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Best Stretches For Flexibility

Whether it’s back pain, neck pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, etc – one of the primary interventions for people on a daily basis is stretching.

Improving your flexibility can decrease tension in tight muscles, improve mobility in your joints, and ultimately decrease pain in tense or tight body areas.

At PledgeSports, we not only help athletes and teams raise money through sports crowdfunding, but are also athletes ourselves and acknowledge the huge importance of flexibility and knowing which stretches are best for boosting your flexibility.

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Here are 10 of the best stretches for flexibility (if you have any of your own please let us know!)

Ear-To-Shoulder

upper-trap-stretch-300x300Great for the upper trapezius; my go-to for stiff necks and desk jobs!

Drop your left ear over towards your left shoulder. With your left hand reach up to the right side of your neck and apply a gentle over-pressure until you feel a stretch on the right side of your neck.

Hold 20 seconds and repeat three times.

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“Smell Your Armpits”

levator-stretch-300x300Similar to the Ear-To-Shoulder stretch; only now we’re going to sneak it around to the back of your neck.

Tilt your head so your nose is pointing directly at your armpit. Reach your left hand up to the back of your head and apply a gentle pressure to stretch the back of your neck.

Hold 20 seconds and repeat three times.

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Cross Body Stretch

Cross-body-stretch-300x300A definite go-to for a tight rotator cuff.

Cross right arm across the front of your body. Use your left hand to grab your right elbow. Pull your elbow to the left until a comfortable stretch is felt in the back of your right shoulder.

Hold 20 seconds and repeat three times.

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Doorway Stretch

doorway-stretch-300x300A great fix for “desk job” postures where your spine and shoulder round forward from too much time in a poor posture.

Place your forearms on either side of a door frame. Step into the door frame until a comfortable stretch is felt through the front of your chest and shoulders.

Hold 20 seconds and repeat three times.

Cat-To-Camel

cat-camel-300x300Great to improve overall spine mobility.

Get down on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Arch your back as high as you can up towards the ceiling and tuck your chin into your chest (cat).

Now sag your chest/abdomen down towards the floor while looking up directly in front of you (camel).

Hold 20 seconds and repeat three times.

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Lumbar Rotation

lumbar-rotation-300x300Lay on your back with your knees bent. Drop both knees down to the left until a comfortable stretch is felt in the right hip/lower back.

Repeat to the other side.

Hold 20 seconds and repeat three times.

Piriformis Stretch

Piriformis-stretch-300x300A favourite for back pain and tight hips.

Lay on your back with your knees bent. Cross your left leg over your right. Grab the back of your right thigh with both hands and pull it up towards your chest until a stretch is felt in the back of your left hip/backside area.

Hold 20 seconds and repeat three times.

Hip Flexor Stretch

hip-flexor-300x300Kneel your right knee with your left leg out in front of you as shown.

Shift your body forward by lunging onto you left leg until a stretch is felt in the front of your right hip.

Hold 20 seconds and repeat three times.

Hamstring Stretch

hamstring-stretch-300x300There are many ways to stretch your hamstrings; this one is great as it keeps your back in a very safe and neutral position.

Lay down on your back. Grab a belt/towel/sheet and loop it around your left foot. Keep your left leg straight and use the belt/towel/sheet to pull your leg into the air as shown until a comfortable stretch is felt in the back of your leg.

Hold 20 seconds and repeat three times.

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Calf Stretch

calf-stretch-300x300The most useful for maintaining flexibility in your ankle/Achilles tendon.

Stand with your left foot back behind you as shown. Keep your left leg straight and lunge forward onto your right leg until a stretch is felt in your left calf (it helps to push on a wall or otherwise support yourself, as shown).

Hold 20 seconds and repeat three times.

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Are you or someone you know raising money for sport ? If so, get in touch with us via info@pledgesports.org, or visit www.pledgesports.org and hit “Create A Campaign” to start raising money today!

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