Easy Stretches For A Flexible BodySeptember 18 2017
Stretching is an easy way to enhance your flexibility and motion.
As our bodies age, our muscles tighten and there’s an increased chance of injury and stress on the body and mind. Stretching isn’t just used to warm up and down during exercise. Instead, make stretching a part of your day as it gets you into the habit of keeping yourself flexible, fluid, and injury-free.
Below are five easy stretches to try now:
CEILING AND TOE TOUCH
Sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs extended in front. Raise your arms in front of you with your palms facing down. Stretch your sides by raising one arm at a time and reaching for the ceiling for 10 seconds. Once you have done both sides, extend both arms in front of you. While keeping your back straight, lean forward from your waist until you reach your toes. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat.
A perfect stretch for the inner thighs and groin, the butterfly stretch can be done while you watch TV. Sitting up straight, press your feet together so your knees point outwards with your hands holding your ankles. Activate your core muscles and lean forward. Hold for 20 seconds. You’ll feel the stretch in your inner thighs and hips.
Similar to the yoga pose, “Cobra”, the Swan is a Pilates exercise that strengthens your back and helps to expand your chest muscles. You can do this one first thing out of bed to help eliminate stiffness after sleeping. Lie facing down with your hands placed in front of your shoulders. Your fingers should face ahead of you and your legs should be kept together. Press yourself up, lifting your tummy off the floor and you will feel the stretch in your lower back. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat until you begin to feel your back muscles loosen. If you keep your pelvis on the floor and engage your core, your body will begin to strengthen every time you do this.
A simple stretch with a big impact, the triceps stretch will improve blood flow and increase flexibility in your neck and shoulders — areas that tend to hold the most tension. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and raise your arms over your head. Bend one arm so that your palm touches your upper back and your elbow is in the air. Use your opposite arm to gently pull your elbow down, feeling the stretch in your back. Hold for 30 seconds and swap arms to repeat.
This is a really gentle stretch that you can do while sitting on the train or even at your desk. Sit with your feet flat on the ground and your back straight. With one arm rested at your side, take your other arm and place it on the top of your head, slowly tilting it to your side. Applying light pressure will increase the stretch and you will feel it move to your collarbone. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side of your neck.