Health

This 2-Part Total Back Flow Will Get You Ready for Any Workout

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When it comes to workouts, long and complicated isn’t always the answer. The fastest mile ever run was done in 3:43. Hell even a punishing Tabata workout will run you four minutes. Your pre- or post-workout routine is no different.

Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., depends on a simple, effective back flow to stretch out in just three minutes. The series can be performed virtually anywhere, and yes, it’s quick. It will also have your spine and feeling looser and more mobile when you’re done.

No tricks or no crazy YouTube moves here, just two fundamental back-stretching exercises that come with a slight twist at the end (literally), which help stretch your back from every angle possible.

The Total Back Flow Series

Cat-Cow

We start with this classic back stretch, used in everything from yoga to warmup routines. Cat-cow has us arching our spine while squeezing our shoulder blades before rounding our back and stretching our shoulder blades, giving your spine a complete range of motion workout.

Child’s Pose

Everyone’s go-to yoga move is the perfect finishing touch on this back flow. Push your butt back as far as possible, allowing you to stretch your lats, while continuing your spinal decompression. Think of pushing your glutes back as far as possible and pushing your hands forward.

    Here’s the tweak: Thread one arm through the other while keeping your butt back. This is going to give us a much-needed rotational work while helping open our shoulder blades.

    Samuel suggests going back and forth with this flow on a 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off flow lasting three rounds. That comes out to three minutes total. And while that’s the minimum this could be worked, because it is so easy it can be done over and over again at any point of the day.

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