Here are five of our favorite stretches to help increase your flexibility, mobility, and feel better overall.
A flexible body means you’ll have a greater range of motion in your joints, which makes it easier to move. Try these stretches and see how you feel.
All of these stretches can be done without equipment and with minimal space. They’re gentle enough to do every day, if you wish, but feel free to use them however they best help you.
As you stretch, remember to breathe deeply and move slowly. Listen to your body, and only do what feels comfortable. It’s important to use good form, so don’t worry if you can’t bend very far or do every stretch. With regular stretching, your flexibility will improve.
Here’s how to perform each stretch. As always, safety is key. Make sure you have a clear, open space for these moves.
Reach and Press
Start with your feet pressed firmly to the floor and aligned with your hips. Then, scoop your arms as if you’re picking something up from a table. As you raise your arms, flip your palms to face outward and press up into the sky (or ceiling). Feel the stretch through the length of your arms and torso. From there, gently let your arms float back down to the sides. If you feel comfortable, do this a few more times.
Bow and Arrow
For this stretch, start by extending your arms in front of you, then crossing your hands. From there, make gentle fists and slowly pull your hands away from each other and bring your firsts to chest-level. Keep your left arm and fist in front of your chest as you extend your right arm out. Turn your head to look over your right arm and find yourself doing the Bow and Arrow stretch. Gently release your arms down and repeat on the other side with your left arm extended and right arm at chest-level. Repeat these moves as many times as you like.
Now let’s stretch the spine! This move will help to release tension in your back. With feet pressed firmly to the floor, slowly turn your face to the right, followed by your shoulders and then your hips. You should be able to look behind yourself from this position, but only if it feels comfortable. Then slowly return to facing the front of the room with your hips leading your shoulders and then your face. Now, try twisting to the other side using the same steps. This is the spinal twist.
Pyramid Stretch + Back Stretch
Face forward in a standing position and step your right foot back to create a pyramid-like shape with your legs. Keep your legs long as you slowly bend forward from your hips and feel the stretch in your legs. Next, reach your arms back so they’re aligned with your sides and feel the stretch in your lower back, glutes and hamstrings. Slowly come up, standing tall with your right leg still stepped back. Bring your hands together and stretch your arms out in front of your body with palms facing forward. Gently bring your chin down a bit and hold for a couple seconds to feel the stretch in your upper back. Release your arms down and try it again.
Pyramid Stretch + Chest Stretch
Like the previous stretch, we’re creating a pyramid-like shape with the legs. Step your left foot back, bend forward gently and stretch your arms back so they’re aligned with the sides of your torso. As you come up, open your arms out wide to the sides with palms up and thumbs reaching toward the back of the room. Feel this stretch across your chest and in the front of your shoulders. Release your arms and do it again.
Flexibility isn’t about whether you can touch your nose to your unbent knees. Ultimately, it’s about enjoying your life. Add these stretches to your daily routine to improve your flexibility, range of motion, and to keep doing the things you love.
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