The Best Daily Stretches to Keep you in Shape
Stretching daily is something that millions of people do, even without knowing. It's proven to be an amazingly effective way to keep you healthy. If you think about it, that's not hard to believe either. It helps your circulation, flexibility, muscle health... it's just a great thing to do.
To make sure you're getting the most that you possibly can out of such a simple exercise, however, there are some that are better than others. When it comes to daily stretches, you need only the best after all (you don't want to be there all day!).
The overhead stretch is a great place to start and is likely already something you do as soon as you wake up in a morning. It is, after all, the iconic morning stretch that has been seen in films and TV shows since they began.
It’s literally just putting your arms straight up in the air (and probably yawning) to stretch almost your whole frontal and rear torso from top to bottom. That's perfect for helping you to relax and limber up. It’s usually not even something you do consciously, but as long as you’re doing it somewhere, it’s a good stretch.
Deltoid and Tricep Stretch
Instead of just doing generalised stretches randomly on a daily basis, it’s important to hit specific groups too. You have to make sure that you’re doing your best in the long run. The shoulder and arm flexor is a perfect example of that and another hugely iconic stretch that is seen constantly. You probably already do this throughout your day already, too (but just in case…).
To do it, all you need to do is push your arms straight outwards in front of you and add some slight pressure to squeeze your hands together and reach the optimum extension. This will sure that your front deltoids are stretched as well as your upper chest and your arms!
Chest specific stretches are not quite as common as the others have been so far. The chest flexor is still popular in the world of exercise though, so it is likely you’ll have seen it somewhere. It definitely earned its place in the qualifying for recommended daily stretches.
You need to stretch one side at a time for this stretch, so really concentrate on your form. You need to extend your left arm outwards and to your right, whilst hooking underneath with your other arm and pulling it to its maximum extension. Don't forget to repeat with the other arm to avoid imbalances.
Trunk twists are a great way to stretch out your lower back and your hips safely without having to risk any injuries from some less natural positions. It may look like something from an aerobics class, but around 8 of these should really give you some added flexibility and protect your back from a surprising injury. It's an easy move for so many benefits. They may even deserve a place on our guide to saving your lower back.
All you need to do is sit or stand upright with your arms out slightly to whatever angle is best for you, and twist your core 90 degrees to the left, back, and to the right. This simplistic movement should be taken easily though. The last thing you need is to push yourself too far and injure yourself, or too fast and fail to actually get a good stretch.
Your hamstrings may not be the first muscles to spring to mind when you’re thinking about properly stretching for general health rather than performance, but they get used a lot more than you might think. Even just walking around can pose a risk if you do something drastic. On top of that, they're awesome for boosting flexibility too, and that's always worth having.
The most logical way to stretch them is to lay flat on your back and extend your leg, before actually pulling it towards to maximise the muscle contraction. This is one of the less practical stretches that you need to be at home for ideally, however, you’ll quickly find what suits you best.
The final stretch to consider before getting on with your day is for your quads, the front of your legs, to make sure you're both balanced and flexible for your day. It’s one of the more common yet still practical stretches for your legs too which is always a plus.
To do this on, you simply need to bend your knee backwards and try to touch your heel to your glutes, hold for a second or two, and repeat with the opposite leg. This should help to prevent any tightness and get the blood flowing to your legs, so it's a good idea to use it before you go out for the day or after you've been sat for a while.
Ultimately, getting into a habit of stretching daily is never going to be a bad thing.
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If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.