Flexibility plays a bigger role in our well-being than we realize. Specialists believe that a good flexibility program can help you achieve better results during workouts and pre workout stretches, increase muscle range of motion and coordination, reduce muscle soreness, and help prevent injuries.
Good flexibility also improves circulation and may be a factor in preventing some serious illnesses like arthritis, diabetes and kidney disease.
We have prepared a few stretching exercises that will help you to improve your flexibility. Do them after your regular pre and post workout stretches or a few times a week for 4 weeks and the results will surprise you sooner than you think.
1- Cat and cow stretching
A cat-cow stretch is a great way to start warming up the spine, as well as working on flexibility in the back, neck, and shoulders.
- On your hands and knees.
- Slowly arch your back, drop your stomach to the floor and lift your head.
- Hold for a few seconds. Slowly roll your back up like a cat.
- Perform 10 repetitions.
2- Back extension stretch
Back extension stretches are great for stretching your back, just make sure you don’t overdo it. If you feel pain or discomfort in your neck, you’ve probably overdone it.
- Lie down on your stomach.
- Come up on your elbows, keeping your stomach flat on the floor.
- Then push up with your hands in a pseudo push-up position, but keep your hips on the floor.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
3- Side Angle Stretch
The side-angle stretch works multiple muscles, the spine, groin, hamstrings, and abdominal.
- Place your feet about 5 feet apart. Extend your arms so they are parallel to the floor.
- Lean to your right side, bend your right knee and place your right elbow on your knee.
- Raise your left arm toward the ceiling, maintaining a straight line from your left foot to your left hand.
- If you can, lower your right hand to the floor behind your right foot.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
4- Extended puppy stretch
The extended puppy stretch is great for the entire upper body. This includes the back, shoulders, and arms.
- Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees just below your hips.
- Slowly move your hands forward and lower your chest to the floor.
- Keep your arms off the ground.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds and slowly return to starting position.
- Now repeat 3 times.
5- Lateral Lunge Stretch
Let’s move on to the legs, starting with this side leg stretch. It works the legs and the hips.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Slowly shift your body weight to your right side.
- Walk to your right side. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Repeat 3 times on each side.
6- Sitting Hamstring Stretch
- Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you.
- Extend your arms and bend forward, trying to reach as far as possible while keeping your legs straight.
- Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
7- Seated Straddle Stretch
The Seated Straddle Stretch works to increase flexibility in the inner and outer legs.
- Begin in a seated position.
- Extend legs out to the sides as far as possible.
- Stretch your arms forward as far as you can.
- Maintain this position for 30 seconds.
8- The hurdler’s hamstring stretch
This hurdler hamstring stretch works the flexibility of the hamstrings and calves.
- Sit on floor with one leg straight.
- Bend the other leg at the knee and place the foot near the inside of the opposite thigh.
- Extend your arms overhead and lean forward over the straight leg.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat with the opposite leg.
9- Seated spinal twist
The Seated Spine Twist is ideal for increasing flexibility in the shoulders, chest and spine.
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight.
- Bend your right knee and place it over your left leg.
- Hold for 30 seconds and return to starting position.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
10- Bridge stretch
Bridge Stretch is not only an effective core exercise, it is also good for stretching the neck, spine, thighs and hips.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent.
- Slowly raise your hips, keeping your shoulders on the floor and your feet flat.
- Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
Keep reading: 7 Simple adductor stretches and flexibility exercises