Bullet Proof Plan for a STRONGER YOU – Part 5: Total Body Active Stretch

Get the most out of your workouts to develop your ultimate best and become “The Stronger You” with a Bullet Proof Plan geared to achieve success.

Welcome to the final part of the 5-part series for building consistency and adding strength gains to your workouts. The part 5 strategy focuses on knowing when to change it up to keep your muscles challenged so that you continue to achieve success.


#5 Change It Up

If you have been following the Bullet Proof Plan since Part 1: you have established a basic training plan (#1), you are training with a purpose (#2), you are staying consistent with your training goals (#3), and you are seeing improvements within each workout (#4). Once your body starts to build strength and the exercises start to become easier, then you will know it’s time to change up your routine (#5)!

The changes can be simple to increase the challenge. A few ways to change it up and increase the intensity may include:

• Increase or decrease the incline based on the exercise
• Change the tempo of the exercises (slower tempos will keep the muscle under tension longer!)
• Change the base of support (kneeling, high kneeling, half kneeling stances)
• Incorporate other exercises
• Add in additional reps or sets
• Combine two muscle groups together (ex: legs & core or chest & cardio drills)

Keep these 5 training strategies for success in mind when you workout. They will ultimately help you achieve a Stronger YOU!


The bullet proof plan is designed to train a specific muscle group on separate days (a split routine) to achieve a Stronger YOU! The plan is laid out in a 5-part blog series that includes muscle specific workouts along with helpful strategies to achieve your goals.

Here’s the Bullet Proof Plan layout:

Part 1: Legs

Part 2: Upper Body

Part 3: Core

Part 4: Total Body Cardio Strength

Part 5: Active Stretch

Please refer back to the previous blogs if you happened to miss them and start the program from the beginning. Now let’s stretch it out and recover your muscles!


Muscle recovery workouts are just as important, if not more, than a good strength workout. In order to achieve successful strength gains, you must incorporate flexibility and mobility into your plan. An active stretching session will promote joint mobility, stability, flexibility, prevent injury, and prepare you for your next workout.

Set Up:

• Low-Medium Incline
• Adjust incline to accommodate your flexibility


• Perform each stretch slowly with control.
• Use the core to stabilize each stretch.
• Utilize a breath that moves with your body’s movement.
• Repeat each stretch for about 5 rounds per side.


1. Runners Lunge Rocks

• Targets: Hip flexors, quads, hamstrings
• Perform: Facing the tower, place one foot on the floor close to the glide board with the opposite leg extended long on the glide board. Slowly lean forward into the stretch, then push the hips back and straighten the supporting leg for a hamstring stretch.

Repeat on both sides.

2. Half Frog Slide

• Targets: Inner thigh, groin
• Perform: Facing sideways, open the GB and place the inner side of one knee on the GB. Position the opposite leg at the bottom base with the leg extended and hands positioned on the floor. Slowly open and close the GB to feel the inner thigh stretch.

Repeat on both sides.

3. Rocking Figure 4

• Targets: Outer thigh/ piriformis, glutes
• Perform: Open the GB and sit at the bottom with the heel of your foot placed inside the rail. Bend one knee into a figure 4 (ankle is crossed at thigh) and the other leg will bend and extend to feel the stretch where you need it most.

Repeat on both sides.

4. Seated Fold & Twist

• Targets: hamstrings, calves, upper-lower back, torso
• Perform: Sit at the top of the GB with the legs extended. Keep your spine long and hinge forward from the hips. Hold for a few breaths then round the spine over the legs. Exhale to roll back up one vertebrae at a time to sitting tall. Vary the stretch by flexing or pointing your toes as you fold over. Add a torso twist to each side.

Repeat a few rounds and explore the movement.

5. Chest & Shoulder Opener

• Targets: Chest, various shoulder angles
• Perform: Stand at the tower. Place one hand with thumb facing upward on the tower and turn the feet to comfortably rotate away from arm to feel the chest open. With the same arm, rotate the body into the arm to feel the stretch across the shoulder and upper back. Move your body in different ranges of motion to feel the stretch where you need it most.

Repeat on both sides.

Be sure to check out the video demo to see how these active stretches are performed on your Total Gym to become the STRONGER YOU!

Embrace the challenge & train hard!

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Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. http://www.groovysweat.com http://www.groovysweatstore.com (purchasable workout videos) http://www.youtube.com/groovysweat (workout clips)

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