Full-Body Stretching Exercises For Flexibility
The two most interesting and best parts about any workout routine are strengthening and cardio work. Besides these two one should also bear in mind the stretching. Although it may not be the most exciting part at the same time plays a very significant role in the overall fitness of a person. Incorporating some stretching exercises in between your workout routine will help you increase your flexibility As well as in reducing tightness. In this way even strengthening and cardio exercises will prove to be more efficient, effective, and safe.
Studies show that with age, we notice that our muscles become short and tight which tends to give us a lot of trouble even while doing daily chores. When our muscles turn less elastic, there is undue pressure and strain on the adjoining joints as well. Therefore it is required that we take initiative and actively do the stretching to improve as well as maintain the length of our muscles and consequently we will be able to enjoy our abilities to the maximum. So, here are some stretching exercises for you that are going to aid you in improving your flexibility.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
This is the most common stretching exercise which you all must be already aware of. For this, you have to start by standing tall keeping your feet hip-width apart and knees should be very slightly bent with arms on the side. Slowly bend forward at your hips while your shoulders head and bag is totally relaxed. Try touching your hands to the back of your legs or in other words you have to wrap your hands around your leg. Stay in the same position for about 45 seconds to 2 minutes as long as you can hold. Doing standing hamstring stretches proves to be really good for the head, back, neck, calves, and glutes. When you are done, you can bend your knees or roll them up.
Most of you might be unaware of the word piriformis. It is actually a muscle located at the outside of the butt and acting as an internal hip rotator. If you want to keep sciatica away from yourselves for the entire life, stretching this muscle is of utmost importance. Extend both the legs in front of you while sitting on the floor. Cross your legs and place your right foot flat on the floor. The right hand should also be on the floor but behind your body. Keeping your left elbow onto your left knee while you have to also keep pressing your right leg towards the left. The torso is to be twisted towards the right. Also, if in case you feel that your back is stretched and bothered due to spinal rotation, you can also just use your left hand to pull the right squad.
Triceps stretch will help stretching your arms, back, shoulders and triceps. This can be done either while sitting, standing, or kneeling down. Stretch your arms overhead. Bend your right elbow in such a way that your palm touches the top middle part (just below the neck) of your back. Bring your left-hand overhead, hold the right elbow with it, and push it down and towards your head. Repeat the exercise again by switching arms.
Sit on the floor, back straight, toes touching each other and knees bent outside. Hold your ankles or feet with your hands. Stretching your abs, slowly bend downwards and try to bring your chest close to the feet. The more you bend, the better. Keep on pressing your knees down to touch the floor while you bend. Another alternative you can do is to simply push your knees downwards if in case you are too tight to bend. Hold yourself in the same position for about 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Side Bend Stretch
Kneel down by keeping your core as tight as you can. The back should be straight and legs together. Take your left leg out towards the side, not to the front or back, keep it perpendicular to your body. Stretch your right-hand overhead, your left arm to be placed on your left leg. Stretch your right arm along with the torso towards the left. Hips should be facing forward. Hold yourself for about 30 seconds to 2 minutes and then switch legs.
Standing Quad Stretch
For this, you have to stand straight keeping your feet together. Pull your left foot backward and try to touch the toes with your butt. Pulling has to be done using your left hand. Do not forget to keep your knees together. If you find that you cannot balance, put another hand on a wall for the sake of support. If you have to make the most out of this stretching exercise, try squeezing the glutes which will increase the level of a stretch at the front of your legs. Here also, try holding yourself for the same time as in the exercises above and then change legs.
When we talk about stretching it is very difficult to find a single fun aspect of it. It’s not interesting, glamorous, or even hardcore. You can’t expect to get the same rush with it as you can get with running or gyming. Most of you don’t like doing stretching because of the two main factors- not being too comfortable and consuming a lot of time. But, you should also focus on the point that doing tons of cardio and strengthening will contract your muscles. And if you do not supplement it with stretching that elongates your muscles, the end result would be imbalanced muscles, leading to discomfort, strains, and injuries.
Lastly, remember that it is not too hard to increase your flexibility. Add these stretching exercises into your routine and with only a little time and effort, you will surely end up with relieved muscles and increased mobility and subsequently will be able to move freely, both in the gym as well as in life.