Firetoys x Spin City - Stretching With Silks

We've collaborated with Spin City to bring you a series of 10 videos to help you get the most out of your stretching silks.

Shoulder Mobility

This is a great warm-up for the shoulders. Starting with the band at hip height and arms extended, raise the arms to arc the band up and over behind the body. Return the band to the front to complete a full repetition, aiming to keep the band under tension throughout. Move in time with your breath, lifting the arms on an in-breath and lowering on an out-breath. To make the exercise more challenging try starting with the hands slightly closer to each other.

Side and Back Release

Starting with the band overhead lean over to one side; rotating towards the floor, draw a large semicircle with the hands until you reach a forward fold position. Complete the circle by opening up to the opposite side, ensuring you travel through the side bend before reaching the starting position. Try alternating directions each time you reach the top, always moving at a steady and controlled pace.

Chest Release

Take hold of the band behind the hips with the palms facing towards the floor. Squeeze the shoulder blades together until a light level of tension can be felt across the chest. For a deeper stretch, raise the arms behind the body, hinging at the hips to bring the arms overhead. You can do this exercise standing or kneeling, if standing be sure to keep the knees slightly soft.

Triceps Stretch

Holding the band in one hand, raise the arm by the ear and bend at the elbow bringing the band down the between the shoulder blades, palm towards the body. Reach the opposite hand around behind the waist, palm away from the body, taking hold of the band. Pull the band downwards with the lower hand to stretch the triceps more, or try to walk the hands towards each other to meet in the middle. Aim to keep the head up, eyes forwards and natural curve all the way down the spine.

Quad and Hip Flexor Stretch

From a kneeling lunge position, loop the band under the back foot. Use the band to pull the heel towards the body and hold before carefully releasing. You can add more intensity to the hip stretch by taking more weight into the front leg, or keep the focus on the quad by staying more upright.

Forward Fold

This stretch can release the hamstrings and lower back by hinging at the hips, flexing the feet will also target the calves; you can work each side individually or both together. Starting in a seated position, loop the band under the arch of the feet. Gently pull the band while hinging at the hips to bring the body towards the thighs, only going as far as is comfortable. Breathe normally while in the stretch.

Lying Hamstring stretch

Start lying on your back with the feet flat on the ground. Loop the band under the arch of one foot and lift it towards the ceiling. For more challenge, extend the supporting leg away along the floor. To deepen the stretch further, use the band to encourage the leg towards the body, always moving on an out-breath.

Lying Abductor Stretch

This stretch will target the outer hip. Starting from the hamstring stretch position with one leg in the air, take the same side arm to the floor for balance and begin to draw the leg across the body. Both sides of the hips and shoulders should stay in contact with the ground to get the best out of this stretch. Try alternating with the adductor stretch (below) before changing sides.

Lying Adductor Stretch

This stretch targets the inner thigh muscles. Starting from the same position as a hamstring stretch with one leg in the air, take the opposite arm to the floor for balance and begin to draw the leg away from body. Open the leg to the side as far as possible while keeping the hips and chest square to the ceiling. This exercise can be grouped with both the hamstring and abductor stretches – if combining exercises together be sure to repeat the whole set on each side!

Lying Glute Stretch

This stretch works into the glutes with several options for progression. Start by lying with the feet flat on the floor, loop the band under one leg behind the thigh. Cross the ankle of the opposite foot over the knee into a figure 4 position; gently pulling the band, lift the supporting foot off the floor, keeping the crossed knee wide. For extra challenge, extend the supporting leg while continuing to pull the band toward the body.