• August 24, 2019
  • New York
27 best stretching exercises for flexibility

27 Best Stretching Exercises For Better Flexibility

Static stretches, are simple exercises that you can use to improve your flexibility. Remember to always warm up before stretching. Here is a complete list of 27 best stretching exercises for better flexibility with proper names of stretches and illustration. The list also include stretching exercises for seniors.

List Of Static Stretches That You Must Include In Daily Stretching Routine

Neck Stretches

Forward flexion

Forward flexion
Figure 1: Forward flexion

Facing forward, move your head forward to tuck your chin into your chest; hold.

Lateral flexion

Lateral flexion stretching
Figure 2: Lateral flexion

Facing forward, allow your head to tilt to the side so your ear moves toward your shoulder; hold. Repeat on the other side.

Levator scapulae stretch

Levator scapulae stretch
Figure 3: Levator scapulae stretch

Sit up straight on a chair. Put your hand up over your shoulder and bring your elbow back, pointing your elbow up to the ceiling. Use your left hand to pull your head forward and to the left; hold. Repeat on other side. Also Read: How to master the art of stretching

Shoulders Stretches

Arms across chest

Arms across chest
Figure 4: Arms across chest

Facing forward, straighten your right arm and draw it across your chest. Your arm should be as straight as possible, and you should feel gentle tension in your right shoulder. Grasp your right arm with your left hand and apply gentle pressure with your left hand to increase the tension in your right shoulder. Repeat on the other side. This is one of the stretching exercises for seniors.

Wall hold

Wall hold
Figure 5: Wall hold

Stand with your right side facing a wall. Place your hand on the wall at shoulder height with elbow straight and thumb pointing down (a). Turn your body away from the wall and maintain the rotation of your arm; hold (b). Repeat on the other side.

Upper Back Stretches

Arm hug

Arm hug
Figure 6: Arm hug

Cross your arms around your body with your elbows pointing forward. Let your upper body round, and squeeze your arms toward each other. This is one of the stretching exercises for seniors.

Kneeling cat

Kneeling cat
Figure 7: Kneeling cat

Adopt a crawl position on your hands and knees (a). Draw in your abdominal muscles and contract your buttocks, and then round your spine throughout its entire length (b). This is one of the stretching exercises for seniors.

Pillar–overhead reach

Pillar–overhead reach stretching
Figure 8: Pillar–overhead reach

Facing forward, stand upright and extend your arms above your head, keeping your shoulders in a neutral position (in line with your hips). Interlock your fingers and use your palms to press upward. You can also involve your trunk muscles (torso) by slightly rotating to one side of your body and back. Hold when you feel tension in your torso on the side opposite the reach; repeat on other side.

Low Back Stretches

Supine rotational stretch

Supine rotational stretch
Figure 9: Supine rotational stretch

Lie face up on the floor and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Straighten your arms out from your sides across the floor to stabilize your upper body (a). Slowly move both legs with your knees bent to the right side of your body while keeping your upper back against the floor and your abdomen oriented toward the ceiling (b). Repeat by moving your legs to the left side. Also Read: How to perform Muscle Strength testing like Pro

Chest Stretches

Normal Chest stretch

Chest stretch
Figure 10: Chest stretch

In this stretch, your shoulders should be relaxed, not elevated. Straighten your arms toward your back, keeping them at or a little below shoulder height. A good cue for this stretch is “open arms wide.”

Progressive chest stretch

Progressive chest stretch
Figure 11: Progressive chest stretch

Place your arms against an open doorway and lean forward until you feel gentle tension across your chest. This exercise also stretches the biceps.

Biceps Stretches

Biceps wall stretch

Biceps wall stretch
Figure 12: Biceps wall stretch

Position your arm from your hand to your inner elbow against a wall and turn your body away from it, exhaling slowly. Repeat on the other side. This is another stretching exercises for seniors.

Triceps Stretches

Elbow behind the head

Elbow behind the head
Figure 13: Elbow behind the head

Facing forward, bring your right arm up, bend from your elbow, and drop your hand behind your head, trying to reach your left shoulder with your right hand. The left hand can be placed on the right elbow to assist with this stretch. Repeat on the other side.

Hips and Buttocks

Seated hip rotator stretch

Seated hip rotator stretch
Figure 14: Seated hip rotator stretch

Sit upright on a sturdy chair that won’t move. Cross your right ankle onto your bent left knee (a) and gently press down on your right knee until tension develops in the outer portion of your right thigh (b). Repeat on the other side.

Supine hip rotator stretch

Supine hip rotator stretch
Figure 15: Supine hip rotator stretch

Lie faceup on floor with your knees bent so your feet are flat on the floor and cross your right ankle onto your bent left knee (a)Lift your left foot off the floor and wrap your hands around your left leg and draw it into your body (b). Focus on opening up your right knee until tension develops in the outer portion of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side. This is a good stretching exercise that you must include in your daily stretching routine.

Butterfly stretch

Butterfly stretch
Figure 16: Butterfly stretch

Sit upright on the floor with the soles of your feet together. Draw your knees to the floor and lean forward from your hips and use your elbows to press your legs downward.

Kneeling hip flexor stretch

Kneeling hip flexor stretch
Figure 17: Kneeling hip flexor stretch

Kneel on both knees with your upper body lifted. Plant your left foot on the floor until you reach a 90-degree angle with both your front and back legs (a). Shift your weight forward while keeping your upper body lifted (b). Repeat on the other side.

Standing hip flexor stretch

Standing hip flexor stretch
Figure 18: Standing hip flexor stretch

Stand erect and keep your hands on your hips. Step forward with your left foot into a lunge position (a)Your left foot will be in front of your body and your right foot will be behind your body; your right heel may be elevated to facilitate this movement. Shift your hips forward and maintain this position, feeling tension develop in your hips, quadriceps, and buttocks (b). Repeat on the other side.

Hamstrings

Seated hamstring stretch

Seated hamstring stretch
Figure 19: Seated hamstring stretch

Sit upright on the floor with both legs straight and hands resting on your legs (a)Slowly walk your hands forward toward your feet, keeping your chest lifted (b).

Standing hamstring stretch

Standing hamstring stretch
Figure 20: Standing hamstring stretch

Standing upright, bring your right foot slightly ahead of your left foot. Slowly draw your hips back while slightly bending your left knee and straightening your right knee (a). Bring the toes of your right foot off the floor and toward your body (b). Hold and then return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

Quadriceps

Prone quadriceps stretch

Prone quadriceps stretch
Figure 21: Prone quadriceps stretch

Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight. Draw your right heel back toward your buttocks using your left hand. Be sure to keep your knees together.

Side-lying quadriceps stretch

Side-lying quadriceps stretch:
Figure 22: Side-lying quadriceps stretch:

Lie on the floor on your right side. Bend your left knee, keeping your knees and hips in a straight line (keep your knees together and do not twist your leg to the side). Draw your left heel back toward your buttocks with your left arm. Repeat on the other side.

Standing quadriceps stretch

Standing quadriceps stretch
Figure 23: Standing quadriceps stretch

While in a standing position (you can hold on to a chair for support), bend your right knee toward your buttocks. Grasp your right ankle with your left hand. Be sure to keep your knees close together and your ankle behind your buttock; do not twist your leg outward. Gently pull your thigh back slightly. Repeat on the other side.

Calves

Seated calf stretch

Seated calf stretch
Figure 24: Seated calf stretch

Sit upright with both legs straightened out in front of you (a). Draw your toes toward your upper body (b).

Standing calf step stretch

Standing calf step stretch
Figure 25: Standing calf step stretch

Stand with your legs extended on the edge of an immovable step and grasp a banister or handrail for support. Move your right foot so your heel back is off the edge of the step (a). Slowly drop your right heel until tension develops in your right calf (b). Repeat on the other side.

Standing calf stretch (gastrocnemius)

Standing calf stretch (gastrocnemius)
Figure 26: Standing calf stretch (gastrocnemius)

Stand about 3 feet (0.9 m) from a wall and put your right foot behind you, ensuring that your toes are facing forward. Keep your heel on the ground and lean forward with your right knee straight. Rotating the toes in and out slightly will target the medial and lateral parts of this muscle separately. Repeat on other side.

Standing calf stretch (soleus)

Standing calf stretch (soleus)
Figure 27: Standing calf stretch (soleus)

Stand away from a wall and put your right foot behind you and be sure your toes are facing forward. Lean forward at the ankle while bending the right knee and keeping your heel on the ground. Because the knee is flexed, tension is taken off the gastrocnemius and placed on the soleus. Repeat on other side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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