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Five Simple Stretching Exercises to Improve Total Body Flexibility

Date: 03/03/21

woman stretching downward dog yoga position

It can be easy to overlook the advantages of being flexible, but staying limber provides several physical and mental health benefits like increased range of motion, improved balance and posture, and decreased levels of stress. These movements may also help fight the feeling of discomfort when you’ve been sitting in one place for too long. To help keep you nimble and spry, we have put together five simple stretching exercises to help improve flexibility, increase blood circulation, and reduce tension in your body.

1.    Glute Bridges. This versatile, multi-joint stretching exercise is great for developing lower body and core strength, along with loosening tight hip flexors. To perform, lie down on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Keep your arms at your sides with palms facing the ceiling. Slowly lift hips off the ground until you form a straight line with your knees, hips, and shoulders. Squeeze your glutes as you push into the ground from your heels. To enjoy benefits like improved hip mobility and a stronger lower back, perform 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

2.    Quad Stretches. This tension-reducing stretch helps relieve stress in the lower back, hips, and quads. First, stand on your right leg. Then, bend your knee and grab your left foot using your left hand behind you and pull toward the ceiling slowly. Push your hips forward and keep your chest high. Next, push your elevated leg into your hand as if you’re trying to kick toward the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds and switch legs. To maximize this stretch, perform 3 to 5 sets per leg.

3.    Tricep Pulls. This simple stretch is great to help reduce tension and increase mobility in your arms. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your right arm over your head and bend elbow, bringing your hand down your back. Next, grab your right elbow with your left hand and pull slowly down and toward the left. Hold for 10 to12 seconds and switch arms. Perform 2 to 3 sets per arm.

4.    Shoulder Rolls. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and let your arms hang down at the sides of your body. Breathe in, slowly lift shoulders toward your ears, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Exhale and drop your shoulders down. To reap the benefits of this movement like reduced tension, improved posture, and increased mobility perform 2 sets of 10 to12 repetitions.

5.    Side Stretches. This movement helps lengthen your hips and obliques. To perform, stand with your feet hip-width apart and lift one arm overhead with your palm facing inward. Reach until you feel a slight pull and bend toward the opposite side of your raised arm. Hold for 8 to10 seconds and switch sides. Perform 3 to 5 sets per side.

Don’t forget to warm your body up before beginning the exercises and to spend a few minutes stretching after you’re finished to prevent muscle soreness.

Always consult a physician or healthcare provider before starting this or any other exercise program. The information provided is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. In the case of a medical emergency, contact your healthcare provider or call 911.

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Please always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Programs and services are subject to change. Managed Health Network, LLC (MHN) is a subsidiary of Health Net, LLC. The MHN companies include Managed Health Network and MHN Services, LLC. Health Net and Managed Health Network are registered service marks of Health Net, LLC or its affiliates. All rights reserved.