When it comes to maintaining our health, exercise is an absolute must. It includes different types like cardio, resistance training, and flexibility exercises.

While flexibility training often takes a back seat to glamorous workouts like cardio and weightlifting, it plays a crucial role in joint health and Full-Body stretching.

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of mobility and flexibility, revealing the top stretches to incorporate into your daily routine. Your joints and muscles will thank you!

Flexibility Vs. Mobility: What’s the Difference?

The fitness community debates between mobility and flexibility exercises. Slow, passive stretches enhance joint range of motion, while mobility exercises utilize active muscle tension to improve movement and joint range of motion.

But here’s the thing: the terminology isn’t as important as consistently engaging in exercises that enhance joint range of motion and movement quality.

It’s all about prioritizing these aspects.

The Top 5 Stretches for a Healthy Body

Ideally, perform the stretches every day, but don’t worry if life gets in the way occasionally. Just get back on track the next day.

To get the most out of these stretches:

  • Hold each stretch for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times per session.
  • Aim for a pleasant “mild discomfort” sensation.
  • If you experience persistent sharp pain during a stretch, stop immediately and seek medical attention.

Now, get ready to explore the top seven Full Body stretching that will unlock a healthier, more vibrant body!

Pigeon Stretch

Pigeon Stretch

For many people, the piriformis muscle presents a big problem.

Often, this muscle (and its nearby companions) will be extremely tight. This can lead to serious pain and dysfunction.

By stretching out the hip rotators and the piriformis, you are likely to feel so much looser!

How to Perform

  • Begin on your hands and knees.
  • Slowly, shift all of your weight onto your left knee and hands.
  • Next, bring your right ankle forward and place it slightly in front of your left knee. At this point, you will likely feel a big stretch in your right buttocks.
  • If you’re able to, you should next strive to slide your left leg backward further. This will increase the stretch in your left hip flexor area as well.
  • Hold this stretch for 10 seconds, and repeat 10 times on each side, once per day.

Single Leg Middle Split Stretch

Single Leg Middle Split Stretch

Even though most people will never achieve a true split, it never hurts to loosen up these muscles!

Working on the components of a middle split will stretch out your adductor muscles. This will help to improve your hip health overall.

How to Perform

  • Start on your hands and knees.
  • From this starting position, slowly spread your knees out slightly.
  • Beginning with the left leg, kick your knee out straight. By doing so, you should feel an increase in a stretch of your left hip adductor muscles.
  • Hold this stretch for 10 seconds, then bend your knee to release the stretch. Repeat this pattern 10 times per leg, per session.

Cat-Camel

There are many different types of yoga classes which all incorporate different stretches. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find a yoga class where the cat camel doesn’t appear!

This stretch is perfect for improving the mobility of the upper back.

How to Perform

  • Place your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Allow your low back to sag as you raise your head upward, extending your neck.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds, then tuck your chin to your chest and round out your back. At this point, you should imagine the position a cat assumes as it hisses at something.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds, then return to the “camel”.
  • Repeat this alternating pattern for 10 rounds, once per day.

Seated T-Pose

Photo: HealthDay

Golfers and those with stiff upper backs will love this stretch. Thoracic spine rotation is severely lacking in many people. Luckily, by improving your thoracic rotation, you can often experience improved shoulder and back mobility with decreased pain.

How to Perform

  • Sit in a firm chair, near the front edge.
  • Lean forward and place your left hand on the ground between your feet.
  • As you do so, rotate your back and raise your right arm up toward the ceiling.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times on each side per session.

Shoulder Mobility Flow

Photo: HealthDay

For many people, shoulder pain is a chronic, debilitating issue.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to perform some routine maintenance on your shoulders by completing this mobility flow every day.

How to Perform

  • Kneel on the ground, using padding as necessary.
  • Keeping your elbows straight, raise your arms to about 90 degrees, with your palms facing each other.
  • Then, reach your hands up overhead, continuing to keep your palms facing one another.
  • Next, rotate the arms backward, opening up the chest. Your palms should now be facing forward.
  • Hold each of the above positions for 10 seconds as you complete 10 circles. Repeat once per day.

Neck Rolls

Office workers, athletes, and many others struggle with neck stiffness. For this reason, neck rolls offer the perfect flexibility solution that can be performed anywhere, anytime.

How to Perform

  • In standing or sitting, ensure that your spine is as straight as possible.
  • Slowly lower your chin down to your chest.
  • Next, roll your head so that your left ear is by your left shoulder.
  • Continue to roll your head backward so that you are looking up at the ceiling.
  • Then, roll your head so that your right ear is close to your right shoulder.
  • Finally, return your chin to your chest and repeat 10 rolls clockwise and counterclockwise per session.

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