Everyone needs good stretching, whatever your lifestyle or fitness level. Stretching improves circulation in the tissues, increases joint mobility, and allows you to keep your muscles in tone.
In addition, regular stretching can help improve your flexibility, which is an important fitness factor, as well as improve posture, reduce stress and body aches and more.
To better understand which muscle groups are stretched during a particular exercise, we has gathered for you a selection of pictures showing the process of stretches.
Each exercise will take between 5 and 30 seconds, depending on your fitness level.
Stretching exercises for beginners
1. Straight and oblique abdominal muscles. This exercise effectively stretches almost all abdominal muscles. While doing it, make sure your lower back and neck are not strained.
2. Hip adductor muscles. For best effect, round your back a little and lean on your arms. Don’t get upset if you can’t spread your legs wide the first time: the flexibility will gradually increase over time.
3. Inner Thigh Muscles. To work the entire inner thigh muscles, put your feet together, spread your legs as wide as possible, and lower your pelvis down.
4. Adductor thigh muscles. The transverse lunge also stretches the adductors of the thighs well. Make sure that the extended leg is absolutely straight and keeps the toe pointing upward.
5. Sternocleidomastoid Muscle. Standing with straight back, gently pull your head back without tilting it too far back.
6. Sternocleidomastoid and upper trapezius muscles. Put your right hand to your left ear and pull your head towards your right shoulder. It is better to do the exercise sitting down, holding a chair with your left hand, thus increasing the stretch.
7. Lumbar Muscle and Quadriceps. Keep your back straight while doing the exercise. By pulling your foot in, you will increase your stretching strength.
8. Shoulder-radius muscle, forearm. It will be great if you can get your thumb to touch the inside of your arm.
9. Deltoid muscle. This exercise will be especially helpful to those who spend a lot of time at the computer.
10. Trapezius muscle. Keep your knees slightly bent and put your arms around your head. Rounding the cervical spine, gently draw your chin to your chest.
11. Back muscles. Get down on your knees, stretching your arms forward, touching the floor with your forehead. Spread your knees wide and lower your buttocks onto your heels.
12. Calcaneus muscle. This exercise can also be done on the stairs.
13. Thigh biceps muscle. Stretching the biceps thigh, keep your back and head straight and your gaze directed in front of you.
14. Gluteus maximus muscle. You can also perform this exercise while lying on your back with your feet against the wall, bringing your glutes to your heels.
15. Straight and oblique muscles. Avoid doing this exercise if you regularly suffer from lower back pain.
16. Straight, oblique and gluteal muscles. This exercise is especially useful for relieving sciatica pain. Your back should be pressed against the floor. Breathe smoothly and deeply, increasing the strength of the stretch as you exhale.
17. Chest and latitude muscles. Stand up away from the support and get a good rot. Tense up your abs.
18. Chest muscles. This exercise is for deep stretching of the chest muscles. You can’t do without the help of a partner here. It is not recommended for people who have survived a broken or dislocated collarbone.
19. Upper trapezius muscle. Keep your spine straight, trying not to sag sideways. Tilt your head slightly toward the shoulder opposite the one you are stretching.
20. Rhomboid and upper trapezius muscles. In addition to stretching the muscles, this exercise is extremely useful for relaxing the thoracic spine.
When you do stretching exercises, you should not feel tension or pressure in your joints. You should concentrate on your breathing and stretch as hard as you can, gradually increasing your effort. You can do muscle stretching in the morning as an alternative to exercise.
Don’t forget to share and tell your friends about a great way to keep your muscles in tone!