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5 Stretching exercises to do on your own
Wed 04 12 2019

Stretching helps you achieve a flexible body. In fact, flexibility gives your body the ability to perform better in all kinds of physical activities. Therefore stretching is a very important step in your workout plan or in your daily life.

What are the benefits of stretching?

Other than increasing your flexibility, stretching has a lot of other benefits. It increases your range of motions giving your joints the ability to move better, it improves your performance in physical activities and sports, it increases blood flow to your muscles making them healthier and helps you improve your posture. These are not the only benefits of stretching, but they might motivate you to start doing some stretching activities.

So what are some stretching exercises that you can do on your own?

1. Cross arm stretch

This stretch technique is very useful for the shoulder and upper back. This position targets your upper body and gives it the needed flexibility.

To do this stretch follow these steps:

  1. Bring your left arm crossways your chest
  2. Hold your left elbow with your right hand and gently pull the left arm towards your body.
  3. Stay in this position for 15 seconds.
  4. Switch arms and repeat the above steps.

You can do this exercise sitting or standing, however, for better results and effects for your posture, it is recommended that you use a chair.

2. Stretches for the neck

Stretches like this one help to preserve the mobility of your neck, and are useful for posture and tasks such as driving.

This exercise consists of just two steps; all you have to do is slowly bringing your chin up then down towards your chest. Make sure that you push it as far as you can until you feel your neck and back stretching. Repeat the steps 5 times.

You can use your hand to add a little more stretch to the task by lightly pulling your head in the direction of the stretch.

3. Stretches for the ankle

The mobility of the ankle is vital for strengthening your legs and enhancing their balance.

Sit on a chair and do the following steps:

  1. Flex your left foot, directing your toes up and towards your face.
  2. Afterward, point the same foot down and away from your face.
  3. Do the two movements for 10 times for the same foot.
  4. Switch feet and repeat steps 1 and 2 with the opposite foot.

You can also use an exercise band. Place the band under your foot and hold it by the two ends.  Make sure that you maintain tension in the band as you accomplish the stretch.

4. Stretches for the shoulder

It is important to have shoulder mobility for your daily activities, such as bringing something from a high shelf or getting dressed.

One good stretch for your shoulder consists of the following steps:

  1. Move your shoulders forward in a controlled and slow circular gesture.
  2. Repeat this 10 times.
  3. Move your shoulders backward in a slow, controlled circular motion.
  4. Repeat this 10 times.

5. Stretches for the hamstrings

Hamstrings stretches are necessary to prevent injuries and reduce pain in the lower back.

Do the following:

  1. Sit as tall as you can in a chair, put your legs out in front of you, make sure your knees are straight and apart and that your feet are flexed.
  2. Inhale, and when you exhale, slowly approach your fingers to your toes.
  3. Hold this stretch for 15 seconds.
  4. Then, inhale slowly and go back to the starting position.

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