The Best Exercises to Stretch Your Muscles

Doing stretching exercises before and after exercising is essential to avoid injuries and muscle cramps as the result of a bad warm-up or over-exertion.
The Best Exercises to Stretch Your Muscles

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Doing these exercises to successfully stretch your muscles is very important before you start exercising and afterwards.

Since many people don’t often stretch, before we tell you the stretching exercises we recommend, we’ll explain why they’re so necessary.

It’s essential to stretch before exercising because this is how you prepare your body for exercise. By stretching, your muscles will get warmed up and be ready to move or build muscle.

If you have ever gone to pilates class or any other guided activity, you will have noticed that they have you stretch before you start.

But what about after exercising?

After physical activity, we must also stretch, since the muscles have dealt with a lot of tension. After, it’s time for them to relax.

If you don’t do this, you may suffer an injury, cramps and worsen your stiffness.

Now that you know all this, let’s stretch!

Read: 5 Pilates Exercises to Reduce Waist and Hips

Exercises to successfully get an excellent stretch

We are going to share the exercises you can do to successfully get an excellent stretch starting from the legs to the head.

You should do each of them without rushing through them. Try to stretch each specific part well.

1. Stretching your legs

Stretch Your Muscles
  • First, start with the calf muscles. Take a big step forward and try to get the heel of the back leg to touch the ground.
  • Bend your front leg as much as you can while you make sure your heel stays on the ground. This way, you’ll stretch the calf.

The other exercise that you should do will focus on stretching the inner part of the thighs.

  • To do this, open your legs as much as you can and bend them as if you were going to do a squat.
  • Put your hands on your knees to push your legs backwards to spread your knees more.


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  • To finish the leg stretches,  bend your knees to grab one foot with our hand and lift it to your glutes.
  • If you don’t feel a stretch, try to bring the leg a little backwards and as high as possible. That way, you’ll create more tension.

2. Gluteal, lumbar and abdominal muscles

cobra position

To stretch these three areas of the body, address each part. Start by stretching your glutes, then the lumbar area and, finally, your abdominal muscles.

  • Gluteal muscles: Lie on the ground with your arms extended in a cross. Bring your legs to one side, and try to bring the one on top as far as possible and to let your knee touch the ground.Y
  • Lumbar region: To perform this exercise, you can do a standing roll up. To do this, bend in a rounded way towards the ground until your hands touch it. Then, roll your body back up slowly, focusing on the lumbar area.
  • Abdominals: For this exercise, you can do the cobra pose (Bhujang asana). Lie face down, with your hands beside your chest, and push down to raise your upper body as much as you can.

3. Upper body

Now it’s time to stretch your upper body. To do this, you can do some muscle stretching exercises with our arms.

  • The first will consist of stretching one arm towards the opposite shoulder. The other hand holds and press the arm. This way, you’ll stretch your shoulder.
  • For the next exercise, raise your arm, bend it behind your head and, with the other hand, push the elbow downwards. This way, you’ll stretch your triceps.

4. Neck

This part of our body is very important and cannot be forgotten.

  • To do this, try to make one ear touch your shoulder without moving either of your shoulders. You can use a hand to help push your head and create more tension.
  • The last exercise is to bring your chin to the chest as much as possible. Afterwards, bring your head back its normal position.

The final relaxation


You can introduce variations in these stretches. You can add a stretch that you like to do to this routine or replace one with one of the ones listed above.

There are so many ways to stretch your muscles that the variations are endless!

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Something that we would like to add is that, at the end of this small series of muscle stretching exercises, you should do some breathing.

You should only do after the exercise. If you stretch before exercising, it’s not necessary.

  • To do this, bend our knees a bit, inhale and raise your arms upwards as if you wanted to stretch to the sky.
  • Stop for a few seconds and let your body fall while exhaling and bringing our hands to the ground. Repeat this two more times.

This exercise allows you to relax and successfully complete your session.

Have you ever practiced this type of stretching exercise routine? Which stretches do you do?

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.