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6 stretches to do after a night out

Trap stretch

Why: If you slept uncomfortably, you could feel neck pain. This stretch elongates the nearby trapezius muscles to realign your neck.

How: Sit on the floor with your back against a wall and legs extended in front of you. Place your left hand under your left glute, palm down. Inhale and reach your right arm over your head to the left, placing the palm of your right hand on the left side of your head, fingers pointing down. Exhale and pull lightly to the right, pulling the right ear toward the right shoulder. Inhale and release. Continue, then switch sides and repeat.

Spinal twist

Why: Standing in one spot at a crowded party can lead to low-back pain. This stretch will relieve it by stretching your quadratus lumborum (the deepest abdominal muscle), the glutes, and the IT band, all of which affect your back.

How: Lie faceup with legs extended and arms out to the sides. Inhale, lift your left leg, and place your right hand on the outside just above the knee. Exhale and bring the left leg across your body to the right. Inhale and release. Continue, then switch sides and repeat.

Prone quad stretch with strap

Why: Dancing often causes quad soreness.

How: Lie facedown with your upper body propped up on your elbows, your left leg extended, and right leg bent with your foot near the glute. Loop a yoga strap around the top of your right foot and hold the ends of the strap in your right hand. Bend your right arm so the yoga strap is taut but your leg isn't being stretched. Inhale with everything relaxed, then exhale and pull the strap forwards so your right heel moves closer to the right glute. Inhale and release. Continue, then switch sides and repeat.

Plank calf stretch

Why: When you wear high heels, your calves contract almost the entire time, which causes muscle tightness.

How: Get in a high plank with shoulders stacked over wrists. Inhale and place the toes of your right foot on the back of your left heel. Exhale and press down on your heel, bringing it closer to the floor. Inhale and release. Continue, then switch sides and repeat.

Supine hamstring pull with strap

Why: When you’re on your feet, your lower back and hamstrings share a lot of the load. You can release that posterior-chain pressure by stretching the hamstrings while your back is relaxed in the supine position.

How: Lie faceup with left leg bent and left foot planted. Place a yoga strap around the ball of the right foot, holding one end of the strap in each hand, and extend the right leg straight up. Inhale with everything relaxed, then exhale and pull on the strap so your leg comes towards you. Inhale and release. Continue, then switch sides and repeat. 

Elevated figure four stretch

Why: The hips are at the center of your movements. Opening them after experiencing the physical demands of a night out can provide full-body relief.

How: Lie faceup with knees bent and your left foot planted on a wall with 90-degree bend in the knee. Bend your right leg and rest your right ankle on your left leg, above your knee. Place your right hand on the inside of your right knee. Inhale while placing slight pressure on the knee, then exhale and move deeper into the stretch. Inhale and release. Continue, then switch sides and repeat. 

Photography by Mohamed Sadek. Art direction by Kathryn Marx.