Stretching is essential, but it’s often one of the first things to go when you’re short on time. Unfortunately, most people do not stretch enough. However, by committing to stretch every day, you can improve your flexibility and reduce your risk of injury. This post will outline some basic stretches that are perfect for everyday use. So whether you’re just starting or you’ve been practicing yoga for years, these stretches will help keep you feeling good!
Side Oblique Stretch
The oblique side stretch is one of the best stretches for opening up the hips and improving flexibility. Start by standing straight with your feet hip-width apart and hold onto a sturdy object like a door frame or railing. Step your left foot out to the side, and lean into the stretch while keeping your right hip straight ahead. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Downward dog is an effective yoga pose. Start on all fours and press your hips into the air. Spread your fingers wide apart from each other, then press into the palms of your hands as you lift your hips and straighten your arms to form an inverted V shape with your body. Hold for 30 seconds, then slowly lower your body back to starting position. This stretch allows you to lengthen your spine and open up your chest while developing strength in your arms and upper body.
The pigeon pose is a deep hip opener that can help relieve tension in the hips and glutes. To do this stretch, start in a downward dog position. Slide your right knee forward between your hands, then lift your chest and shift your hips back to sit on the top of your left foot. Keep your chest lifted and press into the top of your left foot to deepen the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Pigeon pose can be a little bit challenging, so if you’re new to yoga, feel free to skip this stretch for now.
To do this stretch, stand with feet hip-width apart and place your left foot on a bench or stool. Keep your back straight, hinge at the hips, and reach for your right foot. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Your hamstrings will be one of the most engaged muscles during this stretch, so make sure to keep them engaged by squeezing your glutes as you lean forward into the stretch.
The child’s pose is a gentle stretch typically at the end of yoga sessions. It can help relieve muscle tension throughout your body and improve your stability. Start on all fours, bring your big toes together and sit back onto your heels with your legs extended out. Lower chest to floor, rest forehead on the floor, and extend arms out in front of you with palms facing down. Hold for 30 seconds.
This is the best way to warm up your spine and release tension in your back. Start on all fours, and inhale as you drop your belly toward the floor, rounding your back toward the ceiling. Exhale as you scoop your abs and tuck your pelvis down towards the floor, rolling back through the spine so that you’re looking up at the ceiling. Continue for five to ten slow breaths in each position.
Stretching is an essential part of any fitness routine, so make sure to include a few stretches in your daily routine. Hopefully, you learned a few new stretches today and will be able to add them to your daily routine!