Dogs, cats and cobra’s – top cool down stretches after your workout…

Cool down and stretching after your workout is very widely known to be just as important as the main exercises you do in your workout. When asked which stretches I like to do, which is tough as I like all of them, I narrowed it down to my top five.

I take influence from Pilates and Yoga and for me it’s all about the animal names 😉

1. The Pigeon – this is a particularly strong stretch and a more advanced position but it is a fab one! It is mainly to stretch out your glutes and groin area and is also very good for alleviating sciatic pain. Great after lots of lunges and squats.

2. Downward Dog – a genius stretch for almost every part of your body and the standard ‘go to’ pose for Pilates and Yoga. Great for releasing tension from your spine, opening up your hips and shoulders, stretching your whole leg, strengthening your arms and can help improve digestion – fab for someone who has a gluten intolerance!

3. Cat stretch – this stretch just feels so relaxing and is a great stress reliever. This one will stretch out your spine and neck nicely.

4. Cobra stretch – another pretty strong stretch and you do need to be fairly supple in the first place to perform this one to its fullest potential. It really stretches out the muscles all the way down your abs and a less intense stretch in your shoulders and chest. It is also a pretty good exercise for strengthening your arms and shoulders as there is quite a bit of weight that goes through them both to keep you in this position.

5. Butterfly stretch – I have quite tight hip adductors (a muscle found in your inner thighs near your groin) and although I find this one quite challenging, it is very useful for stretching out an area that is pretty tough to target. Plus you do have to watch your posture with this one ensuring you keep your back fairly straight. Quite tough to get your knees on the ground as well – one for me to work on 😉

You don’t even need to have done a workout to feel the benefit from a good stretch. If you spend a long time sitting at a desk try breaking up your day with a quick five minute stretch mid afternoon and your body will thank you for it! Check out some of the quick routines on the Live Happy App for more inspiration.

Top 5 equipment pieces for your home workout

The closure of gyms due to COVID has meant the demand for home gym equipment has sky-rocketted! Sales of weights benches alone grew by over 4000% from March to July 2020* with many frustrated gym lovers unable to get their hands on even the most basic of gym equipment.

Gyms may be open again now (thank goodness!) but if you don’t want to or can’t go back in, what is the best equipment to purchase for a home workout? We asked our equipment partner, Technogym, their opinion on their top 5 pieces to invest in to give you an all round workout, without breaking the bank, here’s what they said:

The Kettlebell – An absolute favourite, this compact and versatile piece of equipment gives you the advantage of building strength, stability, coordination and power all in one. If you pick a midweight bell for your ability, this will last you a long time as they are very durable.

Dumbbells – The most classic piece of gym equipment you can buy! A great starting point and you can perform countless workouts with them. They are a great way to add some weight to your standing and floor based body weight workouts. We would suggest at least a couple of sizes (lighter and heavier) to target your different muscle groups and to encourage progression.

Resistance bands – these long bands have handles attached to each end to ensure they are easy to hold. For such a small, light piece of equipment, they are very versatile and you can work all the major muscle groups with them. You can also pack them up and take them with you wherever you go, to increase the intensity of your body weight workout.

The Technogym Bench – if you have a little more in the budget to spend, then this piece is a fantastic way to house and use a wide range of equipment without needing a large workout space. It combines a set of dumbbells, smaller ‘knuckle weights’ resistance bands and a gym mat all within a useful bench you can sit, stand or lie on.

The Skillrow – if you have a little more space at home and want a more substantial piece of equipment, you can improve your rowing skills, cardiovascular fitness and total body power with the Skillrow. Unlike some other cardio equipment, the rower is firstly a little more slimline and can fold away neatly, secondly it is more designed for a total body workout, it clearly shows and tracks your performance data and you can easily select the level of resistance for a more challenging workout.

For further info about any of the above pieces of equipment, please contact us at and we’ll be happy to introduce you to our lovely Account manager at Technogym! If you’re a Live Happy member you’ll also enjoy a 5% discount on any Technogym equipment.

*Statistica 2021