Flexibility is a requirement for women’s gymnast Cassidy Rushlow, a three-time All–Big Ten selection and fifth-year senior. But weekend warriors and those stuck at a desk all day can loosen up by utilizing key parts of her routine.
Back to Basics
Rushlow regularly cracks her back, often using a chair, and moves it side to side throughout the day.
All in the Hips
Rushlow recommends moving around a lot to keep the hips loose, but also likes the figure 4 stretch to further loosen the hips.
Frequency is Key
Rushlow says 30 to 45 seconds per stretch is ideal, and then if the muscles feel tight later in the day, repeat the stretch for the same amount of time.
Roll It Out
Penn State gymnasts do a lot of foam rolling before and after practice. Rushlow strives to hit every part of the body, focusing on the sides of her shoulders and legs and her back.
Listen to Your Body
If you have trouble spots or are recovering from an injury, modify the stretch or figure out a way to work around it. “It’s pushing yourself enough every day stretching that you know you’re being productive and you can see improvement, but not pushing it so far that you hurt yourself,” Rushlow says.