Tightness of any kind will limit your ability to laugh. Here is short (5 minutes) warmup routine that was created by Jeffrey Briar with input from Kathryn Burns and Ruthe Gluckson, all from the Laguna Beach Laughter Club. Try it out: It won’t make you laugh in itself but it will prepare your body for it!

I. Initial stretches – Lengthen

  1. Raise arms above head
  2. Stretch right arm high (right leg rooted to earth), left arm, R, L;
  3. Both arms, stretch entire length; think of extending head away from the earth (4x)

II. Upper Appendages (Arms) – Mostly rotation

  1. Hands: close into fists, spread fingers open wide (4x) Continue to open and close; gradually lower arms down to shoulder level (fingers open/close approx. 6x)
  2. Hands circle (at wrist joints ‐ 4x each direction)
  3. Forearms (at elbows – 4x ea. direction)
  4.  Entire arm (at shoulder socket – 4x opening back, 6x coming forward, 2x opening back)

III. Lower Appendages (Feet and Ankles) – Mostly rotation

  1. Start at Feet. Put the weight onto the left leg; Right foot Point, Flex (4x)
  2. Rotate right foot at ankle joint (4x ea. direction)
  3. Shake out right leg (including behind you)
  4. Bring weight to right leg; Left foot Point & Flex (4x)
  5. Rotate left foot (4x ea. direction)
  6. Shake out left leg (including in back of you)

IV. Legs and Torso – Mostly rotation; Add Sounds (toning)

  1. Both feet on the earth. Place hands on Knees. Circle knees with sound of “oo” (‘U’, as in the word “smooth”; 4x ea. direction)
  2. Circle Pelvis with “Oh” (as in “Go”; 4x ea. direction)
  3. Circle Ribcage with “Ah” (as in “Saw”; 4x ea. direction)

V. Neck and Head (Sounds/toning‐ continue)

  1. Preparation: bring arms behind back, interlace fingers, extend arms away from the head (keep space between shoulders and ears)
  2. Rotate Head to stretch Neck to side: turn head to one side (as if looking behind you) while making sound of “A” (as in “Say”); one long breath each direction: R, L, R, L
  3. Incline Neck to side (ear towards shoulder) while making the sound “E” (as in “free”); one long breath each direction: R, L, R, L
  4. Head/Neck Circles: With knees slightly bent, let head hang forward (chin to chest). Circle head around (down‐and‐forward; to one side; hanging back; around to other side) while making any sounds desired (2 circles starting to R, reverse direction 2 circles)

VI. Length of Spine (Sounds/toning continue)

  1. Preparation: standing tall, head erect. Bend knees slightly
  2. On the exhale, making any sound: while arms hang forward, roll the Spine Down (head to chest, head to waist, to thighs) (knees remain slightly bent)
  3. On the inhale, roll the Spine Up: stack pelvis onto legs, low back onto pelvis, stack up middle back, then upper back, then shoulders, neck and head. (Head remains hanging forward until the end.) Repeat steps 2. and 3.
  4. Stretch Legs: Roll down again and at the end of the exhale, remain hanging forward. Grab backs of ankles in the hands

a. Bend the knees; then straighten the legs. Repeat 3x more

b. Hang forward in a long stretch. Make an intuitive sound: groan, howl, any tone (Option: can pull with the arms to deepen stretch into back of legs). Hold/pull for 2 long exhalations

c. Bend the knees slightly and roll up the spine (stacking up pelvis, spine, shoulders – head comes up last)

VII. Stretch and Rotate Spine ‐ Sounds/toning continue – Concluding moves

  1. Side (Waist) Stretch: Reach arms above head, interlace fingers (palms face the sky). Stretch to side (focus on side of the waist); make any sound (R, L, R, L)
  2. Groin Stretch “Water Spider”: Separate legs to a wide squat, hands on each leg just above the knees, thumb to inside. Lean forward with arms straight so torso’s weight encourages legs to widen apart; shift weight side to side (4x)
  3. “Water Spider with a Twist”

a. To twist to Right: bend right elbow, left arm remains straight; lengthen spine and then twist, head going last, looking behind to the Right. (Breathe deeply through the nose 2 to 4x; return to center)

b. Repeat twist to Left side (bend left elbow, right arm straight) (2 to 4 x). Return to center; come to standing

  1. “T’ai Chi Swing” Place feet a little wider than shoulder‐width apart, turned slightly out. This is a pelvis side‐to‐side rotation, with the rest of the body being “Swung Along.” Push weight into the Right foot, rotating the pelvis slightly towards the left; without pause, push into the Left foot and the pelvis rotates to the right. Once the movement gets going, the practice is mostly momentum, with just a slight effort (push) into the one foot, and then the other foot. (8x or more)
  2. Gently swing back to center. Conclusion of the body warmup: “Yay!”

Follow with a few Breathing Exercises. Then add in the Laughter.

Related links

Download the transcript at http://goo.gl/awdkJK

There are plenty of simple warmup routines online (text) and of course youtube.com (videos)

Personally I like the tango warmup sequence because it’s just fun: