Now you may know the importance of stretching, but not everyone knows how to start off doing it. In fact, many people carry around the common misconception that flexibility is an area that doesn’t need much attention. This could not be any more wrong as most people lose their flexibility after growing into adulthood. Without further ado, here is a short beginner’s guide to stretching:
Upper Body Stretches
Starting with the shoulders, you want to place your hands straight up and on something that is overhead. Attempt to push through with your chest and head while your arms stay behind. Do this for 60 seconds and move on.
Next, you want to grip one hand behind your back while the other hand reaches to grasp that hand’s fingertips. Alternate the sides and hold each side for 60 seconds.
Finally, for the pectoral stretch, you’ll need a wall or a surface that provides a resistance. Next, you will want to bend your elbow at a 70-degree angle while keeping your upper arm parallel to the floor, and then place your forearm against the wall. Lean forward and slightly away from your arm and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat for the other arm.
Lower Body Stretches
Now that we’re done talking about upper body stretches, it’s time to move on to the lower body. First, let’s talk about the kneeling lunge. You start by going into a lunging position and kneeling with your back leg while squeezing your glutes. Make sure you are pressing your pelvis forward and keeping your torso vertically aligned. You should feel a stretch in your rear leg. Hold this position for 60 seconds.
Next, you want to sit on the ground and bring both your feet together in front of you. The bottoms of your feet should be touching each other as you pull them closer towards you ever so slightly. Exert some pressure to keep your knees on the ground as you lean forward slightly. Do this for two sets of 30 seconds.
Lastly, we shall stretch the quadriceps. Standing on one foot, balance yourself and hold the other foot behind you. Use your hand to hold the ankle of the stretching leg and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat twice for each leg.
That’s about it! This simple stretching routine can be adopted daily, once in the morning and another at night to get you started on some stretching basics. Once you’re able to comfortably stretch at ease, you can start learning more advanced mobility exercises and stretches to further your flexibility.