Easy Stretching Exercises

1. Downward Dog

The Downward Dog is a standing yoga pose used to build strength in the entire body. It stretches out your shoulders, arches, hamstrings, hands, calves, and spine, giving you a full-body workout. It provides relief from headaches, insomnia, and fatigue. Since it is a mild inversion stretch, blood flows to your brain and calms the nervous system, improves memory, and relieves stress.

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, vertigo, or are in the final term of pregnancy, do not do the Downward Dog exercise. If you have high BP or an injury on your back, shoulders, or arms, this stretch can aggravate pain.

How To Do It
  1. Go down on your hands and knees, making sure your wrists are in line with your shoulders, and your palms are facing down. Keep your knees in line with your hips.
  2. Slowly lift your knees off the ground, pushing your pelvis up. Breathe evenly as you do this. Keep your knees straight.
  3. Stretch your arms out, making sure your hands are firmly on the ground. Don’t bend your elbows. Your body is now in an inverted ‘V’ shape.
  4. Push against the ground, keeping your hands and feet in place throughout.
  5. Hold this pose for around 16-20 seconds.
  6. Exhale as you bend your elbows and knees back on the ground.
Sets And Reps 

Beginner:

1 set of 4 reps

Advanced:

2 sets of 10 reps

2. Side Bends

How To Do It
  1. Stand with your feet aligned with your hips. Keep your arms stretched out to the sides.
  2. As you exhale, lift your right hand over your head, bringing it to the left side. As you do this, bend your waist towards the left as well. Slide your left hand down to reach the left leg.
  3. Hold the pose for about 5 seconds.
  4. Inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat the same on the other side.
  5. Do 15 reps of this stretch on both sides, making it a total of 30 reps.
  6. You can also sit and try out these side bends.
Sets And Reps 

Beginner:

1 set of 5 reps each

 Advanced:

2 sets of 15 reps each

3. Seated Spinal Twist

The seated spinal twist increases spinal flexibility by relaxing the back muscles. This exercise improves digestion and relieves backache, sciatica, and menstrual discomfort. It also improves the blood flow to your organs.

Do not try this exercise if you have knee or lower back problems.

How To Do It
  1. Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you and keep your back straight.
  2. Slide your right leg towards you, bending it at the knee. Lift it and place it over the other side of your left leg.
  3. Twist your waist towards the right side, with your head facing behind.
  4. Stretch your left hand over the right knee, with your elbow bent and hand pointing upward.
  5. Keep your right hand firmly on the ground behind your back.
Sets And Reps 

Beginner:

1 set of 5 reps on each side 

Advanced:

3 sets of 5 reps on each side

4. Extended Child’s Pose

The Extended Child’s Pose stretches the upper body, focusing on your back and shoulders. Keeping your knees apart stretches the internal organs, while keeping them together gives the torso support and relieves back aches.

How To Do It
  1. Sit down with your knees bent under you.
  2. Bend forward, stretching your arms out to touch the ground with your palms.
  3. Keep your arms straight and your back stretched.
  4. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds before returning to the starting position.
Sets And Reps

Beginner:

1 set of 5 reps

Advanced:

3 sets of 5 reps

5. Arm Stretch

This exercise stretches out your arms, elbows, and fingers.

 How To Do It
  1. Stretch out your right arm and bend your hand so that your palm faces outwards and your fingers point up.
  2. Hold your right hand with your left hand.
  3. Bend your right hand back with your left hand and hold the pose for 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Do this for 15 reps for each hand.
Sets And Reps

Beginner:

2 sets of 5 reps on each side.

Advanced:

3 sets of 12 reps on each side.

6. The cross-body shoulder stretch

The cross-body shoulder stretch helps extend the back of the shoulder. To do this stretch:

 How To Do It
  • 1. Stand with the feet hip-width apart.
  • 2. Stretch the right arm out straight.
  • 3. Bring the right arm across the body, so that the hand points to the floor on the other side of the left leg.
  • 4. Bend the left arm at the elbow.
  • 5. Hook the left forearm under the right arm, supporting the right arm above the elbow.
  • 6. Use the left forearm to pull the right arm further in and across the body, stretching the back of the right shoulder.
  • 7. Hold this for 20 seconds, then repeat the stretch on the other side.
  •  
  • Sets And Reps 

    Beginner:

    1 set of 5 reps on each side 

    Advanced:

    3 sets of 5 reps on each side

7. The Hamstring Stretch

The exercise stretches your hamstrings so that when you workout or dance, you can move without feeling sore or fatigued.

How To Do It
  1. Stand straight.
  2. Bend your upper body and try to touch your toes with your fingers if you can not do it just easy to touch your knees and move down more as much as you can.
  3. Make sure you don’t bend your knees.
  4. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat this 10 times.
Sets And Reps

Beginner:

1 set of 3 reps. Hold for 15 seconds.

Advanced:

3 sets of 10 reps. Hold for 30 seconds.

When To Avoid Stretching

  • If you have any muscle strain, fractured bone, or joint sprain, stretching your muscles and ligaments can aggravate your pain and cause damage to your body.
  • If you have acute body pains or sharp pains in any part of your body, check with a physical therapist before you stretch. Stretching the muscles around the affected area might cause permanent damage.
  • If you are in the final term of your pregnancy, check with your physical therapist to find out what kind of stretching exercises you can do safely. Over-stretching in the late stages of pregnancy can lead to permanent damage.

There you have it – stretching and its benefits. Set the tone for your day by stretching in the morning. You will definitely see an improvement in your body’s overall performance. Stretch and live life to the fullest! And comment below to let us know which stretching exercises made the most difference to your body.

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