10 Stretches To Do After Orangetheory

The perfect stretching routine with 10 simple stretches to do at home after an Orangetheory class or other HIIT workout. 

I’ve been hooked on Orangetheory workouts since Richmond got a studio back in October. The classes combine high intensity cardio intervals with strength training and are basically everything I want to be doing on my own at the gym, but with an instructor/coach and the extra motivation of working out in a group setting. I love the energy and the fact that the workouts are always different.

At the end of each class the instructor leads the class through a few stretches to cool down and loosen up the muscles we just worked. The stretch session is usually pretty quick because the hour class time is up and typically another class is coming in as well. Many of the instructors mention that the short post-class stretch isn’t enough and that members should be stretching on their own once they get home as well. I totally agree so I put together a short stretching routine that I can do at home on my own… during an afternoon break from work or while I’m watching TV after dinner.

If you’re in a similar boat — taking Orangetheory classes or doing intense workouts — you may find this stretching routine helpful. It loosens up the muscles throughout your entire body with only 10 simple stretches. No equipment necessary. <— I love my foam roller and wanted to include a few foam rolling exercises, but I figured I should keep this routine equipment free and do another one with the roller.

If you’re still not clear why you should take time out of your day to stretch (I’m talking to you, people who always skip the stretching portion of group fitness classes), here’s a couple reasons why stretching is beneficial: stretching reduces muscle tension, improves range of movement within the joints and increases circulation of blood. Stretching not only helps your muscles recover faster (so you’ll feel less sore), but it helps to keep you injury-free as well!

Now that you know why you need to be stretching, let me show you the moves:

Girl on yoga mat doing a hip stretch.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch (Quads)

  • Kneel on a mat and bring your left knee up so the bottom of your foot is on the floor and extend your right leg out behind you so the top of your foot is on the floor.
  • Shift your weight forward until you feel a stretch in your right hip. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Girl on yoga mat doing a forward fold stretch.

Seated Forward Fold (Neck, Back, Hamstrings)

  • Sit on a mat with legs straight out in front of you. Feet should be flexed with your toes pointed to the sky.
  • Raise your arms above your head and lengthen your spine. Exhale, and slowly bend forward at the hips keeping your butt and heels connected to the ground as you bend.
  • Bend at your hips until you can no longer bend. If you can, grasp your feet with your hands. If you are unable to reach your feet, bend your elbows until your forearms rest comfortably on the floor and grasp your legs. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Girl on yoga mat doing a glute stretch.

Pretzel Stretch (Glutes & Hips)

  • Lie on your back and bend one leg.
  • Straighten your opposite leg and raise it towards the sky. Put the foot of your bent leg on the knee of your straight leg.
  • Pull your straight leg towards your chest, allowing it to bend.
  • Hold this for 30-60 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Girl on yoga mat doing a cobra/up dog stretch.

Cobra (Abs & Lower Back)

  • Lay on your stomach with your legs extended and with palms planted on either side of your head with your forearms and elbows flat on the ground.
  • Slowly, push your body upwards, so your weight is resting on your forearms. Be sure to keep your hips on the ground.
  • Once you reach a comfortable position that gently stretches your abdominal muscles and lower back, hold for 10-15 seconds. If you have more flexibility in your lower back, try straightening your arms.

Girl on yoga mat doing an upper back stretch.

Upper Back Stretch

  • Stand with your arms out in front and clasped.
  • Push your hands forward as far as possible and let your head fall forward.
  • Hold for 10-30 seconds.

Girl standing on yoga mat doing chest opener stretch.

Chest Stretch

  • Stand up tall, lengthening through your spine.
  • Lift your chest, and relax your shoulders. Look straight ahead, keeping your chin level.
  • Clasp your hands behind your back, and slowly raise arms as far as possible. Hold for 10–15 seconds.

Girl standing on yoga mat doing a quad stretch.

Standing Quad Stretch

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Reach back and grab your right foot with your right hand, keeping thighs lined up next to each other and right leg in line with your hip.
  • Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Girl on yoga mat doing a calf stretch.

Calf Stretch

  • Start in push-up position.
  • Place one foot on top of the opposite leg.
  • Put pressure on the bottom foot by trying to lower your heal to the ground. You will feel the stretch in the back of your lower leg.
  • Hold the stretch for about 20-30 seconds then switch to the other foot.

Girl sitting on yoga mat doing a tricep stretch.

Tricep Stretch

  • Sit or stand in a relaxed position with your back straight.
  • Raise your right arm straight overhead, then bend it so your right hand is on the middle of your upper back. Your biceps and forearm should be touching.
  • Reach over with your left hand and grasp your right elbow on the top.
  • Pull your right elbow gently toward your left side until you feel a stretch in your right tricep.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Girl sitting on yoga mat doing a shoulder stretch.

Shoulder Stretch

  • Sit or stand in a relaxed position with your back straight.
  • Place one arm across your body.
  • Keep your arm parallel to the ground and pull your elbow towards your opposite shoulder.

Do you take time to stretch after working out? What’s your favorite stretch? 

Got back pain? Check out these 6 stretches for a healthy back.

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    21 comments
  1. Hi Brittany. I just tried OT for the first time today and decided to join. I’m curious how often you go and how it fits in to you overall weekly workout schedule.

    • Hi Jen! That’s awesome. I’m so glad that you liked it. I try to go to OT 3-4 days a week on non-consecutive days. On days I don’t do OT I either do Pure Barre, yoga, running, strength training or take a rest day. I like to switch it up each week. Hope this helps!

  2. This is a great list! I really enjoy HIIT classes (I typically go to Barry’s Bootcamp) and while the 2 minute stretch in the end is helpful, more stretching is definitely needed. I really luck the pretzel stretch and kneeling hip flexor stretch because my hips definitely need some assistance after a lot of running. I also really like pigeon!

  3. This is great, I definitely need to stretch more after working out and in general. I saved the pic to my phone’s home screen to remind me to stop and stretch before hopping on Instagram 🙂

  4. Brittany, these stretches look awesome! Definitely trying them out after my workout today. I was wondering if you were planning on giving us an amenorrhea update? Currently struggling with post-pill amenorrhea myself and feeling a bit discouraged so I am really grateful that you shared your experience with us. Much love x

  5. Ooo ya these stretches look awesome! I also love holding onto a bar or solid object with hands wider than shoulder distance and pulling myself away from it, letting my chest hang through my shoulders. It feels amazing in my back, chest, shoulders, arms, and hamstrings! I’ve never heard of orange theory but it sounds like an amazing workout! Wish there was a studio by me 🙁

  6. I’m obsessed with OTF! And you are so right about stretching and preventing injury. I’m just coming off of a 3 week hiatus due to a hip flexor tear. I admit that I typically skip the stretching portion of the class, so I can avoid the rush to the locker area, but I’m going to try to do better. 🙂

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