Watching YouTube workout videos where yogis seem to have amazing flexibility can put you off from even attempting to try yoga or do the splits. Have no fear as these easy and simple stretching methods below can help you to become more flexible.
1. Triceps Stretch
This stretching method can be done kneeling, sat down or standing up. If you are standing up to do this stretch, make sure to have your feet hip-width apart.
Stretch your arms out above you and then bend your right arm down to touch the middle of your back. Using your left arm, reach overhead and touch just beneath the bottom of your right elbow. Switch to your other arm and repeat.
2. 90/90 Stretch
This sounds like one of the difficult stretching methods but it is a lot easier than it sounds. Sit down with your right leg in front of you bent at a 90-degree angle. Your calf should be perpendicular to your body and your leg should be on the floor with the sole of your foot facing left.
Your left leg should be in the opposite direction so lay your left knee to the left side of your body and bend your knee backwards so your foot faces behind you. Try to keep your butt on the floor and hold your position for a minute or two. Your legs should be in a 90/90 position (hence the name of this stretch).
3. Butterfly Stretch
This is one of the best stretching methods that will stretch your whole body out! Sit on the floor with your back straight. Have the soles of your feet touching each other and bend your knees out to the side as far as you can.
Make sure you keep your back straight whilst trying to bend your knees and try to bend your knees as far to the floor and hold for a minute so you really feel that stretch in your legs.
4. Shoulder Squeeze
This stretching method can be done either sat down or standing up. Interlink your hands together behind your lower back and stretch your arms out. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for a few seconds and repeat.
The shoulder squeeze is a really effective stretching method especially for office workers that have been sat in a chair all day. It will definitely help with your posture and loosen up your back muscles!
5. Side Bend Stretch
Begin by kneeling on the floor with your legs together. Extend your right leg out to the side with your right hand resting on top of your leg. Your left leg should remain in the middle with your left arm in the air. Lean to the right and you should feel a stretch in your obliques on your left side and in your right leg.
This is one of those stretching methods that will help you straighten out those love handles!
6. Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch
Begin by kneeling with both of your legs together. Lift your right leg and place your right foot in front of you so that it is 90 degrees to the floor. Lean your leg backwards as far as you can with your foot facing the floor.
Keep your back straight and maintain your position for a minute or so and then repeat by switching sides. This stretch is great for helping you work towards doing the splits!
7. Knee To Chest Stretch
Lay flat on your back so that you are facing the ceiling. Raise your right leg and bend your knee into your chest. Hold your knee to your chest with both your hands while keeping your left leg firmly on the ground.
Switch to your left leg and then repeat.
8. Extended Puppy Pose
Kneel so you are on all fours like a dog. Slowly slide your hands forward in front of you as far as you can with your feet still firmly in place. Stay in position and hold for a minute or two and then repeat.
You’ll feel a stretch in your back and shoulders and this will also help you with your bad posture.
9. Standing Quad Stretch
Start off by standing with your feet together and hands by your side. Raise your right leg behind you and using your right hand, hold your foot to your butt. Hold your position for a minute or so and you should feel a stretch in your quads.
Release and then repeat with your left leg. Make sure to keep your legs close together at all times and to stand tall and straight.
10. Knees To Chest
You’re probably thinking this is a stretching method you’ve come across earlier (number 7) but it is slightly different. Instead of just the one knee brought up to your chest and then switching over, this time you will need to bring up both of your knees at the same time and hold.
Again, lie on your back and concentrate on the ceiling before raising both your knees to your chest. Use your hands to hold your position for a minute before releasing and then repeat.