“If you’re not failing once in a while, it probably means you’re not stretching yourself”— Lewis Pugh
The known benefits of stretching are vast! Increase your flexibility and reduce your risk of injuries with our 30-minute daily stretching routine.
Devoting half an hour every day and making this a habit will do you wonders. This series of 20 stretch exercises will cover most of your muscles.
I recommend holding each pose for 20 to 30 seconds to optimize the muscle fibre elongation.
Place your right hand on top of your head and gently tilt your head to the right. Apply some pressure on your head with your hand if you want to increase the stretch. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Bring your right arm, straight, across your upper body. With your left arm, gently pull your right elbow towards your chest. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Bend your left arm towards your back and put your left hand between your shoulder plates. With your right hand, grasp your left elbow and pull gently. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Interlace your fingers with straight arms behind your back and rotate your hands so that your palms face down. Slowly bend over and raise your arms. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
Wrists flexor/ Extensor stretch
Raise your right arm straight forward at shoulder’s height with your palm facing up. With your left hand, gently pull the fingers of your right hand towards you. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Then, raise your right arm again, this time with your palm facing down, and with your left hand, gently pull the back of your right hand towards you. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Stand with your feet wide apart. Place your left hand on your left thigh. Raise your right arm then lean your torso to the left until you feel the stretch in your obliques. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Standing Hamstring stretch
Extend your right leg forward with heels on the ground and toes facing up. Slightly bend your left knee. Slowly bend forward while keeping your spine straight and your hips square. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Bring your right heel to your butt. Grasp your foot with your right hand and pull slightly. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Stand in front of a wall with one foot in front of the other. Slightly bend your front knee. Keep your back leg straight with your heel on the ground and lean toward the wall. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
All-fours & sitting poses
Start with all fours (knees and hands) on the ground. Keep your hands aligned with your shoulders and your knees aligned with your hips. Inhale as you drop your belly towards the ground. Slowly, look up by lifting your chest and chin upwards. This is the cow pose. To move into cat pose, exhale and draw your belly to your spine, rounding your back toward the ceiling. Slowly lower your head to look down without forcing your chin to your chest. Repeat this 5 times.
Start with all fours (knees and hands) on the ground. Keep your hands aligned with your shoulders and your knees aligned with your hips. Tuck your toes. As you exhale, lift your knees away from the ground while keeping your arms straight. Your knees will slightly be bent and your heels off the ground. Straighten your knees without locking them and flatten your heels to the ground if you can. Keep your back straight and your head between your upper arms. Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
From the downward
Upward facing dog
Upward-facing Dog is an active pose that awakens upper-body strength and offers a good stretch for the chest and abdomen. Begin by lying on your belly with straight legs. Bend your elbows and place your hands by your shoulders. Press your palms on the floor and slowly straighten your arms, simultaneously lifting your chest up. Your elbows should remain close to your torso. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.
Kneel with your knees wide apart and your feet together behind you. Bend your torso forward and extend your arms in front of you. Rest your forehead on the ground. Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
Start with all fours (knees and hands) on the ground. Tuck your toes and sit back on your heels. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.
Kneeling ankle stretch
This stretch helps plantarflexion while also releasing tension in the front of the ankles. Sit on your heels and lean back until your knees rise a little. If you need some support, you can place your hands behind you with your fingertips pointing forward. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.
Sit with your knees dropped to the sides and the soles of your feet pressed together. Drop your knees as far as they will comfortably go, slightly lean forward and grasp your ankles with your hands to slowly pull yourself a little bit further forward. Keep your lower back straight. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
Seated forward bend
Begin in a seated pose with both legs extended straight out in front of you and your feet flex. Bring your right foot to Begin in a seated pose with both legs extended straight out in front of you and your feet flex. Bring your right foot to your inner left thigh, then inhale straightening up your back. As you exhale, hinge at your hips to fold forward over your legs. Hold the stretch for 20 – 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Then, repeat with both legs extended in front of you.
Outer thigh stretch
Sit with your legs straight. Bend your right knee and bring it toward your chest, placing your right foot outside of your left thigh. Hold your right knee with your left hand and keep your right arm on the floor next to your hip. Turn your torso to the right and look over your right shoulder. Make sure that your buttocks remain flat on the floor. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Knee to chest
Lay flat on your back and bring your right knee to your chest. Grasp your knee with both hands and pull gently. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Knees to chest
Once you’ve done both sides, bring both knees to your chest. With both hands around your knees, pull gently. Hold the pose for another 20-30 seconds and release.
Lay flat on your back then slowly bring your knees towards your chest, wide apart. Grip your toes or the outside of your feet with both hands and pull gently, in order to bring your ankles over your knees. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
Reclined Figure 4
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet off the floor. Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Interlace your fingers behind your left hamstring and gently pull toward you. While doing this, make sure that your back remains flat on the ground. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
From a lying position, extend one leg up while keeping the other leg straight on the ground. Make sure not to bend both knees. Support the raised leg by wrapping your hands around your hamstring. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Plow pose is a really good stretch for your upper back
, and neck. From a lying position, lift your butt slowly and use your abs to bring your feet up and over your head until your toes touch the floor behind your head. Keep your legs straight. If your shoulders have moved, carefully rock your shoulders back underneath you one at a time. Your hips should be aligned over your shoulders. Don’t turn your head. Press into the feet for support and stability. Since the diaphragm is compressed, it’s hard to breathe in this position. Try to stay for 5 deep breaths. To come out, lift your feet, and roll the spine one vertebra at a time slowly down to your mat. Keep your legs straight and feet together.
In a lying position, place your hands under your butt, palms facing down. Press in your forearms and elbows to lift your chest up and tilt your head up until your crown touches the floor. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds and release.
And that’s it! I hope you feel amazing after doing these stretches every day. You can, of course, add many other stretches but these basic poses will cover most parts of your body. Remember to make stretching a daily habit.