If fitness is your way of living and health your priority, then you might already be aware as to how flexibility plays an important role in your life. From everyday activities to specific workouts your body needs flexibility. It is important and we have already discussed the why and how to improve it. We thought of dwelling a bit more on the subject and telling you the exercises which are helpful in widening your body movement and improving your flexibility. Also, below are the stretches you can do to improve your flexibility:

5 Stretches for Better Flexibility

Downward Dog

Downward+dog+stretch
Benefits: This stretch
i) Increases flexibility in shoulders, hamstrings and calves
ii) Relieves lower back pain
iii) Relieves tension in the spine and body by elongating your cervical spine.
How to: Bend forward and place your hands and knees on the floor. Spread your hands forward and tuck your toes under. Inhale and raise your body such that your hips are pointing towards the ceiling. Place your heels on the floor, keep your head in between your arms. Take deep breaths.

Low Lunge

Low-Lunge
Benefits: This stretch:
i) Improves flexibility of quadriceps and hips.
ii) The psoas, a part of a muscle group called hip flexors is released by doing this stretch. If this psoas is tightened it can lead to back pain.

How to: Place both your knees on the ground and step your right foot forward. Keep right knee over right heel and left knee under your hip. Raise your left arm upward towards the ceiling. Keep taking deep breaths during the entire session. Repeat with the other leg.

Lying Piriformis Stretch

Lying-Piriformis-Stretch
Benefits: This stretch:
i) Increases the flexibility of your glutes and hips
ii) Eases external rotation of the hips
How to: Lie on your back, bend both your knees, and place your left ankle over the other thigh. Lift your right foot off the ground, bring your leg up to 90 degrees. Place your hands on the thighs of the right leg and bring your right knee towards your chest. Keep your head and neck on the ground relaxed. During the entire process keep taking deep breaths.

Lying Spinal Twist

Lying-Spinal-Twist
Benefits: This stretch:
i) Realigns and lengthens the spine
ii) Increases flexibility of the lower back and hips
iii) Improves the digestive system
How to: While lying on your back, bring both your knees towards your chest. Place both your hands on the sides such that, they are in the straight line of your shoulders. Twist your knees on either sides and while doing so, make sure that you use your core muscles and bring your legs back to the centre.

Posterior Capsular Stretch

Posterior-Capsular-Stretch
Benefits: This Stretch:
i) Reduces any risk of shoulder injury by improving flexibility of the rotator cuffs
ii) Improves your shoulder’s range of motion
How to: Lie on the right side with knees bent. Place your right arm to 90 degree outside your body. Apply some pressure from your left arm and try to bring your right arm on the floor. Stay directly on the shoulder and take deep breaths the entire side. Repeat from the other side.

Full Body Stretches

1) The Runner’s Stretch

Runners-Stretch
i) Place your right foot forward and bend in the lunge position and place your fingertips on the ground.
ii) Breathe in and then while exhaling as you straighten your leg. Repeat with the other leg. Try the entire rep four times.

2) The Standing Side Stretch

Standing-side-stretch
i) Stand straight with legs joined and hands stretched upwards and clasped together. Inhale while you reach upwards.
ii) Exhale and bend your upper body towards the right. Hold as long as is comfortable, return to the center and bend towards the left.

3) The Forward Hang

Forward-Hang

i) Interlock your fingers behind your back. Stand straight, inhale and expand your chest.
ii) While exhaling bend forward and let your hands stretch towards your head. Hold for five deep breaths and return.

4) The Seated Back Twist

Seated-Back-Twist
i) Sit on the floor with legs stretched outwards.
ii) Bend your left knee and step your left foot over your right leg. Place your left hand on the floor, fingers pointing outwards. Bend your right elbow and turn to the left, make sure that the back of your arm is placed against your left knee. Inhale and hold.
iii) While exhaling twist, and press your arm into your leg and look behind your left shoulder. Hold and return to the center, repeat with the other side.

5) The Bound Angle

Bound-Angle
i) Sit on the floor with legs straight
ii) Bend your knees such that, the soles of your feet are together. Inhaling, hold your shins and stretch your chest upwards.
iii) While exhaling, bend forward from your hips (without rounding your back) and place your palms on the floor. Hold for at least five breaths.

5 Minute Exercise Routine

The flexibility exercise routine comprises of the exercises you should do after your workout session. Also, while doing these stretches make sure that:
i) You perform each stretch for 10-15 seconds and repeat twice.

ii) You should feel a mild stretch while performing these stretches but you should not get hurt.

1) Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring-Stretch
There are many ways to perform this stretch, the most popular one is to bend one leg and stretch the other in front of you.

2) Butterfly Groin Stretch

Butterfly-Groin-Stretch
Sit straight and fold both your legs such that, your feet are joined together. Place your elbows on your thighs and press your elbows down. The closer your feet are to your body, the better will be the stretch.

3) Lying Hip Stretch

Lying-Hip-Stretch
While lying on your back fold your legs and raise them up to 30 degrees. Place your right ankle over your left thigh and pull the left leg towards your body.

4) Quad Stretch

quad-stretch
Stand straight with legs joined together. Raise your right leg, bend your knees and pull it towards your back with the help of your right hand. Hold and repeat with the other leg.

5) Calf Stretch

passive-calf-stretching
While standing put your right leg forward, foot on the ground and extend your left leg backwards. Make sure that your feet are placed firmly on the ground. Bend your right leg without bending the other leg. Lean yourself on the wall until you feel the stretch in the calf of the straight leg. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat with the other leg.

These exercises will give you better flexibility and help you cool down after an intense workout session.

The next time you flaunt your fitness regime, don’t forget to show your flexibility to the world! Also, you can preach the beginners and advise them to stay fit in style as fitness will always be in trend. Don’t forget to give thumbs up if you liked the article. For more information on health and fitness visit us at, Gympik.

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