Winter Workout Challenge with Britany Williams: Upper body stretch

·Features and Health Editor
·3-min read

Welcome to Yahoo Lifestyle's exclusive 4-week Winter Workout Challenge with Kayla Itsines and her incredible team of Sweat trainers. If you're struggling with the motivation to stick to your workout routine in winter, we've got you covered, with a new workout and recovery session to try each week, as well as plenty of tips and tricks from the experts.

Yahoo Lifestyle's exclusive winter workout challenge
We're in week 3 of Yahoo Lifestyle's exclusive winter workout challenge with Sweat. Photo: Yahoo

This 5-10 Minute Upper Body Recovery Session by Sweat’s Barre Instructor Britany Williams is a great way to incorporate balance within your fitness program. 

This recovery session includes seven exercises that aim to increase the range of motion in your shoulders and spine. This session is ideal for the days between workouts.

Do each exercise for 30 seconds per side and aim to complete two laps of the circuit to help increase your muscle flexibility and joint mobility.

Winter Workout Challenge week 3: Britany Williams upper body stretch session

Child’s Pose Side Stretch

Step 1: Come to your knees on your mat. Reach your arms long to the top of the mat as you open your knees wider than hips. Shift your hips back and down to come to child’s pose.

Step 2: Bring your hands to one side of the mat to feel the stretch through your shoulders and upper back. Hold for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.

Thoracic Rotation

Step 1: Come to all fours on your hand with your hands under your shoulders and your knees hip width apart. Inhale and bring one hand behind the head, open the elbow up towards the ceiling, letting your gaze follow.

Step 2: Exhale as your lower the elbow towards the floor, rotating through the upper body so that the elbow draws towards the opposite side of the body. Repeat

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Kneeling Rotation

Step 1: Come to kneeling with your left foot in front of you, flat on the ground with the knee bent and the right knee on the mat. Reach your right hand to the outside of the left knee to maintain balance and to avoid the knee from collapsing inward. Reach your left arm straight in front of you.

Step 2: On your next exhale, draw the left arm behind you, keeping the arm straight and letting the gaze follow the arm.

Step 3: Hold for a moment at your furthest rotation then inhale as you come back to center before repeating.

Kneeling Rotation
Do this Kneeling Rotation for 30 seconds per side. Photo: Yahoo

Chest Stretch

Come to kneeling or to standing. Clasp your hands together behind you, keeping the arms straight with the palms facing the body. Slowly lift the hands higher, drawing them away from the body, finding a stretch through the chest. Hold at this point.

Shoulder Stretch

Come to seated or to standing. Draw left arm across the body so that it is straight. Bring the bent right arm underneath the left arm to help draw it closer to the body. Make sure you do not place too much pressure on the elbow of the straight arm. Hold.

Tricep Stretch

Come to seated or to standing. Bring your left hand to your upper back, so that your elbow points towards the ceiling. Bring your right hand to your left elbow and gently pull the elbow towards the right as you slightly lean towards the right with your torso. Hold.

tricep stretch britany williams
Hold the Tricep stretch for 30 seconds and do each side. Photo: Yahoo

Neck Stretch

Come to seated or standing. Bring your right hand to the upper left side of your head and gently and slowly draw the head towards the right. You should feel a stretch on the left side of the neck. You can hold this position for the full 30 seconds or hold for 5 seconds, release for a moment, and then repeat.

And you're done.

Balancing out your weekly workouts with recovery sessions helps ensure that you maintain consistent progress towards your fitness goals by allowing your body the opportunity to adapt and grow, while also helping you to move better. 

If you missed Britany's Barre-inspired workout earlier this week, catch up here:

Stay tuned for a new exclusive workout from Kayla Itsines next week!

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