10 Helpful Flexibility Exercises

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin

Stretching may not be the most exciting part of working out, but a little flexibility training is just as necessary for a solid fitness routine as strength and cardio. Including some stretching into your workout program may help reduce tightness and improve flexibility making your workouts a lot more efficient.

Stretching is indeed neither exciting nor hardcore, and it probably won’t give you the same satisfaction that strength exercises will. It can be uncomfortable, and it takes some getting used to, so people often skip it.

By doing a ton of strength work that shortens the muscles and neglects stretching, your muscles may become imbalanced. Imbalances in the body may lead to strains and discomfort or raise your risk for injury.

Luckily, improving your flexibility and fluidity isn’t that hard. All it takes is a helpful guide and a little time.

Flexibility Exercises

Flexibility Exercises

Standing Hamstring Stretch

Standing Hamstring Stretch 

(Stretches neck, back, glutes, hamstrings, calves)

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms by your sides. Keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Breathe as you bend your upper body forward with your head toward the floor. Keep your neck, head, and shoulders relaxed.
  • Encase your arms around your legs and hold anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Bend your knees and fold yourself back up.

Triceps Stretch 

Triceps Stretch 

(Stretches neck, shoulders, back, triceps)

  • Kneel with feet on your butt. Extend your arms overhead.
  • Bend your right elbow and reach the top middle of your back with your right hand.
  • With your left-hand overhead, grasp your right elbow.
  • Slightly pull that right elbow down as far as you can and release.
  • Repeat with the other arm.

Butterfly Stretch 

Butterfly Stretch 

(Stretches hips, glutes, back, thighs)

  • Sit on the ground with the soles of your feet clasped together.
  • Hold onto your ankles, engage your core, and gently lower your upper body toward your feet as far as you can while pushing your knees down toward the ground.
  • If you’re too tense to bend over, don’t force it. Gently push your knees down.
  • Hold this position for 45 seconds to a minute.

Side Bend Stretch

Side Bend Stretch

(Stretches groin, hips, inner thigh, obliques)

  • Kneel on the ground with your legs together, tighten your core. Keep your back straight.
  • Stretch your left leg out to the side (perpendicular to your body).
  • Reach your right arm over your head, while resting your left arm on your left leg.
  •  Gently bend your upper body and right arm to the left side while keeping your hips facing forward.
  • Hold this stretch for 45 seconds to a minute.
  • Repeat on the other side. 

Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

(Stretches hips, quads, glutes)

  • Place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent. Kneel on your left knee. 
  • Slowly lean forward, extending your left hip toward the floor.
  • To stretch your hip flexor, even more, squeeze your butt.
  • Hold for 45 seconds to a minute.
  • Switch feet and repeat.

Lying Pectoral Stretch

Lying Pectoral Stretch

(Stretches chest, shoulders)

  • Rest on your abdomen with both arms stretched to the sides so that your body forms a T shape.
  • Place your left hand flat on the ground and push yourself off. Bend your left knee for balance as you begin to roll to your right side. You should feel the stretch in your right-side pectoral muscles.
  • As your flexibility progresses, you’ll be able to stretch further for longer periods.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Seated Neck Release

Seated Neck Release

(Stretches neck)

  • Sit on the floor with your feet together, back and chest straight.
  • Lower your head so that your left ear touches your left shoulder.
  • To intensify the stretch, gently press down on your head with your left hand.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on right side

Lying Quad Stretch

Lying Quad Stretch

(Stretches quads)

  • Lie on one side.
  • Keep your bottom leg extended and bend your top knee so that your foot reaches your butt.
  • Keep your hips stable so that you don’t rock back as you pull.
  • Hold for 45 seconds to a minute.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Standing Quad Stretch

Standing Quad Stretch

(Stretches quads)

  • Stand tall with your feet together.
  • Use your left hand to pull your left foot toward your butt while keeping your knees together (put one hand on a wall for balance).
  • Squeeze your glutes to increase the stretch.
  • Hold for 45 seconds to a minute.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

Pretzel Stretch

Pretzel Stretch

(Stretches quads, glutes, obliques, hips, back)

  • Lie on your left side with your head leaning on your arm.
  • Bend your right knee and hip up toward your chest and let it drop to the floor.
  • Bend your left knee and grasp your left foot with your right hand (use a band if you can’t reach it).
  • Keep your leg and torso in a straight line as you gently press your top shoulder blade toward the floor.
  • For more of a spinal stretch, gently roll your head to look over your right shoulder.

Takeaway

Flexibility work is a great way to stay fit, although nothing beats a good cardio session. If mobility is an issue for you, you can still make the most of it by reducing the holding time of some of these exercises or try these easy chair exercises.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Affiliate Disclaimer

Please understand that in some cases we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.