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Effective July 28, 2021, Portland CAO Tom Rinehart has issued a directive mandating the use of face coverings for everyone inside City facilities and vehicles. Check our face coverings page for more information.

COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience

Access City programs, people and projects designed to help Portland recover. Portland United
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Recess! Theme: Stretching

Beyond flexibility, stretching moves oxygen and blood through your body, calms your mind, and reduces stress. It's a quick way to reset when you feel tired.

Getting Started

Ease into stretching. Slow, focused stretches will help you relax and calm your brain. 

  • Stretching should feel good, never painful! If you feel pain, stop what you're doing, or ease up your stretching.
  • Breathe into each stretch. Hold the pose long enough to inhale and exhale a number of times. 

Stretching Activities

  • If you already know some good stretches, choose 3-5 of your favorites for your RECESS break
  • When you have been working on a computer all day, try these four upper body stretches:
Graphics showing examples of the four stretches described below, which are helpful when you work at a desk a lot during the day.

Hold each of these stretches for 20-30 seconds while breathing in and out slowly

Chest Openers

  • Clasp your hands behind your back, stand tall
  • Pull your shoulders down away from your ears

Arms & Shoulders

  • Using your left arm, hold your right arm straight across your chest with thumb pointing upwards
  • Repeat on your left side


  • Hold your right arm straight out in front of you, with fingers up like you are high fiving
  • Using your left hand, hold the fingers of your right hand so you feel a gentle pull in your wrist
  • Turn your palm inward and point your fingers down, and hold your hand in that position so you feel a gentle stretch in your wrist and forearm
  • Repeat both stretches on your left hand

Child's Pose for lower back

  • Kneel on the ground with your knees hip-width apart
  • Lean over so your head is resting on the ground between your arms, which are stretched out on the ground in front of you
  • Take deep breaths and feel your body relax into the ground

SworkIt workouts

Short stretching sessions you can do at home using a computer or smartphone. 

Once you choose a workout from our website, you'll be sent to Sworkit. There, you can select how much time your session will be, choose music, and then click Begin Workout. You can hit pause for a break and also rewind to review.
To Sworkit: Select a workout from below, then 1) Select how much time you have/want to do 2) Pick music, OR just click Begin Workout

Increase Flexibility (Ages 11-15)

A full body stretch to feel good and increase flexibility

Start Increase Flexibility

Flexibility and Balance for Kids

Challenge your flexibility and stability with this stretching and balance routine

Start Flexibility and Balance 

Back to RECESS home page