Stretching is as important as weight training to maximize the benefits of working out at the gym. The ability to bend and move freely is crucial for getting the most out of your workout time. That’s how you keep your joints strong, flexible, and healthy.
Even though it may feel like a lot of work to stretch every day, you can reduce the effort by focusing on the specific regions of your body that tend to grow stiff.
Here are 12 easy and simple stretches that will refresh your body and energize you.
Straight-Arm Wall Stretch
Position yourself sideways next to a wall. Raise your hand to touch the wall. To avoid hitting your face, raise your arm perpendicular to your body and slightly over your shoulder. The next step is to begin turning your chest in the opposite direction that your arm is moving. Muscles in your chest will tighten and pull. Hold the stretch on this side for 20-30 seconds before switching to the other side and doing the same thing.
Place your hands on your hips and stand with your feet hip-width apart in front of a table. Place your arms overhead on the table in front of you, bend forward from the waist, and maintain a completely flat stretched back position.
The stretching should be done with short breaks in which the person can raise their head and bend their knees. Then, resume the stretching position. You can hold 2–4 stretch sets for 15–30 seconds each.
To get started, find a comfortable position on an exercise mat and lie down. You can also perform simple stretches like these, standing straight with your back against a wall. Wrap a towel around your head like a hood and grasp the ends. Get your shoulders braced against the wall or the mat, and begin bringing the towel forward to pull your neck forward.
First, get on the floor in a T position with your arms and palms facing down. To perform this, you should cross your left leg over your right and put your right knee on your left shin. Holding this pose for 6-10 breaths will provide you with the full benefit of the stretch. Perform the same movement on the opposite side as well.
Seated Hip Stretch
This can be done in either a seated or standing position. You should rest your right ankle on your left knee with your back straight. Then, lean forward from the waist up until your back is straight. The right hip and glute will experience a nice stretch. If you want more of a challenge, drive your right knee down. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then switch legs.
To perform simple stretches like this, twist your hips outward as you sit on the floor with one leg bent before you. The leg on the outward must be at a right angle to the rest of the body. The front leg should be bent right to the body, with the shin and ankle contacting the floor. Be sure to maintain a neutral spine as you stretch. Hold the stretch in position for about 60 seconds, and then switch legs and do it again.
While lying flat on your stomach, put your arms, one on top of the other, on your chest and lift your shoulders off the ground. Relax your head by resting it on the blanket. Don’t overextend your fingers to the sides. Don’t open your eyes until you’ve taken 8 full, deep breaths. After taking a little rest, perform the exercise again, but this time with the lower arm on top.
Stand or sit up straight in a chair. Raise your hands to your shoulders and touch them. Put some space between your elbows and your body. Maintaining this stance, bring your elbows in front of you until they touch each other. Bring the elbows back out and repeat this motion several times throughout the day.
Corner Pec Stretch
All you need to do to perform simple stretches like these is a spacious corner at home. Facing the corner, raise your arms and elbows until they’re perpendicular to your torso, and then step forward with one foot. Applying pressure with your arms, you should feel your chest opening up. Maintain this position for 30 seconds and then repeat it several times.
Tabletop Hip Circles
Position yourself on a tabletop on a yoga mat or other cushioned surface. To begin, bring each leg behind you, then to the side, and finally back to the starting position. You can even do it backward by angling it to one side and bringing it to the rear.
Figure 4 Stretch
First, get on your back and place your legs comfortably bending, hip-width apart. Pick one leg and put it across your other knee. Next, grab the back of the other knee of the leg still on the ground, and pull it toward you while keeping your neck and head relaxed. Hold this position for a few minutes before switching sides and doing the same thing again.
Thread The Needle
Assume the tabletop position and extend your right arm behind your back and down to the floor. After that, cross your other arm under your chest. Keep bringing your shoulder toward the ground until you reach a comfortable resting position. Ensure your head is down and your left hand is extended so your fingers touch the floor. Hold this position until you feel a good stretch, then switch sides.
You can customize these simple stretches to suit your need.