Stretching is essential to staying healthy and well, yet far too often, it falls to the wayside in your daily routines. Stretching increases flexibility, reduces muscular tension, and can even help alleviate back pain, but with so many different stretches available, it’s hard to find which ones are right for you. This article will discuss why stretching matters, the types of stretching and outline some effective stretches you should do every day to see real results. So read on to learn how incorporating a few short sessions of intentional stretching into your everyday routine will get you one step closer to achieving long-term health and wellness!
The Importance Of Stretching
Many choose not to stretch before or after exercising because they don’t see its importance. However, stretching is very important and beneficial to your overall health; you should do it daily. When you stretch, you are lengthening your muscles and increasing your range of motion.
Everyone lives very busy lives, and often you don’t take the time to just stop and stretch. But if you make it a priority, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, you will see a difference in your overall health and wellness. This can help prevent injuries, improve your posture, and decrease stress.
Effective Stretches You Should Do Every Day
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Stretching can be a beneficial aspect of any workout routine. One important stretch to know is the standing hamstring stretch. This stretching movement involves starting with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and bending down from your hips to touch your toes or wherever you can reach, feeling a bit of tension in the back of your legs and glutes.
Your back should remain straight, and focus on keeping your chest out and shoulders back for the best results. By consistently including the standing hamstring stretch in your workouts, you’ll help maintain flexibility and experience benefits such as improved balance, mobility, posture, and muscle recruitment throughout other exercises.
Neck rolls are a great way to stretch and relax your neck muscles. Not only do they feel amazing, but they can also provide relief from tension headaches and jaw tightness. Regular practice of neck rolls can help improve posture and spinal alignment, which in turn helps with improved physical health and emotional balance.
When practicing this stretch, take slow deep breaths and concentrate on the sensations in your neck as you move slowly from side to side. This will create an ultimate feeling of relaxation that will leave your neck feeling refreshed and revitalized.
Seated Spinal Twist
The seated spinal twist is an effective yoga pose that helps to ease tension, improve mobility in the spine and release stress. This pose requires you to sit upright on the ground with your legs crossed and your elbows tucked gently against your back for support. By gently twisting from side to side, you’ll be able to stretch and open up the muscles along your spine.
And as a nice bonus, this pose will help relieve lower back pain and stiffness by increasing circulation throughout the entire torso. Seated spinal twists can be mastered through regular practice, and when done correctly, the rewards can be immense, providing relief from physical and emotional tension throughout the entire body!
Cat-Cow Pose is an incredibly popular yoga sequence known for enhancing flexibility and reducing back pain. The pose itself involves movements between two poses, the Cat Pose and the Cow Pose. These poses are often done while simultaneously breathing deeply and evenly, with intention and focus held throughout. As you transition from Cat to Cow and back again, your spine slowly rolls over one vertebra at a time to lengthen the spine, stretching it across its natural curvatures.
Additionally, releasing into both positions helps to open tight areas such as the chest, hips, and neck and strengthen important core muscles located along the torso of your body. Cat-Cow Pose can also be used as a great warm-up in any fitness routine or practice for anyone who wants to release the tension on a deeper level.
Side lunges are a great exercise to help you build strength and flexibility in your thighs, glutes, and hips. Not only do side lunges target the muscles in these areas, but they also challenge your balance and coordination. Taking a step sideways can do wonders for your lower body.
Make sure you use good form when doing side lunges: keep your standing leg slightly bent, and make sure your knee doesn’t go past your toes when you lunge. If side lunges become too easy with time, change up the variation by going static or holding weights – the possibilities are endless! Plus, it’s low impact with no jumping or running, so it takes only minutes out of your day.
Stretching the triceps can be a great way to counterbalance all the push training you do for your arms, like benching and shoulder pressing. The stretch helps to improve flexibility in the muscle group as it lengthens it and allows more range of motion when strengthening other muscle groups in the arm. Not to even mention how great it feels! While there are many stretches to try, a bent elbow triceps stretch can be very effective at targeting the area and achieving results relatively quickly.
All you have to do is extend your arm overhead, bend your elbow so that your fingertips are touching the center of your upper back, and use your other hand on top of your elbow to pull gently into further extension until you feel a stretch along the back of your upper arm. If done regularly, this triceps stretching exercise provides amazing relief from stress while simultaneously increasing strength and mobility!
Standing Quad Stretch
The standing quad stretch is an effective way to loosen your quads, which can be especially beneficial after a long run or workout. To do the stretch, start standing while slightly bending your knee and reaching back toward your heel with your hand. After you’ve gotten ahold of the ankle, push your hips forward into the stretch. You may also use a wall for leverage or on each side for extra support if needed.
Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds and release before repeating with the other leg. The benefit of this stretching type is its ability to target specific muscles without placing too much extra stress on surrounding joints, as with traditional stretches. Not only will this help keep your quads flexible, but it can also support trunk strength and increase mobility throughout the lower body, making it ideal for athletes and active people!
Start Doing These Stretches Everyday!
Stretching is essential to any fitness routine and should be incorporated into your daily schedule. Give these stretches a try and experience the benefits for yourself! With just a few minutes of stretching every day, you’ll be amazed at how much better your body will feel.