If you want to reduce tightness in the body, try stretching exercises for flexibility. It might not be an exciting part of your workout session, but women must maintain their structure.
Look at an athlete, and you will see how they perform stretching exercises before running g on the track to keep their muscles healthy. Even when you are not an athlete, add some simple full body stretching exercises to your daily routine. It helps you avoid injuries, slow down age-related movement issues, and improve blood circulation.
Read this blog to learn more about flexibility exercises and why stretching is essential!
Why are Stretching Exercises Necessary?
Stretching has numerous benefits when practiced regularly and with care. Let us read some of the notable advantages of stretching excercises.
- Reduces your risk of joint and muscle injuries
- Improves performance by reducing joint restrictions
- Improves blood circulation
- Increases your range of motion
- Relieves body pain due to uneven posture
- Promotes relaxation in the body
When planning for full body stretching exercises, add one stretch for each muscle group. Find out the stiff muscles and perform flexibility exercises for such muscle groups. Hold the stretch for extended periods and repeat them more than once. Women perform most stretching exercises for flexibility.
What are the Common types of Stretches?
There are mainly two common types of stretches.
1. Dynamic Stretches
It involves the active moving of your joint or muscle groups through a full range of motion. Dynamic stretching keeps your muscles warmed up and makes you ready for exercise. For example, arm circles and leg swings. You can always opt for dynamic stretching exercises for flexibility in your warm-up routine that prepares muscles for upcoming workouts.
2. Static Stretches
It involves stretching your muscles and joints for at least 15 seconds without moving. Static stretches keep your muscles loose, especially after exercise.
Static stretches are best after your workout routine to reduce muscle soreness due to strenuous exercises. Furthermore, it activates your parasympathetic nervous system, improves your digestive functions, promotes relaxation and de-stress, reduces stiffness, and improves blood flow to your muscles.
Best Stretching Exercises for Flexibility
Here is a list of a few best full body stretching exercises that anyone can do at home.
1. Cobra Stretch
It is one of the beginner's flexibility exercises.
Lie on your stomach, place your hands flat under your shoulders, elbows by your sides, and gently raise your chest and head. Keep your hips and groin on the bed and slowly lift your tummy off the bed if comfortable. Relax your head and shoulder, hold the posture for 10-15 seconds, and gently lower your back. Take rest and repeat.
This stretching exercise for flexibility work perfectly with your warm-up routine for better muscle movement. Lie flat on your back, bring your left knee to the chest, and hold the position with your arms for 10 seconds. Now, switch your knee and repeat the same posture. Repeat the posture on your other side. You can bend both knees at a time if you are comfortable.
3. Standing Hamstring Stretch
Standing Hamstring stretch focuses on stretching your neck, back, glutes, hamstring, and calves. Stand straight, hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms by your side. Now, bend towards your toe, lowering your head, keeping your head, neck, and shoulder relaxed, and exhale. Now, wrap your arms around the legs and hold the position for 20 seconds or as much as possible. Next, bend your knees, and get back to your position while inhaling air. Repeat this 10-20 times. Stretching exercises for flexibility must not be overdone, or they can pain your muscles and joints.
4. Lunge with Spinal Twist
It stretches your hip flexors, quads, and back. Start exercising while taking deep breaths to allow proper air circulation in the body. In beginning you need to stand straight with your feet together. Take one foot forward, bend the knee, and drop into a lunge while keeping the other foot stretched back. In the next step, twist your body, touch the foot with the opposite hand, and direct the other hand towards the ceiling. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds or more, and repeat.
5. Triceps Stretch
It is a popular upper-body stretch that helps you loosen up the neck, shoulders, back, and triceps muscles. It is good to try after a chest or shoulders workout. First, kneel, sit, and stand tall, feet and hip-width apart, and arms extended overhead. Bend your left elbow and touch the middle of your back with the left hand. Now, reach your right hand overhead, grasp below the left elbow, and gently pull your left elbow down and toward your head. Switch your arms and repeat.
These stretching exercises for flexibility are great for your posture. Still, you need to take breaks of at least 20 seconds between each exercise.
6. Ankle Rotation Stretch
For ankle rotation stretches exercise, Lie on four limbs, the shoulder on the wrist and hips over the knees. Now, engage your upper back muscles by pushing through your hands on the floor, keep your shoulders away from the ears, and engage your core to keep the back flat. Extend the right leg behind you, press the ball of your foot on the floor and flex your ankle and heel raised off the floor. In the last, move your body forward while rotating your ankle without lifting the foot from the ground. Repeat it 8-10 times on the same side, switch legs, and repeat the exercise.
7. 90/90 Stretch
90/90 stretch is for those women looking for advanced flexibility exercises. First of all you need to sit, keep your right knee bent at 90 degrees, your calf perpendicular to the body, the foot sole facing to the left, and keep your right foot flexible and your leg flat on the floor. Now, keep your left knee on the left side of the body, bend it behind you, and your right butt cheek stuck to the floor. Now, allow the left butt cheek to touch the ground. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
These flexibility exercises must be done under expert guidance by beginners.
Women can perform numerous other stretching exercises for flexibility at home. Such exercises improve the muscles and joint functioning, thus enhancing flexibility and mobility. However, it is recommended to continue exercises as your body permits and start doing it in an expert's presence.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Q1. What are the most strenuous stretching exercises to perform?
Some of the strenuous yet most effective stretching exercises are Standing shin stretch, Eagle arms, Door-assisted pectoral stretch, Cross-legged stretch, and Frog stretch.
Q2. Can stretching exercises improve your life?
Yes! Stretching not only makes your body flexible and physically fit, but it boosts your mental health with a proper supply of blood and oxygen to the brain and releases mood-enhancing hormones.
Q3. What happens with regular stretching?
Regular stretching improves blood circulation, and muscle flexibility enhances your posture and makes you feel energetic throughout the day.