Best Full Body Stretching Exercises
While stretching exercises may be one of the most overlooked parts of workout routines, and found the most boring, stretching exercises are actually one of the most important.
Stretching exercises have a lot of effects on the long-term and short-term efficiency of a workout routine.
If you've been ignoring it, however, have no worries. In this article, we're gonna tell you all there is about stretching exercises, starting from why they're so essential and recommending you the best stretching exercises out there with explanations on how to perform them.
By the time you finish this article, you wouldn't be able to wait before doing some stretching exercises!
Why is Stretching Important?
The importance of stretching exercises for the body is undisputed. But not everyone knows exactly why stretching exercises are so crucial.
Here we have the reasons for you.
Better Flexibility and Lesser Risk of Injury
Research has shown that stretching significantly affects the body's overall flexibility. That increases the range of motions of your joints.
And most important, it decreases the risk of injury during workouts or any other physical activity.
Increase Muscle Blood Flow
Another great benefit of stretching exercises is that they have a good effect on your blood flow and pressure.
When you do stretching exercises, the blood vessels around the muscles involved widen and allow more blood to pass through.
This allows the heart to pump more body and the muscles to receive more oxygen.
Improve Ability to Do Daily Activities
The best stretching exercises don't just affect your ability to work out better, but also to go about all your daily activities better.
Anything that requires physical motion becomes easier and smoother if you stretch regularly.
When Should You Stretch?
While stretching in the morning may have more benefits than during the day or at night, because it relieves your body from any tension built during sleep, it still doesn't make that big of a difference.
The best time to stretch is judged by workouts and warming up. A good notion is to stretch after warm-up.
But an even better option is to stretch after your whole workout routine when your muscles are warm and a bit flexible from all the movements.
Now is the time for the best stretching exercises out there, especially for beginners.
The stretching exercises in this list, on the whole, are full-body exercises, where each exercise affects different group muscles.
That's why you can very well do with the ones on this list without needing any others!
Walking lunge stretches are great for the core, leg muscles, and hips.
You alternate between your left and right leg.
You start with your feet shoulder-width apart with a straight spine. Then you step forward with your right leg, bending the right knee with the weight on your heel and left foot backward, enough to parallel the ground. And pausing for a moment.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
This hamstring stretch targets the hamstring muscles in your lower body, located at the back of the thigh and responsible for bending or flexing the knees. It also targets your hip.
To do this stretch, start in a standing position and cross your right foot in front of your left foot.
Then, keep both feet flat on the floor and your knees straight. Then start lowering your head towards your right knee, without moving the knee and only bending at the waist.
And keep this position from 15 to 30 seconds, Then alternate between your legs and repeat.
Quad stretch targets your quadriceps muscle which runs along the front of your thigh.
To do it, stand nearby a wall or another structure you can support yourself on. Then keep your knees close together and your legs straight.
Then take hold of your right ankle and pull your heel back and up.
Remain in position for around 15 to 30 seconds. Then repeat and switch legs.
Chest and Shoulder Stretch
This upper body stretching exercise targets the chest and shoulder blades' muscle tension. Regularly performing it helps your posture.
For this stretch, you can either sit straight or stand straight. Either way, with a straight spine and arms straight, clasp your hands together behind your back.
Then hold up your hands as high as possible without reaching pain or intense discomfort.
Hold it like that from 15 to 30 seconds. Then repeat a few times.
Side Lung Stretch
Side lunge stretching is one of the best stretching exercises because it targets a large group of muscles in your lower body.
To do it, stand upright. With your feet hip-width apart and facing forward, and your knees bent slightly. Then open your legs be double the width of your shoulders.
Keep a straight back, with using your hands on your hips to support the straightness of your spine.
Then don't lunge forward, instead, take your body weight to your right leg while your left knee is bent.
Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds, Then repeat, alternating your left leg with your right leg.
This static stretching calf stretch exercise targets your calf muscles.
Hold on to a wall or a chair, and keep your left leg straight back without bending the left knee.
Then bend your elbows and bend your right knee slightly. And move your hips forward.
Hold that position from 15 to 30 seconds. Then alternate between your right leg and left leg. And repeat.
This is also one of the best stretching exercises as it targets the neck, one of the muscles that hold tension and cause pain.
It's a dynamic stretching exercise where you start with your spine and head straight.
Then, tilt your head to the right side and start rolling it back to the left.
Then bring your head back up and repeat in the opposite direction from left to right.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Hip flexors are one of the best stretching exercises. They are great flexibility exercises especially if you often feel strain in that area and have tight hips.
The starting position is kneeling on the floor. Then bring your right leg in front of you and leave your left leg parallel to the floor.
Put your hands on your hips and keep your back straight. Then shift your weight forward as much as comfortable while feeling a stretch through the front of your thigh.
Hold for a few moments, then repeat and alternate between your legs.
This knee-to-chest exercise is one of the best stretching exercises for your lower back and hip flexors.
For a starting position, lay on the floor or another firm surface, with the back of both your heels flat on the floor.
Then gently pull one leg up toward your chest without moving your chest forward. Bring it as close to your chest as it's comfortable. It's better to keep your other leg straight on the floor, but bending it a little is fine.
Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds. Then alternate between the legs and repeat.
This stretching exercise opens the shoulder blades and helps the neck and collar bones. It's generally one of the best static stretching exercises for the upper body.
Lie face down on a firm surface. Keep your legs extended with your feet hip-width apart.
Press your palms directly underneath your shoulder blades and slowly bring your upper body up.
Then, without relying too much on your hands, use your lower back muscles to lift as high as you could.
Remain in that position for around 15 seconds.
This is one of the best dynamic stretching exercises for your inner thighs and hips.
For a starting position, come on all fours, facing slightly sideways.
Keep your feet apart and in line with your hips. Then lower your upper body to your palms and lie down on your belly. Then begin rocking forward and backward with your knees slightly bent.
Then stop. And repeat.
Side Bend Stretch
This is another great dynamic stretching exercise.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Then raise your right arm extended over your head and bend your upper body to the left. Then keep it facing ahead.
Hold that position from 15 to 30 seconds. Then switch sides and repeat.
Upper Back Stretch
For this static stretching exercise, extend your arms out in front of the body. And clasp your hands one on top of the other.
Then reach out, with your head bent forward.
Keep that position from 15 to 30 seconds. Then repeat.
For this one, begin with sitting on the floor with the soles of your feet pressing into each other.
Then, while keeping your spine straight and your shoulders relaxed, root down into your legs.
Then hold this position from 60 to 120 seconds. And repeat.
Those static stretches and dynamic stretching exercises target the entire body. Performing them after warm-ups or workouts will increase the flexibility of your body and make you stronger for strength training. However, if you have any physical problems, make sure to consult with your physical therapist first.
Overall, those flexibility exercises help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is what we're all about at Luxeladyfit! All we care about is helping you keep a healthy lifestyle easily and comfortably. To do this, we provide you with all this crucial information, and also have worldwide shipping of all our top-notch fitness clothes that will put you in the exact right mood to be excited about your healthy lifestyle.
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