Moves to strengthen and stretch for everybody in every body

Whether you work out, run, dance, do yoga or just strictly just couch surf, you've got t love that body.

Everyone can stay more comfortable in their skin with a few moves at home with no equipment required.

Take these tips to tone, strengthen, stretch and recover. And remember these caveats:

Don't advance any progressive move here if you don't feel ready for the next step. The first position is already advantageous.

Nothing here should hurt. There's a difference between fatigue and pain.

If you feel any pain at all in your lower back or neck, stop. Regroup and try again with form in mind.

Abs

Start with a hand plank, engage core and rhomboids, spine straight. Hold as long as you can, or add and hold optional pushup move or arm/leg extensions.

 

Thighs, Back, Hamtrings & Glutes

Hamstrings and glutes will thank you for one, and inner thighs will thank you for the other.

 

Legs & Hips

Step forward and bring the back knee toward the floor. Front knee toward or to a 90º angle, don't extend it past the toes. Hold or pulse up and down.

 

 

Inner Thigh

The stress you hold here is intense, and the amount of relief from this may surprise you.

 

Hips & Back

Legs up at 90 degrees. Head/shoulders can be up or down. Roll hips to one side, then the other. Engage obliques and core as you come up, relax them as you come down.

 

 

Obliques & Front Abs

Start with side plank, engage core with focus on lower oblique. Add optional hip dips up and down. Actively engage core the whole time to protect the back. To go easier on the shoulder, you can also do these on your forearm instead of your hand.

 

Shoulders & Back

Bring each arm across the body, pulling shoulders down and away from the ears, and hold to release deltoids and rhomboids.

 

Lower Back

Put legs up a wall, with hips and glutes as close to it as feels comfortable, to release the back.

 

Quads

Balance if you can, or put a hand on a wall or chair, to stretch the quad.

 

Lats & Sides

Keep abs engaged and shoulders back and town. Reach to resistance not pain.

Find more tips and expert advice, as well as full cardio and resistance workout videos from beginners to advanced, at the LGBTQ-welcoming teambodyproject.com, and on their YouTube channel.

This feature originally ran in Q magazine. Read the full issue online here:

Pick up a new edition of Q magazine each week at queer and LGBTQ-allied venues around town.