When you’re getting into shape, what’s the first thing on which you like to focus? Whether you’re trying to lose weight or tone up your body, there are a whole load of ways out there to do so, helping you to focus on different areas of your body. When it comes to flexibility, however, you might turn up your nose and leave it for another day. It’s worth giving the challenge a second look. Maintaining good elasticity will help to keep your muscles in shape for a whole lot longer, giving you a greater range of movement as you age. These stretches will make keeping up your flexibility incredibly easy, slotting into your existing workout routine and boosting your all round health.
Best approached either after a workout or as a separate activity on its own, this stretching workout will focus on different areas of your body, helping you to get each area in really great shape. For the hip opener, you need to lie on an exercise mat, positioning your butt and legs against a wall. Extend your legs upwards and press them against the facing wall, flexing your feet. Slowly, open up your legs, keeping going until you feel a stretch. Hold the pose for 60 seconds before bringing the legs back up, repeating the move another 4 times.
While traditional lunges will help to strengthen your muscles, deep lunges can go that step further, giving tight leg muscles a good extension. To complete this move, start off on all fours, stepping your left leg forwards. Place your left foot out on the floor in front of you, bending your knee 90 degrees. Now, gently push your hip forwards until you feel a stretch, holding the pose for 30 seconds. Switch sides, being sure to hold your chest up as you do. Repeat 4 times, pulling your back foot up to your glute if you want a deeper stretch.
Lower Body Hug
While this move might take you a while to really perfect, it can help to extend out a huge section of your core muscles. Standing on an exercise mat, reach your arms to the ceiling and bend your body down at the hips, folding over as far as you can. Hold the backs of your ankles or legs and straighten out your spine, dropping your head down in front of you. Hold this for 30 seconds and return to the starting position, repeating another 3 times.
Thread The Needle
A little more tricky to pull off, this move is really worth practicing as doing so will have your body feeling all the more relaxed. Starting on all fours, reach your right hand under your left arm until the shoulder is touching the ground. Hold the move for 30 seconds, reaching as high upwards with your left arm as you can. Return to the start, switch sides and repeat the move another 3 times. You will be destressed before you know it!
Designed to stretch out that hard to reach area of your foot, this stretch is incredibly effective and will have you feeling all the more loose. Standing with your feet a hip’s width apart, face your body opposite a sturdy block or step. Now, place the ball of your right foot on the edge of the step and gently straighten out your leg so that your heel is positioned towards the floor. Hold on for balance if you need, staying in place for 30 seconds before moving on to the other side.
Your legs might have a tendency of tightening up, especially after having been put through their paces. If your hefty exercise regime is getting on top of your muscles, it’s worth looking to a deep quad stretch in order to keep things limber and light. That’s where the hip flexor comes in. Easy to pick up and effective, the move will have your legs a whole lot more supple in practically no time at all. Start off kneeling on the floor with both knees bent, keeping your shins in front of you. Now, lunge your right leg forward so that your knee is at a 90 degree angle and your foot is flat on the floor. Place both hands on top of your right knee and apply a light amount of pressure. Hold the pose for 30 seconds before repeating again on the other side.