Stretching matters. In fact, stretching matters so much, that both studies and alternative medicine support it. Stretching is a great physical activity which helps you unwind, relax and feel energized in an instant.
Yoga, for instance, is one of the best ways to stretch out the muscles and fill the body with positivity. Whether you are suffering from back, neck or another form of pain, stretches are a great way to not only release the pain but also encourage the body to work better.
What are the Benefits of Stretches?
- Flexibility: One of the main benefits of stretching is flexibility. Stretches help extend the muscles and bones and engage your body in a positive moving flow. With this, the body releases endorphins, which improve your physical and emotional health.
- Posture: Stretching is great if you have a flattened or a curvy back. Patients with severe body pain issues have largely supported the powers of a stretch. Stretching helps the spine move around and hold the body upright and steady.
- Reduced Back Pain: Stretching not only enhances spine performance but also helps the back relieve built-up tension and muscle stress. By stretching, you will also avoid back and spine problems, while feeling energized enough to continue your day.
- No Stress: When we stretch, our body encourages relaxation and mobility, which immediately eliminates symptoms of stress.
8 Stretches You Can do At Home and Improve Your Health
1) Door Stretch
For this stretch, you will only need a door to lean on. Doors are very steady and help the spine strengthen and straighten.To do the stretch, place the arms against the door jam and extend your foot past the threshold.Keep the arms parallel to the floor, while keeping the forearms aligned with the door frame.Slowly, bend the front knee and feel out the stretch throughout your body. Hold the posture for 30 seconds, and then switch legs and repeat.
2) Standing Side Stretch
This stretch helps your extend the shoulders and stimulate the core and upper back.First, bring your palms together and point the index fingers. Place hands above your head and hold. As you move your body, inhale and exhale and make sure oxygen relaxes the body nicely. Take 5 deep breaths and then return to the initial posture. Repeat on the other side, and do a total of 4 reps.
3)Standing Hamstring Stretch
Do this stretch if you want to activate the back of the legs and prevent lower back pain.Place the heel lower than your hip, supported against a surface like the bed or a chair. Flex the foot and deepen the stretch. Hold the posture for 30 seconds, and then switch legs and repeat.
4)Standing Forward Bend
Begin by standing upright, with your feet at a hip distance, and your knees mildly bent.Allow the upper body to lean over the legs, so you can grasp the elbows. If you find this challenging, use your hands to add more support to your frame. Hold the posture for 4 breaths, while shaking your head ‘yes’, ‘no’, and side to side.
Use your abs to extend the spine. Repeat twice.
5)Elevated Pigeon Stretch
Tight hips? Lower back pain? No problem.Bent the left leg in the knee, and support it on the bed. Square the hips so your front knee is in front of the shoulder.
Keep the spine straight and keep in mind not to tuck your tailbone. Bend forward and place hands on the bed if you want more support.
Hold the posture for 5-6 breaths and repeat on the other side.
6) Cat & Cow
This known stretch targets the back, neck, and spine.
Start the posture on all fours, palms placed under the shoulders and knees placed under the hips.
Inhale and drop the belly as low as it goes. Exhale and engage the abs as you round the spine upwards, like an arch.
Do not strain the neck and engage the abs to go up and down. Repeat 5 times.
7) Clasped Hand Chest Stretch
This stretch helps you activate the chest, and targets the upper and bottom body and shoulders. Keep the feet at a hip distance. Connect the hands behind the back. Use a towel or a yoga block to help you ease into this stretch. Raise the arms behind you and bend forward. Let your head hang loose and reach with your arms overhead. Keep hands clasped and connect the palms if you can. Keep the posture for 30 seconds, and then slowly release to the initial position. Repeat three more times.
8) Straight Leg Calf Stretch
If you need to release tension in the calves, this stretch should do the trick.
Face a wall and hold your arms straight and against the wall. Bring the right leg forward while keeping the foot grounded. Extend the left leg behind but keep the left foot glued to the floor.
Start leaning into the wall, but do not bend the extended. Keep this posture once you feel the calves are engaged.
Keep the position for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat. Practice the exercise two times a day, doing three sets for each leg.