If you are wondering what some of the best stretches are to do at home, then this article will help you out!
I am a firm believer in taking care of my body and giving it the correct attention that it needs.
At The Bald Brothers we are always preaching that a bald head and an in-shape body go hand in hand.
If you are doing high intensity workouts fives time a week on average, then you are going to have some severe muscle breakdown from all the exercise.
Lately, I have started doing a lot more stretching and yoga related exercises on a regular basis, and this has really help my body recover quicker.
About 3-4 hours of stretching and practicing yoga every week has become a must for me.
It really has helped me and my body quite a lot!
Once you reach a certain age (usually over 30 years old) then you need to change the way you workout and the diet you follow.
Your body needs a bit more love, so you need to make looking after it a top priority!
The Best Stretches & Why It’s Important To Do Them
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Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints.
Without stretching the muscles shorten and become tight, and this naturally leads to injuries.
When you call on the muscles to do an activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.
Most of us spend a lot of time sitting at our office desks, in our cars and around the table when when we eat. We don’t realize how inactive our muscles are, and just how tight our hamstrings become when we sit all day.
Tightened hamstrings makes it harder to stretch your legs and straighten your knees.
Also, when muscles suddenly do strenuous activities or exercises that stretches them, such as playing tennis or golf, then they may become damaged from suddenly being stretched after being inactive for so long.
Injured muscles may not be strong enough to support the joints, which can lead to potential joint injury.
Regular stretching keeps muscles long, lean, and flexible.
Having healthy and flexible muscles will also help you maintain a good balance, which helps us in everyday life.
6 Benefits Of Daily Stretching
If you aren’t doing a lot of regular stretching, then these benefits below should convince you that you should start!
1. Improves Flexibility
Regular stretching can improve your flexibility, which is crucial for your overall health.
Improved flexibility helps you to perform everyday activities a lot more easily and also improves your mobility that can come with getting older.
2. Increases Range of Motion
Being able to move a joint through its full range of motion gives you more freedom of movement.
Stretching on a regular basis can help increase your range of motion, which can be done through both static and dynamic stretching
3. Improves Posture
Strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups can reduce musculoskeletal pain and encourage proper alignment. This will help improve your posture.
4. Improves Blood Flow to Your Muscles
Stretching on a regular basis may improve your blood circulation and increase blood flow to your muscles, which can shorten your recovery time and muscle soreness.
5. Relieves Stress & Calms Your Mind
When you are under stress, there’s a good chance your muscles are tensed up.
That’s because your muscles tend to tighten up in response to physical and emotional stress.
Stretching areas of your body where you tend to hold your stress, such as your neck, shoulders and upper back will relieve some stress.
Also, stretching can calm your mind if you focus on mindfulness and meditation during your stretches.
6. Prevents Back Pain
Many people don’t know that by stretching your lower body, you are actually assisting your back quite a bit.
Everything in your body is connected, so if you stretch your hamstrings etc, this will in turn all your back and can prevent future back pain.
7 Static Stretches to Improve Your Flexibility
Below are 7 static stretches which I perform on a regular basis.
They are basic yet effective.
Make sure to try them out!
Stretch #1: Piriformis Stretch
- Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you
- Cross your right leg over your left, and place your right foot flat on the floor
- Place your right hand on the floor behind your body
- Place your left hand on your right quad or your left elbow on your right knee (as shown below) and press your right leg to the left as you twist your torso to the right
- If the spinal rotation bothers your back, take it out and simply use your left hand to pull your right quad in and to the left
Stretch #2: Seated Hamstring Stretch
- Sit down with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, arms next to your legs
- Exhale as you bend forward at the hips, lowering your head toward the floor while keeping your head, neck and shoulders relaxed
- Wrap your arms around backs of your legs and hold anywhere from 45 seconds to 2 minutes
- Bend your knees, activate legs and roll up when you’re done
Stretch #3: Lunge with Spinal Twist
- Start standing with your feet together
- Take a big step forward with your left foot, so that you are in a staggered stance
- Bend your left knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your right leg straight behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your right thigh
- Place your right hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the left as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling
- Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes
- Repeat on the other side
Stretch #4: Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch
- Kneel on your left knee. Place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent
- Lean forward, stretching your left hip toward the floor
- Squeeze your butt; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more
- Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes
- Switch sides and repeat
Stretch #5: Sphinx Stretch
- Lie on your stomach with your legs straight out behind you
- Place your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms on the floor as you lift your chest up off the floor
- Press your hips and thighs into the floor, and think about lengthening your spine while keeping your shoulders relaxed
- Sit up just enough to feel a nice stretch in your lower back. Don’t hyper extend, and stop immediately if you start to feel any discomfort or pain
Stretch #6: Universal Spinal Twist
- Lie on your back with your legs straight out in front of you
- Take your left leg and twist it to the right hand side while keeping your back and shoulders flat on the floor
- Make sure your head faces in the opposite direction of your twisting leg
- Hold for 30 seconds and change
Stretch #7: Lying Down Hamstring Stretch
- Lie down on your back and lift your left leg in the air while keeping right leg firmly on the ground
- Wrap your arms behind your knees and pump your foot to activate blood flow
- Pump your foot 20 times and change legs
- Please make your sure back and resting are placed firmly on the mat.
Final Words: The Long Term Effects Of Stretching
Stretching once today won’t magically give you perfect flexibility.
You’ll need to do it over time and remain consistent and committed to the process.
It takes weeks to months to get flexible, and you’ll have to continue working on it to maintain it.
Just like everything in life – there is no quick fix to your flexibility problems.
You will need to work on it everyday and dedicate lots of time to it. So make sure you try these best stretches as often as possible!
Stay healthy and keep working on your flexibility!