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A Quick Guide For Tackling That Necessary 5 Min Daily Body Stretch

6th July 2021

6th July 2021

By Shivraj Bassi

Look. We get it. Life is super busy. 

What with commuting, working, relationships, family, your social life and everything in between - we know that fitting in time to exercise can sometimes feel a little bit impossible.

We're here to tell you that not all exercise has to be an intense HIIT workout to be effective. Have you ever tried stretching?

Stretching prepares the body for activity and has been found to boost healing. But, not all stretching is created equal.

Your stretches must be related to your activity. This ensures that your muscles, tendons and ligaments are activated in a way that prepares your body for exercise. By focusing your stretch session you’ll be able to reduce your likelihood of getting injured and boost your flexibility.

In addition to pre/post workout stretches, you should also aim to incorporate a stretch session into your daily routine to mobilise joints, and boost productivity. A full body stretch is a great way to do that.

Looking for a full body stretch routine for beginners? It's time to reset your postureHere’s a great 5 minute routine for a complete body stretch:

High Knee Hamstring Hug

For a quick stretch routine for the hamstrings, stand with feet shoulder width apart. Stand on your left leg and lift your right leg up. Hug your knee into your chest and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

The high knee hamstring hug stretches your glutes and increases hip mobility.

Offset Leg Lunge

Next up in our total body stretch session is the offset leg lunge.

Stand straight, and take one large step forward with your right leg. Go into a deep lunge. Your right leg should be at a 90 degree angle and your back knee should almost touch the floor. Then, put your left hand on the floor near your right instep. Reach up to the sky with your right arm. Your arms should be in a straight line. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Do the same with the other leg and arm. Stretches your groin area and legs.

Whilst adding some serious impact to your full body stretching routine, the offset leg lunge also mobilises your thoracic spine, stretches out your chest area and activates your core. Nice.

Lying Glute Stretch

Now for the glutes. Many people search for advice around how to stretch glutes, from fear of injury.

So, lie on your back and bend both knees, keeping your feet on the floor. Bring your left ankle up and place it on your right thigh. Loop your hands around your right thigh. Pull your right leg it into your chest. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat with the other leg.

This step of your 5 minute full body stretch opens up your hips and stretches your glutes whilst preventing sudden twisting. The satisfaction from this one is real. 

Standing Shoulder Stretch

In the final step of your full body stretch, hold your right arm out straight then pull your right arm into your chest with your left forearm. Hold for 20 seconds then release. Now, raise your right arm over your head and bend your elbow so that your right hand is behind your left shoulder. Press gently on your right elbow with your left hand and hold for 20 seconds.

Repeat with your other arm. Some of the most common weight training injuries involve the shoulder joint. Stretching this joint can help increase range of motion and reduce the likelihood of injury.


How was your total body stretch session? Pretty good, right? Whether you're looking for tips on how to stretch glutes, how to stretch your back, or how to stretch legs, we hope that the above tips will get you well on your way to relaxation

The benefits of stretching are pretty impressive, with research indicating that stretching not only reduces your risk of injury, but has been seen to reduce anxiety and exhaustion, too. 

If you're looking for some further inspiration, check out the below articles, and make sure you're supplementing your exercise routine with The Health Protein for optimum results. 


  • Montero-Marin, J., Asún, S., Estrada-Marcen, N., Romero, R., & Asun, R. (2013). Effectiveness of a stretching program on anxiety levels of workers in a logistic platform: a randomized controlled study. Atención primaria45(7), 376-383. Click here.
  • Pornratshanee Weerapong, Patria A. Hume & Gregory S. Kolt (2004) Stretching: Mechanisms and Benefits for Sport Performance and Injury Prevention, Physical Therapy Reviews, 9:4, 189-206. Click here.

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From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more