Unsure what to do? Here are 10 quick tips about the best stretches for improved flexibility and mobility

25.06.2021

Unsure what to do? Here are 10 quick tips about the best stretches for improved flexibility and mobility.

Do you love to work out? Do you work an office job which requires you to sit at a desk all day? Are you a tradie bent over and enduring manual labour on the tools? Do you feel stiff when you first wake up the morning or sore after a long day at work? Have you experienced back pain, neck pain, hip pain?

Stretching may not be the highest priority on your list when working out but doing regular stretching is just as beneficial to your body as strength and cardio training. Incorporating stretching into your workout schedule (even just 10 minutes a day!) will help you improve flexibility and mobility, reduce risk of injury, increase your range of motion, and allow you to recover faster and perform better. Luckily, improving your flexibility and mobility isn't hard. It just takes a little time and commitment.

Here are our 10 quick tips about the best stretches for improved flexibility and mobility.

Best stretches for flexibility and mobility

1.    Standing Hamstring Stretch

Target area: Hamstrings, calves, glutes, back and neck flexibility and mobility

- Stand tall with your feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent

- Exhale as your forward fold, arms track down the front of your legs, relax your head, neck and shoulders

- For a deeper stretch, wrap your hands behind the back of your legs

- Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, focusing on your breathing

- Exhale, bend your knees and roll up, one vertebrae at a time to standing position

2.    Hip Flexor Stretch

Target area: Hip flexor and quad flexibility and mobility

- Start in a lunge position with one leg resting on the ground

- Tuck your pelvis under and lift your chest high

- Press forward into the bent knee and you'll feel the stretch in the hip resting on the ground

- Hold the stretch for 30seconds, and then repeat on the other leg.

 

3.    Glute Stretch

Target area: Glutes, hips, lower back and hamstrings flexibility and mobility 

- Lying on your back, bend one knee outward, so your ankle is resting on the opposite knee. Place your hands behind the 90 degree leg and bring it closer to you

- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then switch legs

 

4.    Lunge with spinal twist

Target area: hip flexors, quads, thoracic(mid-back) flexibility and mobility

- Bend your left knee into a deep lunge position, keeping your right leg straight behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your right thigh

- Place your right hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the left as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling

- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side

 

5.    Cat/Cow Stretch

Target area: back, neck, chest, shoulders, hips flexibility and mobility

- Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders and knees under hips

- Inhale and arch spine so belly sinks down while face and tailbone lift upwards. (This is cow pose.)

- Then, exhale and push into hands and knees to hollow belly, round spine, and tuck chin towards chest. (This is cat pose.)

- That's one rep. Repeat 3- 5 times

 

6.    Thread the needle Stretch

Target area: thoracic spine, back, neck, chest and shoulders flexibility and mobility

- Start in four-point kneeling. Ensure your knees are under your hips and your hands are underneath your shoulders

- Take your right hand and thread it underneath the left arm allowing your right shoulder to drop towards the floor. Stretch arm out long

- Then bring the arm back through and continue the movement reaching the right arm up and over the body to rotate up to the ceiling

- That’s one rep. Repeat 3 times on each side

 

7.    Side Bend Stretch

Target area: lower back, chest and shoulders flexibility and mobility

- Sitting tall, legs crossed, slide one arm out to the side, rest your forearm on the mat

- Reach your other arm up over head and lean to the side of your grounded arm

- You should feel this through your obliques.Keep chest open and proud

- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then switch arms

 

8.    Sphinx Stretch

Target area: lower back, chest and shoulders flexibility and mobility

- Lie on your stomach with your legs straight out behind you

- Place your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms on the floor as you lift your chest up off the floor

- Press your hips and thighs into the floor and think about lengthening your spine while keeping your shoulders relaxed

- Sit up just enough to feel a nice stretch in your lower back. Be conscious not to hyperextend through your spine

- Hold stretch for 5 seconds and repeat 5-6 times

 

9.    Triceps Stretch

Target area: triceps, back, neck and shoulders flexibility and mobility

- Kneel, sit, or stand tall with feet hip-width apart, arms extended overhead

- Bend your right elbow and reach your righthand to touch the top middle of your back (in between your shoulder blades)

- Reach your left hand overhead and grasp just below your right elbow

- Gently pull your right elbow down and feel the stretch the back of your arm

- Hold stretch for 30 seconds and switch arms

 

10.  Frog Stretch

Target area: hips, quads and groin flexibility and mobility

- Start on all fours

- Slide your knees wider than shoulder-width apart, arms resting out in front for balance

- Turn your toes out and rest the inner edges of your feet flat on the floor

- Shift your hips and bum back toward your heels

- Move from your hands to your forearms to get a deeper stretch, if possible

- Hold stretch for 30 seconds

We encourage you to incorporate 10-15 minutes of daily stretching to improve flexibility and mobility. At the bare minimum, spend time stretching after exercise to allow you to squat deeper, lift heavier, recover faster and prevent injuries occurring.

As an ember member you have access to a full library of guided 5 -20 minute stretch videos. These are a mix of full body, lower body, upper body and heart opening/ yoga flow stretch videos. We would encourage you to check out our library, if you're not sure where to start! 

We hope you enjoy our tips and reap the benefits of being able to move through life more freely.

Ash & Morgs x

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