After my 6-mile run, I decided to try out a stretching workout on Crunch Live. I chose the 30-minute Bendable Body workout with instructor Tanja Djelevic. A few years ago, I tried out some video workouts with Tanja, and I remember really enjoying her teaching technique. When it comes to a workout video, it really comes down to the instructor. You want to like their personality and not be irritated by them when you are working out. So far, I have tried three different Crunch Live workouts, and all three instructors have a different style of teaching, yet each instructs the class in a manner that is easy to follow. I found Tanja to be an excellent instructor as far as making sure you are always using correct form. She almost always reminds you where your feet and hip placement should be. Her personality is fun and she is easy to follow.
Throughout the workout, Tanja keeps it real and keeps you motivated:
" Feel good because feeling good is always #1."
"Don't rush it!!"
"If it doesn't feel good, don't do it; Don't force anything."
"Connect your breath with your body."
"Don't force your breath, feel strong and feel good."
"Strong positions, no weak positions."
The first 20 minutes are standing and the last 10 minutes are floor work. This workout involves dynamic flexibility which will help increase your range of motion, something all runners need help with! It really targets the hip flexors, hamstrings, neck and back. You will need a yoga mat and bare feet. Tanja takes you through the stretches and yoga poses quickly but allows you to spend more time in each post, if necessary. She encourages you to modify the stretches if you are a beginner or if your muscles are tight. I especially enjoyed the floor work section, where we really focused on stretching the running muscles by moving through the poses so the connective tissue gets moved around too. Usually you would hold a static stretch, but Tanja encourages movement.
A few of my favorite stretches are pretzel, high pigeon, deep seated squat, single leg downward dog, runner's lunge, and she even guides you through a entirely new way of stretching your neck. I thoroughly enjoyed the workout. Some of the poses were challenging because I was so sore after my run, but none were difficult to execute. Even a beginner would feel good about completing this workout session. The 30 minutes did feel a little short, but again if you needed more you can always replay it if you prefer 60 minutes. I find that after a run I am so tired, I have a hard time making myself stretch. This workout was just long enough to guide me through an excellent stretching session.
Crunch Live offers a selection of over 35 various workouts. Visit www.crunchlive.com/login/ to get a free 3-day pass to try it out.