The World’s Greatest Stretch has long been a renowned catch-all exercise in the world of fitness and sports performance. It is highly adaptable and coachable, making it simple to implement into a strength regimen for individuals of any age or level of experience.
Not to mention that it’s a relaxing exercise that releases stress in the muscles. The WGS provides everything you need in a warm-up like hip enhanced blood flow, hamstring stretch, separation, calf stretch, thoracic mobility, and everything else.
Because it is significantly less severe than your real training session and contains recovery-focused properties, you may even use it as a cool down. While it may seem simple, proper form shouldn’t be compromised in this exercise. Here’s how to do it the right way.
This Ultimate Guide Will Cover:
- How To Do The World’s Greatest Stretch
- World’s Greatest Stretch Benefits
- Common World’s Greatest Stretch Mistakes to Avoid
- World’s Greatest Stretch Muscles Worked
- World’s Greatest Stretch vs Superman Stretch
- Our Trainer’s Suggested Reps, Sets, and Programs
- World’s Greatest Stretch Variations
- World’s Greatest Stretch Alternatives
- Frequently Asked Questions about The World’s Greatest Stretch
How To Do The World’s Greatest Stretch
What You’ll Need
- Exercise or Yoga Mat: When doing the workout, you’ll need a padded mat placed on the floor inside a covered area for you to perform the workout comfortably.
Step 1: Setting Up Your Position
First, you need to position yourself in a space with enough room to perform the exercise to its full extent. After you find a suitable floor inside a covered area to perform the workout, you need to set up an exercise or yoga mat so that you won’t have any discomfort in both your left and right hand and your left and right foot.
Step 2: Right Foot Forward For The Lunge
Start by going to a high plank position as you step forward with your right leg and fully bend your right knee while firmly pressing your left heel backward, tightening your glutes, and engaging your quad. Put your hands on the ground inside your right foot, aligning them with your instep. Afterward, square your hips, keeping your right knee over your toes.
Step 3: Right Arm Movement To Elbow Instep
Move your right arm and place your right elbow on the inside of your right leg, bent 90 degrees to parallel your forearm with the ground. Step forward and fold slowly, keep your back straight, and move your elbow down your leg as far as possible, all without curving your back.
The goal is to place your forearm on the ground and both your left elbow and right elbow on the inside of your big toe.
Step 4: Body Twists On Both Sides
Maintain your lunge while rotating your shoulders and body to the left side, extending your left fingertips towards the air while gazing up at your left hand. Return both hands to the middle, re-square your hips, and then spin to the right, reaching for the ceiling with your right arm and gazing up at your hand.
Step 5: Reaching Up To Stretch
Lay your left and right hand on the ground on each side of your right foot, then extend your right leg while lifting your glutes toward the sky. As you raise your toes, square your hips, and maintain your back as straight as possible. The workout should be completed in less than five minutes.
4 Key Benefits Of Doing The World’s Greatest Stretch
1. Improves Overall Body Strength
Developing body strength isn’t the main goal of this exercise, but it’s a pleasant result. By maintaining your body in a high plank position as you move, you’re also engaging multiple major muscle groups. You will feel engaged and working in individual parts of the body like your left leg and right leg, hips, core, and shoulders.
2. It Hits All Parts of The Body
The WGS covers your hip flexors, shoulder, hamstrings, pectorals, glutes, quads, calves, upper body and lower back, and even the obliques. What’s best is that if you have a tight or tense muscle in your body, the activity will reveal and release it.
3. It’s A Perfect Warm-Up Exercise
Put these stretching and strengthening advantages together, and you’ve got a terrific dynamic stretch to get things flowing before a heavy workout. You need the muscles to function properly, and they won’t be able to do so if you don’t assist them in preparing for the workout.
4. Loosens Up Your Body Tension
Individuals who are on a desk job for hours and experience tightness or tension in regions of the body can benefit greatly by doing this exercise. It is always best to do short stretching exercises at least 3 times a week or every day when you can, compared to doing lengthy stretches very few times a week. Insert a few moments to decompress in-between your work schedule, or after your workday. Stretching allows you to crawl back to your quiet state and alleviate discomfort and pain.
Common World’s Greatest Stretch Mistakes to Avoid
Overstretching The Muscles
While stretching, it is natural to feel some tension and strain on the muscles, but you should not extend beyond your comfort level. When the stretch becomes painful, you must come to a halt. Stretching also places undue strain on the muscles; hence you should avoid stretching the same muscles more than once a day.
Performing Quickly & Not Doing The Proper Technique
To do the proper technique is determined by your fitness level and the activity you select. To avoid injuries and other discomforts, use the correct stretching technique with proper form. Maintain your balance throughout the movement and do not lean too forward or backward. Remember that this is a “warm-up” exercise so focus on creating quality moves than accomplishing the steps without being mindful.
Stretching The Injured Muscles
Injured muscles require time to recover completely. If you believe that extending damaged muscles would aid in recovery, you are mistaken. Allow your wounded muscles to recover before putting them to work to prevent further injuries.
World’s Greatest Stretch Muscles Worked
- Hip flexors
- Lateral calf
- Upper body and lower back
- Internal and external rotators of hips and obliques
What distinguishes this as the “greatest” stretch? The WGS is a dynamic stretch, which means it simulates motions you’ll do throughout an exercise. It increases your accessible range of motion, allowing you to exercise your muscles across the whole range of motion and lower your overall risk of injury.
The world’s biggest stretch is completely remarkable in that it targets the majority of the key muscle groups that are sometimes disregarded, such as your trunk, hip flexors, and hamstrings.
World’s Greatest Stretch vs Superman Stretch
This activity involves thoracic mobility as you twist your body during the lunge and muscle relaxation in your left and right leg via the hamstring stretch performed at the finish. It promotes relaxation and having a loose feeling in the muscles or areas of the body with a tight grip.
On the other hand, the superman stretch strengthens the erector spinae muscles and other surrounding muscles, especially in the back leg, to support your spine, improve excellent posture, and lower your overall risk of injury. Both are as effective and as beneficial and can be used as accessory exercises or combined warm-up sets before a major workout.
Our Trainer’s Suggested Reps, Sets, and Programs
For Warming Up
You may add this workout into your warm-up ritual. You will equally concentrate on internal and external rotation while targeting significant muscle groups that are often disregarded, such as the hip flexors, thoracic spine, quads, hamstrings, calves, and shoulders.
One exercise repetition is optimal, but don’t rush through it; take as much time as you need to feel the tension release from your muscles.
To Relieve Lower Back and Hip Pain
You can repeat the stretch on the same side or step your left foot back into the high plank position and bring your right foot up outside your right hand to extend the opposite side. Repeat the workout 5-10 times on each side, depending on which part of the body feels uncomfortable.
Take your time with each step to feel the stretch working. Spend a bit extra time on the parts of the stretch where you can feel your tight places.
World’s Greatest Stretch Variations
Lying Down Spinal Twist
This variation lets both your right and left knee collapse to the right, turn your head to the left, and hold this position. It’s beneficial to release the abs and relax the shoulders; you should feel a stretch in your back. Then, coming through the middle, switch sides and repeat.
Standing Forward Fold
The standing forward bend relaxes the brain and relieves tension. This position also strengthens the liver and kidneys while stretching the hamstrings, calves, and hips. Doing this workout builds the architecture of the pose and sees significant changes in the body.
Standing High Lunge
The High Lunge pose strengthens the leg, gluts, arm, and core muscles while improving overall balance and stability. As the workout engages these muscle groups, it enhances joint function in the knees, ankles, hips, shoulders, and elbows.
World’s Greatest Stretch Alternatives
The scorpion stretch is unique because it simultaneously addresses two chronically tight regions. And those are the hip flexors, which are the muscles towards the top of your thighs, and the lower back, all while focusing on spine rotation.
Lunges can help to build hip flexibility and range of motion. Both of these advantages will make it easier for people to do daily duties like going up the stairs and bending over. When the hamstrings are too tight, the muscles cause the pelvis to twist backward.
Burpees are an effective technique for getting your heart rate up and blood flowing. They are also an excellent method to warm up your full body from the shoulders down. When doing 10-20 burpees as part of your warm-up, you’ll immediately feel your full body is warmed up.