Every day, you perform lots of activities that demand different levels of physical effort, even at a job that is seemingly sedentary. Since your muscles need to be ready for your challenging daily routine, it’s good to know a few stretching exercises for your muscles.
The goal of stretching is to increase, maintain, and prevent the loss of flexibility. It also helps reduce any discomfort derived from physical activity.
What is flexibility?Flexibility is the ability of your muscles to move your joints according to their range of mobility, without feeling any pain or doing damage.
When you increase your flexibility, your body also increases and retains lubricants in the joints, helping to reduce friction between muscle fibers.
In short, stretching prevents any pause or injury when you perform an exercise.
If you want to know more about flexibility, you might be interested in reading this article: 7 reasons why your joints may hurt
The importance of warming up before you stretch
Never do stretching exercises for your muscles without having warmed up first.
Stretching cold muscles increases your risk of pulling a muscle and can have the opposite effect of what’s desired.
You don’t need to perform an exhaustive warm-up: it’s enough to do some low intensity exercise for five to 10 minutes.
Stretching Exercises for Your Muscles
There are different types of stretching exercises. Today, however, we want to share a few that anyone can do regardless of the level of physical activity you’re accustomed to.
1. Side flexes for the neck
When you go through a stressful time, your trapezius muscles can start to hurt. This area extends from the base of your skull and the upper part of your neck to the edge of your shoulder blades, where it connects with your shoulders.
- To relax this area, stand in an upright position and try to tilt your head to one shoulder, alternating each side and keeping your shoulders at the same height, without shrugging them.
2. Calf stretches
- To perform this exercise, you need to rest your hands and forearms against a wall at a 90 degree angle.
- Lean forward with one leg flexed to the front and the other stretched behind you, keeping the soles of your feet on the ground.
- Your whole body should form a straight line. This way, your front knee will be flexed and your back leg will be stretched out.
- Hold this position for about 20 to 30 seconds, and slowly alternate with the other leg.
3. Adductor muscles
- Support yourself on your knees with your toes out to each side.
- Your forearms should rest at a right angle on a flat surface, below your shoulders, and without arching your back. Exhale slowly.
- As you exhale, move your knees apart and lower your chest to the floor while extending and sliding your arms in front of you until they are parallel.
This exercise is somewhat demanding. Try to do it at your own pace and according to your range of flexibility.
4. The backs of the legs
This exercise is performed while sitting on the floor, with both legs straight and stretched out in front of you.
- Put a towel or an exercise band around the bottoms of your feet and hold the ends.
- Gently pull the band toward your body as much as you can, until you feel the stretch in the backs of your legs and hamstrings.
- Hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds and slowly release.
If you suffer from knee pain, we recommend you read this article: 5 exercises that help relieve knee pain
5. Lower part of the back
- While lying on your back, bend your knees and bring them up to your chest.
- Hold your thighs with your hands and bring your heels toward the buttocks while you raise your hips off the floor.
- It’s recommended to hold this pose for 30 to 40 seconds.
6. Upper part of the back
To do this stretching exercise, you’ll need a support point at a height between that of your shoulders and hips.
- Stand in front of this support point (about three feet away) and extend your arms until you can grasp it.
- Lower your upper body without arching your back and keep your legs straight.
- Slowly exhale and try to lower your shoulders, stretching your back.
As you’ve noticed, there are a lot of stretching exercises. The ones you choose, however, should depend on factors like age, physical condition, the type of exercise or sport you play, etc.
Finally, when you practice these stretches after you exercise or perform any physical activity, it will help prevent the rapid degeneration of your body and allow you to stay more mobile throughout your life.
Precautions for stretching
If any stretching exercise is difficult for you, causes pain or if you don’t how to do it correctly, don’t continue. You could injure yourself.
In these cases, you can replace it with another stretch that’s similar.
In addition, stretching isn’t recommended if you have osteoporosis, injuries, sprains, inflammation, or an infection in any part of the body you want to focus on.
For this reason, we suggest you visit your doctor to rule out any problems before you perform stretching exercices for your muscles.
We hope you enjoy these exercises!