The 5-Minute Warm-Up

 

For those tight quads and hip flexors, place right

knee at 90 degrees with left leg bent behind at 90 degrees.

Hold for 30 seconds, switch legs, and repeat.

 

Ngo Okafor is the owner and founder of Iconoclast Fitness in NYC who has transformed the physiques of such celebrities as Brooke Shields, Iman, Mariska Hargitay, and Kate Walsh among others. Before any workout, he focuses on limbering up the body to prevent injuries and get it ready to go. We asked him for a quick warm-up routine to share with our readers. Here are the 6 total body stretches no workout should start without!

 

2. SIDE ANGLE STRETCH

A favorite yoga pose, the Side Angle Stretch is a great hip, groin, and chest

opener. In a lunge position with right leg back and left knee at right angle to floor, 

place left hand on the floor, block, or ball (whatever is most comfortable) and extend right arm towards ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.

 

3. TORSO TWIST

To loosen up the lower back and glutes, lie flat on the floor

with arms extended. Roll left knee over right hip and turn head to the left.

Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat. 

 

4. THE W-T-Y STRETCH

To loosen back, shoulders, and chest muscles, you create the letters

W, T, Y by drawing the arms up, out, and back as illustrated.

Do 15 reps of each letter.

 

5. PIDGEON STRETCH

Another great lower back and glute stretch, place right leg

under torso, with arms at 90 degrees on floor in front, and left leg extended back.

Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and repeat.

 

6. WALL ANGELS

To loosen the chest, shoulders, and upper back, stand flat against the wall

with arms at 90 degrees. Slowly extend arms up as high as you can, keeping back and elbows pressed against the wall. Do 15 reps on a slow 4 count pace.

 

Photographs by Casey Steffens

 
 

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