Top 8 Stretches for Pain, Flexibility, and Muscle Recovery by fitnessxperts | Jan 31, 2021 | Uncategorized Stretching is an integral part of any fitness regimen. It is the perfect counterbalance to weight lifting, cardio, and other more intense exercises. Stretching improves flexibility and range of motion, stretches tight muscles, and can even help prevent or relieve injury and pain. The keys to stretching are patience and consistency. Read on to learn about our favorite stretches for each major body part. Neck Sit or stand up tall, relax your shoulders, and then gently bring your left ear to your left shoulder until you feel a moderate stretch. Take a nice deep breath, exhaling as you roll your head forward and bring your chin to your chest, then pause and hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the right side. Back Come down to all fours with your knees and hands hip-width apart. Be sure to keep your core engaged as you gently curve your back, breathing deep as you pull your belly button to your spine. Hold for 20-30 seconds. You can take this stretch deeper by sitting back onto your heels and extending your arms out in front of you. Glutes & Hips Lie on your back and bend your right knee up towards your chest. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale cross your right ankle at your left knee. Gently grab the back of your left thigh and pull your legs towards your chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Triceps Sit or stand up tall and extend your left hand up to the ceiling. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale bend your left arm at the elbow, bringing your left palm towards the center of your back. Use your right hand to gently guide your elbow to the center and down. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Chest & Biceps Stand tall and relax your shoulders, then interlace your fingers behind your back. Straighten your arms and take a deep breath as you lift your arms up behind into a gentle stretch. Remember to keep your shoulders down, your chest up, and your back straight while you hold for 20-30 seconds. Hamstrings Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Bring your left leg forward, and gently bend over while keeping your back straight and a slight bend in your right knee. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Quadriceps Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. You may want to hold onto a wall or back of a chair for balance. Keep your back straight and take a deep breath as you reach back and grab your left foot in your left hand. Keep your thighs lined up next to each other as you gently pull. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Calves Stand facing a wall a little more than arm’s length away. With your feed pointing directly forward, put one foot forward with a bent knee, and the other one foot with a straight knee. Use your arms to brace yourself against the wall, then keep your belly firm and lean forward and down until you feel the stretch in your calf muscle. Try to keep both feet flat. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you reach your goals — safely and effectively!