4 Body Stretches That Give Your Skin a Healthy Glow

Amy Lawrenson

Girlfriend Collective

I damaged my coccyx as a child, which means I can't sit on certain chairs or do certain exercise moves, and I have a standing desk in the office. It's painful and annoying. And while I find a permanent fix, I've been going to see Suzanne Wylde, creator of Moving Stretch. Her treatment, a mix of walking massage and active stretching, also known as myofascial release, helps alleviate my pain. It's also incredibly stress-relieving—she cracks my back and stretches tight muscles, and I come out feeling as though I'm walking on air.

The aim of the treatment is to stretch and release the fascia that surrounds and runs through my muscles. "Fascia is like a big net or cobweb," says Wylde. "It's a bit like scaffolding for your muscles. In younger people, the fibres in fascia are neat, but in old or sedentary people, it gets into a big tangle."

So how can a body stretch affect your face? "Fascia runs through the whole body and connects the muscles in the face to the muscles in your body. Although in Moving Stretch we do not directly stretch the face, the stretches release the fascia that can pull on the face, making it look older and tired. By stretching the fascia, we can make the face more lifted, youthful, toned, and even make it glow. And although there are a couple of leg stretches in here, bear with us! They are great for faces," explains Wydle.

So while I go to Wylde to alleviate my coccyx pain, a welcome side effect of all that stretching is that my face looks brighter after a 60-minute session. I asked Wylde to share her favourite body stretches that give your face a lift. Keep scrolling for her favourite moves.

To ensure you are releasing your fascia correctly, follow these simple guidelines: "The muscles should move continuously throughout the movement. We do not hold the stretches at the end, and we never push through pain," says Wylde. "Also, rather than tensing as much as we physically can, we do around 50% to 70% of our maximum, so we get a pleasant sensation, just as we do when we yawn and stretch."

Check out Wylde's book, Moving Stretch: Work Your Fascia to Free Your Body ($23). 

Next up, 16 products you need for that dewy-skin look.

This post originally appeared on Byrdie UK.

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