, or if you’ve been on your feet all day. Throughout the class, Copeland will help you stretch your inner thighs, hips, hamstrings, and lower back, as well as your shoulders—all areas that tend to be tight with tension from lifestyles that involve a lot of sitting.
When you’re ready, grab a mat, and press play on the video above. Don’t forget to breathe, center, and enjoy.