5 Best Stretches To Improve Flexibility

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5 best stretches to improve flexibility

How often do you get out of the chair or even out of bed and feel stiff? Over time, it’s easy for your muscles to lose flexibility. And if you have a desk job, it makes matters worse.

It’s wise to stretch to keep your loss of flexibility to a minimum as well as keep your body open to allow the breath to flow better throughout your body. Stretching can also help you reduce your risk of injury after exercising.

5 Stretches For Flexibility

Here are 5 stretches that can help with overall flexibility.

1. Seated Straddle Stretch

  • Start by sitting on the floor, back straight, legs out in front of you.
  • Spread your legs apart out to the sides as wide as you can to form a V with them.
  • Place your palms on the floor right in front of you, arms straight.
  • Slowly walk your hands as far as you can in front of you while bending at the waist.
  • Keep your legs so that your knees are facing up.
  • Stop when you can’t go anymore and hold as long as you can up to 30 seconds. Repeat.

2. Seated Butterfly Stretch

  • Start by sitting on the floor, keeping your back straight, legs out in front of you.
  • Bending the knees, bring your feet in towards each other and touch the bottoms of your feet together.
  • Rest your elbows on the inside of your thighs.
  • Slowly press your thighs down towards the floor with your elbows.
  • Stop when you can’t go anymore and hold as long as you can up to 30 seconds. Repeat.

3. Kneeling Lunge Stretch

  • Start this in a standing position.
  • Step back with your right foot and slowly lower your right knee to the ground. At this point, your left knee is bent at a 90-degree angle, while your right knee is on the ground. Make sure that your left knee is not past your toes.
  • Lean forward to stretch your right leg, making sure that your left knee does not go past your toes. Stop when you can’t go anymore and hold as long as you can up to 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

4. Seated Four-Way Neck Stretch

  • Start this stretch in a seated position.
  • Take your left arm and raise it over your head. Bending only the elbow, place your left hand on your right temple.
  • Slowly push your head towards your left shoulder. Stop when you can’t go anymore and hold as long as you can up to 30 seconds.
  • Next, take your right arm and raise it over your head. Bending only the elbow, place your right hand on your left temple.
  • Slowly push your head towards your right shoulder. Stop when you can’t go anymore and hold as long as you can up to 30 seconds.
  • Next, both your hands clasped together behind the crown of your head (midway between the very top of your head and your neck), slowly push your head towards your chest. Stop when you can’t go anymore and hold as long as you can up to 30 seconds.
  • Lastly, take your clasped hands and place them under your chin (palms down).
  • Slowly push your head up towards the ceiling. Stop when you can’t go anymore and hold as long as you can up to 30 seconds.

5. Standing Chest Stretch

  • Start from a standing position, back straight, feet together.
  • Bring your hands behind your back and clasp them together. They should be right behind your butt.
  • As you slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together, raise your arms towards the ceiling while also looking up at the ceiling. This is opening up your chest area. Stop when you can’t go anymore and hold as long as you can up to 30 seconds. Repeat.

Tips

  • When doing these stretches try holding the position for 30 seconds (maximum) at a time. If you find yourself struggling to do 30 seconds, just hold the stretch for as long as you comfortably can.
  • Each time you do the stretch, try holding it a bit longer. As time goes on you will notice that the stretch is easier to hold and easier to stay in it longer.
  • Challenge yourself even more by deepening the stretch each time you do it. You will find that you can go further and further over time.

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