Winter Workout Challenge with Kayla Itsines: Lower body stretch

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·Features and Health Editor
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Welcome to the last week of Yahoo Lifestyle's exclusive Winter Workout Challenge with fitness queen 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 host of workouts and recovery sessions to try, as well as plenty of tips and tricks from the experts.

kayla itsines
kayla itsines

This quick 5-10 Minute Lower Body Recovery Session from Kayla Itsines includes six exercises that aim to increase the range of motion in your hips, glutes and adductors. 

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 reducing your risk of injury from overly tight muscles and joints. 

Aim for 1-2 laps of this circuit to help increase your muscle flexibility and joint mobility.

Winter Workout Challenge week 4: Kayla Itsines Lower Body Stretch

High Knee Pull - 30 seconds

Begin standing with both feet on the floor, shoulder width apart.

Shift your bodyweight onto one leg as you raise the opposite leg up toward your chest, using your arms to ‘hug’ your knee up into your torso. Hold this position for a brief moment before repeating on the other leg.

Alternate between your left and right leg for the specified number of repetitions or time.

High knee pull kayla itsines
High knee pull. Photo: Yahoo

Quads - Standing - 30 seconds per side

Plant both feet on the floor slightly further shoulder width apart.

Bend your right knee and bring your foot back directly behind you so that you can hold it with both hands. You should feel a stretch in the front of your right leg.

Hold this position for the specified amount of time. If you’re struggling to balance, focus on a spot directly ahead of you or extend your left arm.

Repeat this stretch with your left leg.


Hip Flexors - 30 seconds per side

Step 1: Begin in a kneeling position on a yoga mat.

Release your left leg and take one large step forwards so that you are in a low-lunge position, ensuring that your left knee is not further forward than your toes. If it is, then you will need to take a bigger step forward.

Step 2: Keeping your torso upright, push your hips forwards so that you feel a stretch along the front of your right leg.

Step 3: Hold this position for the specified amount of time, breathing deeply throughout.

Each time that you exhale, use your abdominals to tuck your pubic bone towards your belly button to increase the stretch.

Glutes - Figure 4 - 30 seconds per side

Start by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and position your feet firmly on the mat, ensuring that they are hip-width apart and your spine is in a neutral position.

Release and turn out your right leg so that your ankle is resting on your left leg just above your knee.

Draw your left knee in towards your torso, resting both hands on the back of your left thigh.

Hold this position for the specified amount of time, breathing deeply throughout.

Each time that you exhale, draw your knee further into your chest and press your right elbow into your right knee to increase the stretch, ensuring that your spine remains in a neutral position and your tailbone on the floor.

kayla itsines stretch
The figure 4 stretch is great for your glutes. Photo: Yahoo

Adductors (V-Sit) - 60 seconds

While seated on a yoga mat, extend both legs out in front of you.

Move both legs outwards as wide as they can go.

Sit up tall and place both hands on the floor in front of you. Bending from the hips and keeping both hands on the floor, reach as far forward as possible,

Hold this position for the specified amount of time.

Each time that you exhale, try and walk your hands out a little further to gradually increase the stretch.

Child’s Pose - 60 seconds

Starting on all fours on a yoga mat, ensure that your knees are below your hips and your hands are below your shoulders.

Draw your glutes towards your heels and lower your torso towards your thighs. At the same time, extend your arms along the mat, resting your head on the mat between your arms. Draw your shoulder blades down and back.

Catch up on Kayla Itsines' week 4 workout here:

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