10 Best Stretches

10 Best Stretches

People around the world are becoming increasingly health-conscious, choosing to adopt a healthier lifestyle and eating more balanced and nutrient-rich diets. Activities that cause harm to your body, such as smoking and drinking excessive coffee, have also become increasingly popular. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, start by exercising on your own or join the local gym.

Many people who start exercising tend to avoid stretching since it isnt a very intensive activity and is quite boring to do. What many people dont know is that stretching is a very beneficial activity. It can help you improve your posture, increases flexibility, promotes blood circulation, helps reduce and manage stress, and decrease muscle stiffness.  All in all, stretching activates your body and, if done before any strenuous activity, helps prevent cramps and injuries from a workout. No matter what your age of build, you can benefit from a few minutes of stretching every day. 

There are many different ways people can stretch their bodies, each with its own benefits. A good stretching routine should be able to target all the major joints and muscles of the body.

Weve made a list of the ten best stretches that you can do to work your whole body.

10 Best Stretches

3 people stretching outside

Standing Quad stretch

  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Bend your left knee and use your left hand to grab the top of that foot.
  • Bring your foot as close to your butt as possible while keeping your knees together
  • If you need to, put one hand on a wall for balance.
  • Push your hips forward, and squeeze your glutes to increase the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes and repeat on the other leg.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, arms by your sides.
  • Bend forward at the hips, lowering your head toward the floor while keeping your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed.
  • Wrap your arms around the back of your legs and hold anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes.
  • Make sure not to move your legs during the whole process.

Seated Back Twist

  • Bend your right knee and step your right foot over your left leg.
  • Put your right hand on the floor, fingers pointing outward, for support.
  • Bend your left elbow and turn to the right, placing the back of your arm against your right knee.
  • Press your right leg to the left as you twist your torso to the right.
  • Hold for 10-15 seconds, then slowly return to the center.
  • Repeat all of the above steps using your opposite side.

Tricep Stretch

  • Stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
  • Raise your right arm straight above you, then bend your elbow so that your forearm is behind your head.
  • Reach your left-hand overhead and grasp just below your right elbow.
  • Gently push your bent elbow back with your other hand.
  • Switch arms and repeat.

Standing Side Stretch

  • Stand with your feet together and your arms straight overhead. 
  •  Clasp your hands together, with your fingers interlaced and pointer fingers extended.
  • Slowly bend your upper body to each side, all the while taking controlled deep breaths.

Chest and Shoulder Stretch

  • Sit on a surface so that your legs are at a 90-degree angle and your feet are flat against the floor.
  • Clasp your hands behind your lower back.
  • Straighten and extend your arms and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Lift your hands to the ceiling to stretch your chest and shoulders.
  • Do this for 3 seconds, and then release. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Kneel on your left knee. Place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you, with your knee bent at about 90 degrees.
  • Place both your hands on top of your left knee.
  • Lean forward, stretching your left hip toward the floor.
  • Squeeze your butt, allowing you to stretch your hip flexor even more.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Sphinx Pose

  • Lie on your stomach while stretching out your legs behind you
  • Place your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms flat on the floor with your palms facing downwards placed fully on the floor.
  • Lift your chest off the floor.
  • Press your hips and thighs into the floor, and think about lengthening your spine while keeping your shoulders relaxed.
  • Sit up just enough to feel a nice stretch in your lower back. Avoid hyperextending and stop if you start to feel any discomfort or pain to avoid and sprains.

Forward Hang

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, and your knees slightly bent.
  • Interlace your fingers, while stretching your arms behind your back.
  • Straighten your arms to expand your chest.
  • Bend down from your waist, letting your hands stretch toward your head while making sure that all other parts remain straight.
  • Hold this posture for 10 to 15 seconds.

Bicep Stretch

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, and your knees slightly bent.
  • Lift your arms straight out to the sides of you, keeping your palms open and your fingers stretched out.
  • Make a thumbs up with both hands and rotate your thumbs down.
  • Rotate the back up, and repeat the motion 10-15 more times.

Extra tips

Before stretching, make sure you wear comfortable clothes that allow unrestricted movement. Purchasing an expensive sports outfit is not a necessity, and you also do not need any specialized equipment. Try to do your training on a soft surface, like a carpet or yoga mat, to increase your comfort. Make sure to stay well hydrated and to avoid stretching following a heavy meal.  Although stretching does aid in weight loss and muscle gain, it cannot do much on its own: you must also undergo strength and cardio training.

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