Are you feeling stiffness and achy after leaving your bed early in the morning? Or you’re leading a sedentary lifestyle? Well, sedentary lifestyle promotes many dangerous diseases and it also encourages the stiffness in your joints. Though, you don’t have a single minute for doing any exercise regimen but believe me, instead of becoming a couch potato, try to be a fitness obsessor. And every exercise and fitness journey starts from the inclusion of the simple stretches in your daily life.
Surely, stretching will not ruin your precious time; in fact, it’ll boost your energy, makes you more enthusiastic and rejuvenates in a while. Still unconvinced with the effects of the stretching? Scroll down a little bit more to explore the benefits of it,
1. It increases the flexibility of the muscles
2. It maximizes the range of motion of the joints.
3. It improves the blood circulation throughout the body.
4. It maintains your correct posture
5. It aids in keeping the stress away.
6. It enhances your co-ordination and balance, preventing frequent falls as well.
Hopefully, now you’re excited to know about the simple and easy stretches that can be done on a regular basis, but wait, before moving on with the stretches, you should know the basic guidelines of doing the stretches. So, know the science behind the stretching first,
1. Don’t over-stretch; it can increase the chances of injury.
2. If you’re implementing all these stretches right after leaving a bed, implement each stretch gently.
3. The effectiveness of stretching increased when implemented after taking the hot shower.
4. Take a 3-4 deep breaths while performing each stretch.
5. Don’t exceed each stretch more than 20-30 seconds especially for beginners.
6. If you’ve any muscular injury about a few days back then don’t apply the stretches. Let it heal first.
So, here are the stretching exercises that will surely drive your day on a right direction.
1. Calf stretch
This stretch will also protect the Achilles tendon, the thick band of fibrous connective tissues above your heels. All you need to do is to stand straight in front of the wall; your face should be towards the wall. Place your hands on the wall with arms-width-apart, and your hands should be at chest levels. Now, place right leg behind the left leg with a few inches away and keep your foot flat on the ground.
Start leaning gradually into the wall along with bending your left knee. Make sure that your right knee is not at all while leaning into the wall. You’ll surely feel the deep stretch in your right leg. And by the meantime, Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out. It would be great if you perform it 3-4 times.
2. Hams stretch
Hamstring is covering the large muscle area of the thigh muscles at the back. It also makes your lower back stronger, thus, reducing low back pain. So, stand straight with hips-foot-slightly-apart. Keep your knees straight, don’t bend them. While bending your upper body forward, try to touch your toes with the fingers. Close your eyes and inhale and exhale around 3-4 times. Repeat the same procedure for about 2-3 times more.
3. Quad’s stretch
The front part of thighs is covered by the 4 muscular bands, collectively called as Quadriceps. It helps in extending your knees. The stretch of the quads will also challenge your balance as well. After all, in this stretch, you’re going to stand on one leg but with support.
So, let’s begin by standing straight and keep your hip-feet-slightly-apart. Hold any chair or wall nearby you to get the optimal support. Relax your left knee and then bend your right knee and hold your ankle with the other hand. Stretch it and take a deep breath as well for about 3-4 times. Make sure that you’re feeling the stretch. Apply the same procedure on the left leg too. Repeat this stretch on each leg around 2-3 times more.
4. Hip stretch
This stretch will target the inner and outer muscles around the hip. Lift your right leg with bent knees either onto the bed or couch but make sure that the height of the couch will be at your pelvis level. Place your hands on the bed or couch in such a way that you’re making the square with your bent knee and arms.
Lean towards the bed little more to get the feel of the stretch. Close your eyes and then start deep breathing simultaneously. Repeat this stretch for about 2-3 times and then switch to the other leg.
5. Spine stretch twisted
Your spinal muscles are also flexed along with other major muscle groups. Most commonly, your back is achy and stiff while waking up in the morning. It happens due to the increased strain and the decreased flexibility of the spinal muscles. So, this stretch should be included in your daily routine.
Sit comfortably on a mat or edge of a bed with your knees bent at 90 degrees and legs straight. Rotate your waist to the left side by placing right hand on the left knee and left hand behind you. Close your eyes and start deep breathing. Hold this position until you exhale the air and then repeat it 2-3 times again. Apply the same procedure for stretching the right side as well.
6. Side stretch
Only twist stretch is not important, your spine can also side bend as well besides with the twist, so the muscles that are helping in side bending should also be stretched. Your oblique and shoulder muscles will be targeted through this stretch.
Stand straight with hip-feet-slightly apart. Keep your knees straight. Flex your elbows and keep your arms at your sides. Then bend to the left side and bring your right hand overhead. Bend as much as you can and then close your eyes and start deep breathing. Let the positive vibes of the deep breathing enter in your brain and then release the stretch after exhaling out the air. Repeat the stretch for 2-3 times and apply same procedure for stretching on the other side too.
7. Behind the back stretch
Your deltoid, triceps, biceps, and rhomboids will all be targeted, producing stretch in your shoulders as well as in your chest. While performing this stretch, keep your thoracic spine straight and neck in neutral position.
Twist one arm over your head and other down at your back. Handle your fingertips firmly and hold for 30 seconds, then switch and do the other side. If you’re unable to hold the fingertips then try to touch them while maintaining this position. Repeat the stretch for about 2-3 times and then release. Remember, don’t go beyond your tolerance limit of stretch, and if the pain is started then leave the stretch right away.
8. Fingers stretch
Your fingers are responsible for the fine movements like sewing, writing etc and the small but powerful muscles of the fingers should be stretched as well. A simple stretch for this is that close your fist and builds pressure and then hold for 20-30 seconds. Then open it along with exhaling the air. Repeat the same procedure on your other hand’s fingers too.
9. Chest stretch
Your rib cage is covered with the small muscles and they play an important role in assisting the breathing pattern normally. Through this stretch, the ventilation process will also be enhanced.
Stand upright and extend your arms out to the sides. Hold the corner of the wall with the extended left arm and slightly bend your left knee as well. Turn your entire body to the right side and stretch. The pivot of your body will be your hip joint, you’re moving in correspondence to it. Do Deep breathing with each stretch and then switch to the other side.
10. Neck Rotation Stretch
When the neck joints become locked super-tightly, you can’t even rotate, side bend and move your chin up and down. So, all these movements are occurring at a very fine pace in your daily routine with the help of your mobile cervical spine. When you fall asleep in a wrong posture, the stiffness in your neck becomes more rapidly than the entire spine. So, your neck should be moved and hold in different directions to break the stiffness.
Sit straight and keep your arms by your sides. Firstly, move your chin up, look at the ceiling and fix your gaze. Then, move your chin down and feel the stretch again. Thereafter, touch your right ear to the right shoulder by bending to the right side and repeat the same method to the left side. After that, look at your left side first and rotate your neck to the left side of the optimal level and then on the right side. Don’t stop your breathing, inhale and exhale continuously. So, repeat each stretch 2-3 times.
However, a simple stretch workout will not take your more than 8 minutes. If you can stick to the stretching plan, it means you have a potential to bind with any moderate-impact-activity. So, try to follow these stretches on a regular basis.