Feeling Stiff and Tense? Check These 15 Flexibility Exercises to Make Your Life Easier!

Author Mariam Youssef
Time 11/4/22, 3:00 PM
Feeling Stiff and Tense? Check These 15 Flexibility Exercises to Make Your Life Easier!

Does your back hurt all the time even if you’re simply sitting down? Do you find it hard to keep up with your personal trainer at the gym because your body is too stiff? Has it been a while since you’ve done some stretching exercises? If your answer is yes, your body is probably begging you to start doing flexibility exercises. You don’t have to be a contestant in the Olympics to make your body and muscles more flexible! Our daily routine, sitting on your desk for long hours, and not exercising can make our bodies truly tense and tight. Therefore, we decided to share with you some flexibility exercises that will help you manage your daily tasks easily and handle those gym workout sessions like a pro!

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Dynamic Lunges

This exercise works on your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.

How to do it:

1. Place your feet about two to three feet apart, one in front of the other.

2. Bend your knees and lower your body till your back knee is a few inches off the floor while supporting yourself on your back leg.

3. Your back knee should be pointing toward the floor while your knees are bent, and your front thigh should be parallel to the floor.

4. Maintaining your weight on the front foot's heel, push yourself back up.

5. Before switching foot locations, continue for 5–10 repetitions.

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Stair Calf Stretch

This exercise works on your calves and Achilles' tendons.

How to do it:

1. Place your heels over the edge of the bottom step while you stand there.

2. Drop your heels gradually. As you descend, hold onto the stair rail or the wall.

3. For 20 to 30 seconds, maintain this posture.

4. Repeat 2-3 times.

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Cat Cow

This exercise works on your shoulders, neck, hip flexors, lumbar, and thoracic spine.

How to do it:

Starting on all fours, place hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips, and start the exercise. As you inhale, arch your spine so that your face and tailbone rise upward and your tummy falls. (This is the cow posture.) Exhale, then push yourself into your hands and knees to create a hollow belly, a rounded spine, and a tucked-in chin. (The cat posture.) Repeat 3-5 times.

Lizard Pose

This exercise works on your hips, groin, and inner hamstrings.

How to do it:

1. Start out in the Downward Dog position.

2. Outside of your right hand, forward your right foot. Be sure to lift your foot all the way so that your toes are parallel to your fingertips. Your right knee should be 90 degrees bent and not extend further than your ankle.

3. Maintaining your shoulders above your wrist, bend your elbows until your forearms are flat on the ground.

4. Pressing onto your left heel will maintain your left leg engaged and prevent your hips from drooping towards the floor. For ten seconds, maintain this posture.

5. Straighten your arms and return your right leg to the downward-facing dog position to release the pose and maintain this posture for 10 seconds.

6. On each side, repeat the initial steps ten times.

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Lying Quad Stretch

This exercise works on your quadriceps and hip flexors extensor tendons (top of feet)

How to do it:

1. Lie on your right side on a mat or the floor with your legs extended straight away from your body and your head resting on your right arm laying on the floor to support your neck.

2. With your left hand grabbing the top of your left foot, bend your left knee and draw your left heel up toward your left gluten.

3. Tighten your core to keep your pelvis stable, and keep your core tight throughout the stretch. 4. In order to avoid overworking your quadriceps and hip flexors, keep your hips stacked on top of one another.

5. Keep your left thigh and knee resting on the inside of the leg that is on the floor and gently lift your left heel and lower leg towards your tailbone.

6. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then straighten your leg and squeeze your thigh.

7. Repeat this 2-5 times, then perform this stretch on the opposite leg.

Overhead Triceps Stretch

This exercise works on your triceps, deltoids, and lats.

How to do it:

1. Standing with your feet hip-width apart is preferable or sitting upright in a chair, your shoulders should be raised near your ears, then brought back down. This gets you ready for the appropriate position, so you can stretch with your shoulders down.

2. Your right arm should be extended upwards, and as you bend at the elbow to bring it near your back's center, your middle finger should land on top of your spine.

3. Gently nudge your elbow inward and downward with your left hand.

4. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3-4 times on each arm.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

This exercise works on your hamstrings and calves.

How to do it:

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your spine in a neutral stance.

2. Set your right leg straight out in front of you while bending your left knee gradually.

3. Lean gently forward and rest your hands on the left leg that is bowed.

4. Repeat 5-10 times on each side after holding the stretch for ten seconds.

Sphinx Pose

This exercise works on your shoulders, abdominals, and glutes.

How to do it:

1. Lie on your stomach with your legs spread.

2. Put your forearms parallel to the ground and your elbows under your shoulders. Squeezing your glutes together, raise your upper body off the mat into a gentle backbend.

3. Reach back to the wall with your toes. To secure your lower back as you maintain the pose, make sure to draw your hips into your heels.

4. Release your belly, bring your torso and head to the floor, and then hold this position for 15 seconds while engaging your core. Lay for five seconds with your head turned to one side.

5. Repeat this exercise 2-3 times.

Shoulder Rolls

This exercise works on your upper back, shoulders, and chest.

How to do it:

1. Start by standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.

2. Rotate your shoulders in broad circles forward, then repeat the motion around ten times.

3. Rotate in the other direction while making circles that are moving backward. Repeat this step ten times.

Wrist Figure 8’s

This exercise works on your wrists and forearms.

How to do it:

1. Put your fingers together in front of your body. Figure eight your hands together while keeping your elbows tucked into your sides.

2. Ensure that your wrists fully rotate such that your hands alternately rest on top of one another.

3. Repeat this stretch 10-15 seconds at a time.

Knees to Chest

This exercise works on your lower back and hamstrings.

How to do it:

1. Your feet should be flat on the floor as you lay on your back with your knees bent.

2. Raise a bent knee while holding your lower leg with your fingers interlocked beneath the knee.

3. Pull your bended leg slowly toward your chest.

4. As you carry out this stretch, be sure to maintain your muscles' relaxed state.

5. After a brief period of holding, lower your leg back to the ground.

6. Perform the stretch 10-15 times while alternating sides.

90/90 Stretch

This exercise works on your hips, groin, and lower back.

How to do it:

1. On the floor, bend one leg in front of your body. Put yourself in a position where your knee and lower leg are resting on the ground. Your foot should be pointed straight ahead, and your ankle should be in a neutral position. Your leg should make a 90-degree angle.

2. With your hip turned inward and your shin and ankle on the ground, place your other leg beside you. Make a 90-degree angle with your leg by bending one knee. Your ankle should be in a neutral position, and your back knee should be parallel to your hip.

3. Try to maintain a straight back and fight the tendency to sag to one side by placing equal weight on both hips.

4. Hold this stretch for up to 60 seconds, breathing deeply to relax into the position. Complete 2-3 reps on each side.

Upper Back Stretch

This exercise corrects your posture and prevents slouching. It also decreases the risk of muscle damage and tension.

How to do it:

1. To feel a stretch in your upper back, clasp your hands together in front of you, round your shoulders, and press your arms away from your body.

2. To maximize the benefits of this stretch, contract the abs.

3. Repeat 1-3 times while holding for 15 to 30 seconds.

Shoulder Stretch

The cross-arm stretch works on your rotator cuff muscles.

How to do it:

1. With your left hand wrapped over your elbow and your right arm crossed across your chest, gently pull on the right arm to extend the stretch in your shoulders.

2. If you're not feeling a stretch, try lowering the shoulder.

3. Repeat 1-3 times on each side after holding for 15 to 30 seconds on one side.

Seated Side Stretch

This exercise stretches the latissimus dorsi muscle, quadratus lumborum, and other para spinal muscles that help in flexion of the trunk.

How to do it:

1. Clasp your hands straight up in the air, palms towards the ceiling; you can be sitting or standing.

2. Feel a stretch down your left side as you stretch up and then across to the right.

3. Repeat 1-3 times and switch sides after holding for 15 to 30 seconds.

Main image credit: @yasmine_sabri

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Mariam Youssef

Mariam Youssef

Growing up, I've always wanted to become so many things: a fashion designer, painter, singer, actress, and anything that revolves around art. It wasn't until I watched "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" t...

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