You may think that stretching is only for athletes or yogis, but the truth is that everyone – regardless of their physical fitness level – should be stretching daily. Especially as we age, our muscles can easily shorten and become tight. Stretching helps loosen muscles, increases your range of motion, and improves strength, lowering your risk of strains, joint pain, and more severe muscle damage or injury. Daily stretching doesn’t have to be strenuous, nor does it have to be time-consuming. Here, we present some of the most important muscle groups to stretch – and the best and easiest ways to do so.
Best Stretch: Runner’s Lunge
Your hamstrings are sensitive muscles that are susceptible to injury. They easily tighten from sitting, leg crossing, and other bad habits. Runner’s lunges aren’t just for runners. They are for anyone who wants a good stretch in the hamstring. Click here to learn how to do a proper runner’s lunge.
Neck and Shoulders
Best Stretch: Neck and Shoulder Rolls
Your neck and shoulders hold a lot of tension, especially if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer or looking at your phone. Shoulder and neck rolls are a quick and easy way to stretch those muscles. You can even do them while you work! Click here to learn how to do proper neck and shoulder rolls.
Best Stretch: Kneeling Runner’s Lunge
Your hips function within ball-and-socket joints, but these muscles can get very tight if you don’t practice this full range of motion. A kneeling runner’s lunge is a more intensive stretch that will dig into these muscles while activating the other muscle groups in the legs. Click here to learn how to do a proper kneeling runner’s lunge.
Best Stretch: Cat/Cow Pose
Stretching your back muscles is important to help relieve any pain, tension, or injury caused by poor posture or undue stress. Yoga poses such as cat/cow activate, strengthen, and stretch the back muscles. Click here to learn how to do a proper cat/cow pose.
Best Stretch: Standing Quad Stretch
At this point, it’s safe to say you need to stretch all leg muscles daily! Standing quad stretches are easy movements that you can do almost anywhere. Click here to learn how to do a proper standing quad stretch.
Best Stretch: Pigeon Pose
If you spend most of your day sitting, your glute muscles in particular can get tight. The pigeon pose provides glute and other leg muscle relief while also helping with relaxation. Click here to learn how to do a proper pigeon pose.
Daily stretching is vital to keeping your joints and muscles running like well-oiled machines. For this reason, you should be building (at minimum) these stretches into your daily routine!