Yes, five minutes a day can improve your physical and mental health.
Stretching regularly is important for preventing injuries and improving— or maintaining—flexibility. Making a habit of stretching after intense workouts will help your muscles recover and grow evenly, preparing you for your next sweat sesh. Why not start incorporating this practice into your workout schedule with our 5-minute full-body stretching routine?
Why is this important? Well, every time you do a strength workout, little tears form in your muscles. If you don’t smooth the muscles out with stretches or foam rolling, they could grow unevenly and cause you trouble down the line. Stretching keeps your muscles smooth and close to their original length (i.e. long and lean), which in addition to helping them grown evenly, helps you increase the range of motion in your joints.
In this article we show you how to stretch your entire body in just 5 minutes and give yourself more flexibility . Below, we’ll show you the best full body stretching exercises at home from head to toe.
Full-body stretching routine:
1. The world’s best stretching exercise
Training: stretch in the upper body, back of the legs, opening of the hips, mobilization of the spine, arms and shoulders
Note: back straight, abdomen tight for stabilization, put back knee down if necessary
2. Downward Dog and Plank
Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings and calves, as well as the back and shoulders. Relieves pressure in the neck. Press your weight evenly through your heels and palms for maximum benefit.
Training: Stretch throughout torso, arms, and entire back of legs
Note: Actively pull in your belly button, keep your back straight with your head, heels as low as possible
3. Standing forward bend with straight arms
Training: Stretch the entire back of the leg, mobilize the upper body, chest and spine
Note: Keep your head in line with your spine, don’t work too fast
4. Standing forward bend with a twist
Training: Mobilizes upper body, chest, shoulders and arms, spine, stretches back of legs
Note: Legs can be slightly bent if this makes it easier to perform.
Upper body stretching exercises
5. Cat-Cow stretch
Training: Mobilizes the entire spine and lower back
Note: Exhale with a hunchback (cat), inhale with a hollow back (cow).
6. Child’s pose
Benefits: Helps soften and relax the lower back. Helps relieve tension in the shoulders, arms and neck. Relaxes the muscles of the front of your body while passively stretching the muscles of your back.
Training: Stretch back, entire torso, arms, hip opening
Note: Lay your head down, breathe, hold
Tip: With a foam roller you can relax the connective tissue of the muscles. The self-massage is ideal for the upper back and the lateral abdominal muscles.
Leg stretching exercises
7. Deep squat stretch
Training: Strengthens the legs, opening of the hips, relaxation for the spine
Note: Stand further, press your heels into the ground, hook your elbows between your knees
8. Bend forward while seated
Training: Stretch in the legs, length in the back too
Note: Pull your seat a little to one side, don’t hunch over
9. Couch stretch
Training: Stretch thigh front
Note: Do not stretch your head backwards, release slowly so that the kneecap does not slip
Benefits: Opens the hips and uses core strength to keep the hips square. Also stretches the thighs, psoas and groin.
Training: Spinal mobilization, stretch side & lateral thighs, hip opening.
Note: create length from fingertips to foot so stretch is felt in sides as well
Keep reading: 20 stretching exercises for beginners showing you exactly which muscles to stretch