Although everyone always credits exercising for its benefits, stretching doesn’t get that kind of attention. But, it should! Stretching is one of the best ways to wake up in the morning and get your body ready for the day to come.
Stretches are favorable for various reasons. First, stretches provide you with energy and are the ideal warm-up to your regular training.
Second, stretches can prevent any possible training injuries and will keep you safe from body pains, especially in the back.
Next, stretches are easy to do and enhance your flexibility, while also toning the muscles. Emotionally, stretching helps cope with stress and stiffness and brings a soothing and relaxing sensation.
To harvest all their benefits, here are the top 10 stretches to do daily.
10 Stretches to Practice Daily
1. Downward Dog
Great for the back, legs and spine, downward dog is everyone’s favorite posture.
- Begin in a plank position.
- Keep the arms straight and bend the knees generously if you are not advances.
- Let the heels drop to the floor and push yourself off the ground, so you are forming a ‘V’.
- Keep the back flat and the spine elongated and hold posture for several breaths.
2. Side Oblique Stretch
Amazing for the hips and obliques, this stretch is instantly effective.
- Stand with the feet at your hips’ width.
- Keep the torso strong and raise one hand overhead, stretching all the way over your head.
- Keep the palm inward and hold the stretch for eight seconds, before switching sides.
3. Crescent Pose
Good for balance and abs, this stretch also affects the hips and chest.
- Get into a lunge posture, with front knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Keep the core and abs engaged, tucking the tailbone in.
- Also keeping a straight back, raise both arms overhead, away from the ears.
- Keep the palms facing inwards and open your heart by lifting the chest as upfront as they go.
- Hold for seven seconds, then release and switch sides.
4. Child’s Pose
Versatile and practical, this stretch brings a whole back, shoulder and spine extension.
- Get on your knees, with knees as wide as the mat.
- Connect the two big toes together and begin lowering the upper body forward.
- Extend the arms, reaching with the fingertips, while resting your head between the arms.
- Breathe several deep and long breaths.
5. Single Leg Stretch
This stretch is perfect to engage the hamstrings and core.
- Lie flat on the back and extend both legs upwards at a 90-degree angle.
- Drop one leg, while pulling the other towards your upper body.
- Don’t lose your frame, but rather find a fine stretching in the hamstring.
- Keep shoulders flat to the ground and point the toes.
- Breathe deeply and release to switch sides.
Fun and effective, this stretch is amazing for flexibility and engaging the glutes.
- Begin seated on your mat, with your legs in front of you.
- Place hands behind you, with fingers pointing outwards.
- Lift one leg and keep the other bent at the knee, slightly lifting off the ground.
- Cross the lifted foot over the grounded leg and open the hip to the side.
- Roll the shoulders back and keep the back straight for a cycle of breaths.
- Once done, switch sides.
If you are having back or low-waist issues, this is a great stretch to try.
- Begin on all fours, placing feet flat on the ground, and arms strong beneath the shoulders.
- Begin dipping the belly down in thoughtful movements, inhaling deeply.
- On an exhale, pull the belly towards the spine, raise the shoulders and round through the spine.
- Repeat several times while aligning your breath to the stretch.
8. Standing Hamstring Stretch
Ideal for a proper posture and engaging the hamstrings, this stretch is easy to do and beneficial, too.
- Stand upright and keep feet at hips’ width.
- Bend the knees slightly and keep your arms by each side.
- On an exhale start lowering the head to the floor, still keeping the head, shoulders, and neck steady.
- Wrap the arms around the back of the legs and hold for 45 seconds to up to two minutes.
- Bend knees once more and slowly return to initial posture.
9. Piriformis Stretch
Beneficial to the hips, knees, and back, this stretch combines several movements at once.
- Begin seated on the floor, extending both legs in front of you.
- Keeping the left leg flat, cross the right leg over the left, flattening the foot to the ground.
- Place your right hand behind you, while crossing the left hand on the right quad.
- Keep the torso strong and engaged, and your back straight.
- Breathe into the sensation, then release and switch sides.
10. Triceps Stretch
For this stretch, you can choose to kneel, sit, or stand.
- Keep the feet at your hips’ width and extend the arms overhead.
- Begin bending the right elbow overhead, almost touching your back with your fingers.
- Use your left hand to keep the right arm strong and steady.
- Breathe into the stretch and feel the back and shoulders extend.
- Release slowly and switch sides.
Feeling stretched, yet?