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The One Stretch Olympic Gymnast Gabby Douglas Does Every Day Is Also One of the Easiest

Writer: ZOE WEINER | Outlet: Well and Good

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On a normal day of training, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas spends up to six and a half hours in the gym. And with that much grueling work on her body, you better believe that her muscles are tight by the time she heads home for the evening—which is why she considers stretching to be just as important a part of her routine as the twisting and tumbling she does on a daily basis.

"I can’t even begin to explain how important stretching is—not just as a gymnast, but as a human being," says Douglas. "It's about more than just being flexible—it's really about becoming better at [day-to-day activities] than doing splits and becoming a contortionist."


Given the amount of lower body work associated with Douglas's legendary floor, bar, and beam moves, it makes sense that there's one spot in particular where she tends to experience the most tension after her workouts. "My hips are prone to getting a little bit tighter than everything else," says Douglas. To combat that, she swears the classic butterfly stretch.


The move—which involves sitting on the floor with the bottoms of your feet together and splaying your knees toward the ground—is a trainer favorite for loosening up tight hip flexors. "This can be a great exercise for people who want to find more flexibility in their hips and inner thighs, and is fantastic to undo the slumping that's typically done at a computer all day," says Rebecca Lubart, Pilates instructor and founder of Dynamic Body Pilates, previously told Well+Good. "The pressing of the soles of your feet together combined with the pull of the arms and a long, neutral spine means that you'll not only get a great stretch sensation in your hips but as you press your thighs down with your hip muscles, it creates a really great anchoring of your thigh bones into your hip sockets."