There's nothing like a good stretch to refresh the body and reduce your stress! However, relaxation is not the only benefit you can get from a stretching routine! The act of stretching provides lots of other benefits such as improving range of motion, boosting energy, and increasing blood flow through the body.
Let’s take a closer look at the numerous benefits of stretching and how to build a stretching routine that targets all your major muscle groups.
4 Benefits of Stretching
Stretching regularly can have benefits for both your physical and mental health. Here’s a summary of the key ways that stretching can help you to be healthier.
1. Greater flexibility and range of motion
One of the main benefits of incorporating a stretching exercise into your daily routine is that you will have more flexibility in your joints. Having greater flexibility will help you to move around more easily because it improves the range of motion your body can perform.
2. Get a better posture
Tight and tense muscles can lead to poor body posture. When you stand or sit incorrectly, you will put extra pressure on your muscles which can lead to back pain and other types of muscle pain.
3. Less muscle tension and lower stress
Stress is a part of our everyday lives, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming. A high level of stress can cause your muscles to stiff. This can make you feel as if you’re carrying stress in your body.
Stretching muscles that feel tense and stiff can help relax them. In turn, this may help lower your stress levels and help you feel calmer.
4. Increasing blood flow
According to some studies, daily stretching will help you to improve your blood circulation. Increased blood flow to your muscles can help them heal more quickly after a workout. Better blood flow may also help prevent muscle soreness and stiffness after a workout.
7 Full Body Stretching Routine
For a full-body stretching routine from head to toe, roll out a yoga mat and try these stretches!
1. Neck Stretch
Neck stretches can expand the range of motion and flexibility in the cervical spine area to help relieve stiffness and pain. To stretch your neck, begin by placing one hand over the opposite side of your head.
Slowly draw your right ear to your right shoulder using your right hand to put gentle overpressure on the left side. Keep your face forward. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on another side.
Windmill stretching can keep you mobile in your lower back, glutes, obliques, and hamstrings, while also helping you improve your core stability.
You can do a windmill by standing with your feet wide apart and your toes pointing forwards. Raise one arm and bend from the waist to touch the floor with your other hand between your feet. Switch sides without rising from the fold.
3. Child’s Pose
The child’s pose, also known as Balsana as it is referred to in Yoga, is one of the best stretches following any type of workout. In addition to relaxing the brain and the body, as well as increasing flexibility, performing this pose can also help you to decompress the spine, hips, core, and ankles while providing relief to the back and neck.
To do this pose, you need to turn over and get yourself in a kneeling position. Lean forward with your arms outstretched in front of you on the floor and your hips sitting over your feet. Reach those arms forward and hold this stretch, allowing your lower back to lengthen. Gently bring both hands to reach towards one side. Repeat towards another side. Hold each of these reps as long as it feels good to you—about 30 to 60 seconds.
4. Standing Figure 4
Standing figure four will help to improve your balance and it’s a great stretching exercise if you spend a lot of time sitting every day. It’s a deep stretch that helps keep the hips and glutes healthy and mobile.
To do this pose, shift your weight onto one of your feet and lift your other foot knee up. Cross your lifted foot ankle over your thigh slightly above the knee. Place your hands on your hips or in front of your chest. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
5. Hip Flexor Lunge
The hip flexor lunge has a few variations. It is one of the best hip openers that include the leg muscles. calves and glutes, all while giving you an opportunity to stretch your arms simultaneously.
One of the most classic lunges is the forward lunge. You can do this by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips or holding them together in front of your chest.
Then, step forward with your right foot, and plant it firmly on the floor. Bend both knees to create two 90-degree angles with your legs. Your chest should be upright and your torso should be slightly forward so that your back is flat and not rounded forward. Your right quad should be parallel to the floor and your right knee should be above your right foot. Your bottom and core should be engaged. Push through your right foot to return to the starting position. Do all your reps on one side, then repeat with the other leg.
6. Cobra Pose
The cobra pose, also known as Bhujangasana in Yoga, is a great exercise to stretch your core and back. It stretches the spine and adds strength, also giving the shoulders, arms, abs, and glutes a chance for additional toning.
To perform the cobra pose, lie down on your abdomen and point your feet behind you. Bring your hands next to your chest and engage the gluteals and back muscles as you curl the chest up away from the floor, supporting the shape with your arms.
7. Standing Quadricep Stretch
The quad stretch is an important movement after any workout which involves a lot of leg movement. Stretching these muscles can reduce injury and the potential for soreness, as well as improve range of motion while increasing blood circulation.
Stand on your left leg, one knee touching the other. You can hold a chair or the wall to keep you steady if needed. Grab your right foot, using your right hand, and pull it towards your bottom. Be sure to push your chest up and hips forward. Try not to worry about pushing your foot too close to your backside. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch from your left leg to your right.
Improve the flexibility of your joints and muscles with our Recovery Stretch Class. Our stretching sessions incorporate stretch routines, core strengthening exercises, and relaxation techniques that will help you achieve greater physical wellness and mental clarity.
Contact our gym now to learn more about our classes and book a training session!