Stretching exercises for flexibility has many benefits. It can help to improve your wellness on a vast scale, including improving your posture, balance and mobility. In this post, we want to chat about some inspiring daily exercises for flexibility that will change your life.
While stretching can seem dull and slow to fast-paced, high-action adrenalin-pumping folks, it plays a critical role in balancing your exercise routine.
A balanced exercise routine should include strength exercises, cardio or aerobics, and stretches to improve flexibility.
If you’re only participating in strength training and never stretch, your muscles will become inflexible and shorter (having less range). In this case, when muscles have less range or reach, it can lead to easy injuries. Stretching elongates the muscles and promotes the range you need to reach further.
#1 Hamstring Stretch
The hamstring stretch is significant and can help prevent easy strains and discomfort if you move it incorrectly and if it is tight. The hamstring muscle is the one at the back of the thigh and is one of the strongest muscles.
Adding flexibility can greatly help to improve this problem. There are many variations to the hamstring stretch. Try kneeling onto the floor with one knee and bringing the other leg out and forward so that toes point to the ceiling. Holding the forward leg to feel a nice stretch in the hamstring muscles, hold for 30 seconds.
#2 Standing Hamstring Stretch
Technically the standing hamstring stretch is another variation of the one mentioned in point one. It is one of the best stretches for flexibility because it takes care of a critical muscle in the body.
Simply stand tall with both feet on the ground firmly. Next, you’ll bend over forwards and try to reach your toes. Alternatively, you can also reach your shins or behind your calves.
#3 Side Lunges
Another stretching routine for flexibility includes side lunges. It is excellent to stretch the inside of the thighs as well as the groin. Side lunges can be made by starting with a squat move to the side by bending the left knee and keeping the other knee straight. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds and then switch legs.
#4 Quad Stretch (Standing)
The Standing quad stretch requires you to pull your foot and leg up towards your bottom while the other foot remains on the ground. You should feel a stretch in the thighs as it targets the quadriceps muscles Vastus Laterals, Vestus Intermedious, Vastus Medialis and the rectus femoris.
#5 The Seat Stretch
The seat stretch is pretty easy to do and worthwhile to have in your stretching exercises for flexibility routine. Start by being seated on the floor and spreading your legs. Note that the knees should have a bit of a bend in it to avoid the joint from locking. You’ll bend forward over either one of the legs to go as far as you can to reach your feet.
#6 Knees To Chest Stretch
With the knees to chest stretch, you can either lay on your back on the floor. Next, you’ll have to bring your knees towards your chest. You can rest and repeat after every 30 seconds. With the knees to chest stretch, you can stretch the lower back and the hips.
#7 Triceps Stretch
We use our arms all the time, and injuring the triceps can set things off for pain and debilitated activity. The triceps stretch is one of the best stretches for flexibility as it helps to target this muscle releasing it from tightness while making it more flexible. Stretching the triceps may also help to recover sore muscles and furthermore, prevent injury during exercise.
To do the triceps stretch, you can either sit or stand when doing it. Bend your right elbow to try and reach your back and use your opposite arm to help move the stretch along.
#8 The Figure Four Stretch
Stretching exercises for flexibility such as the figure four stretch is critical to help improve and manage pain related to the hip rotator and flexor muscles. To do the figure four stretch, you’ll need to lie down on your back. Next, you’ll cross one foot over the thigh, forming a “4”. The figure four stretch may also help manage knee pain and target pain related to sciatica.
#9 Hip Opener
As the name suggests, the hip opener stretch has many benefits, including helping to stretch the groin, thighs and strengthen the knees.
Start the hip opener stretch in a lunge position, resting one leg on the ground. Next, put both hands on the ground and twist your upper body so that one hand reaches towards the ceiling while the other remains on the floor. Your one leg should be positioned behind you and straightened.
#10 Stretching Glutes
The glute muscles take on a lot of strain and do hard work that contributes to balance, mobility, and walking. Stretching the glutes is as vital as the other muscles, and it will also prevent tension and tightness in the thighs and may help with lower back pain too.
Lay on your back and take a deep breath in, hold and exhale. Bring your one leg up so that the toes are pointing towards the ceiling. Cross with the other foot over the thigh of the leg, reaching towards the ceiling. Interlace your fingers behind the straightened knee and gently bring it towards you.
This stretch is similar to figure four, but it doesn’t require you to bend both knees. The figure four is also a deeper stretch variation to this one.
#11 The Side Bend
The seated side bend is another excellent stretch that could help you monitor your flexibility as you progress and your muscles become more supple. The side bend helps stretch the muscles attached to the ribs as well as intercostal muscles. The side bend stretching exercises for flexibility requires you to make a gentle bend in your upper body, so you feel that side stretch.
There are other variations to the side bend that don’t require a seated position. Still, you’re also going to get a good stretch in those muscles and improve range and balance.
#12 Butterfly Stretch
The butterfly stretch can form part of your regular stretch routine for flexibility, and it requires you to sit as you would to cross your legs. Instead of crossing your legs, the bottoms of your feet are going to be placed together. Next, engaging your core, you’re going to sit tall and feel the stretch in your inner thighs, lower back and groin.
#13 Back Extension Stretch (Sphinx Pose)
The sphinx pose or the extended back stretch is great for relieving tightness in the back and also promotes the lower back’s natural curvature. It also aids in improving posture and helps you get deeper bends when doing forward folds or standing hamstring stretches.
Start by laying flat on your belly. Next, gently bring your upper body up onto your elbows while your stomach stays on the floor. Gently push up on your hands and lift to straighten your arms while keeping your hips on the floor. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and repeat.
#14 The Bridge
The Bridge stretch is another excellent one as part of your stretches to increase flexibility. The bridge is relatively easy to do and requires you to start by laying down on your back. Next, you’re going to bring your legs up by bending your knees. After that, push your hips up to create a bridge. Hold this pose for 30 seconds, and then repeat.
The bridge pose is fantastic for stretching the spine, hips and thighs.
#15 Hip Flexor Stretch
Hip flexors are essential muscles that help you bend your legs towards your chest. When these muscles are sore, they cause movement restriction and discomfort. People usually injure their hip flexors if they’re avid cyclists, do martial arts, soccer players and dancers, to name a few.
To do this hip flexor stretch, you’ll put one leg out to elongate towards the back. Both hands should be on the floor. Next twist the body to bring the opposite arm and hand towards the ceiling. This stretch also opens the chest muscles.
#16 Shoulder Squeeze
The shoulder squeeze is an excellent stretching exercise for flexibility, and not only does tot ease tense shoulder and back muscles, it also corrects bad posture. Sitting on your knees in a comfortable position, lace your finger behind your lower back. Straighten your arms as far as it can and squeeze shoulder blades together. You will feel the stretch. Repeat 5 to 10 times and keep the stretch for 30 seconds.
#17 Pretzel Stretch
The Pretzel stretch is a favorite amongst many folks because it gives a good stretch of the glutes and the rotator hip. When the hip muscles and glutes are tight, it can result in lots of pain.
To do the pretzel stretch you can lie down on the floor and on your side and position your legs with the right knee bent and extending towards your chest. Your other leg should be facing the back way. It’s almost as if you’re trying to create a still image of a big jump or form a zig-zag with your legs.
#18 Side Angle Stretch
Just like the side bend stretch, the side angle incorporates a side motion to it. The stretch targets your torso muscles and leg muscles since you’ll be standing a certain way for this one.
With your legs apart, keep your arms also on the sides of your body but parallel to the ground. Lean to the right and bend the right knee too. Lift your left arm towards the ceiling and keep the line straight between your left foot and left hand.
This stretch can hold for 30 seconds before switching sides again.
#19 Seated Hamstring Stretch
We’ve mentioned how there are so many variations for your stretching routine for flexibility. You don’t have to be flexible to do the stretches, and stretches can be modified to suit your capability needs.
For the seated hamstring stretch, you’re simply going to sit on the floor and stretch your arms forwards as far as you can go. If you can touch your toes, then do. If you can’t, then just extend to the distance, your can comfortably stretch.
#20 Seated Spinal Twist
The seated spinal twist is another variation similar to the pretzel stretch and it is good for lower back pain as well as glutes and the muscle behind the thigh. In a seated position, you’ll bring one leg over the other and support your stance by placing your other hand behind your back.
FAQ about Stretching Exercises for Flexibility
Exercises to promote flexibility are plenty and often in stretch form. Some of these exercises include the following 10:
1 – Chest stretch
2 – Neck stretch
3 – Wrist and bicep stretch
4 – Standing triceps stretch
5 – Hamstring stretch
6 – Torso stretch
7 – Shoulder stretch
8 – Inner thigh stretch
9 – Quadriceps stretch
10 – Wrist and forearm stretch
There are many exercises for flexibility. Some of the best ones include inner thigh stretch, standing triceps stretch, chest stretch and hamstring stretch. Making sure that you stretch efficiently before exercising and after will help reduce your risks of injuries.
You can improve your flexibility by bearing in mind that consistency is one of the key factors to maintaining your physical wellness and overall health. If you’re doing regular stretching exercises for flexibility then this hard work has to pay off. Even if you don’t see results immediately, stay consistent and follow through with a balanced diet.
Flexibility and the speed at which you gain flexibility depends on your physical capabilities, health and history of genetics. In other words, joint strength, age, gender, muscle bulk and proportion are all key pointers that may affect your flexibility speed.
For some people, seeing the results of their stretching routine for flexibility can take as little as one month. For others, it may take several months to see their actual results.
According to an article by Harvard University, healthy adults should stretch a minimum of 2 to 3 times a week. Stretching regularly helps yield results.
Conclusion On Stretching Exercises For Flexibility
Daily stretches for flexibility can help you gain some handle over pain and improve your range and motion while keeping the joints and muscles healthy and supple. Make sure that when you do stretch, that you do both sides of your body. It’s essential to create a balance between the two sides of the body.