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9 Exercises To Help Your Flexibility

Katie Thompson doing a stretching exericse Photo – Self

If you are one of those who find it a herculean task to touch your toes, these exercises that could help your flexibility will come in handy for you.

From breathwork to stretching to strengthening, focused effort just a few times a week can make a significant difference in how flexible you feel.

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Breathwork
Breathing is important to all exercises. People find it more difficult to stretch when their diaphragm and core aren’t strong. Furthermore, breathing properly engages and strengthens your diaphragm and core muscles.

How to:

  • You can either sit or stand in a chair with your hands placed on either side of your rib cage
  • Fill your lungs with air until you feel your rib-cage expand.
  • Exhale through your mouth, engaging your core and pelvic floor muscles as you push the air out.

Seated Side-to-side Stretch
You can stretch your torso with a side-to-side breath.

How to:

  • Sit cross-legged with your arms down at your side.
  • Inhale and bring your right arm up over your head to the left, stretching your right side.
  • Exhale and return back to start.
  • Inhale and repeat with your left arm.

Lying Twist
Focusing on your breath in the lying twist will allow you to sink deeper into the stretch.

How to:

  • Lie on the ground with your back and bring your arms out to for a T.
  • Twist your lower body to the right side, bending your left leg and allowing your left knee to rest on the ground.
  • With your shoulders on the floor, turn your head to the left.
  • On each exhale, allow your body to relax slightly deeper into the stretch.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
For those who sit for most of the day, this stretch comes in handy for their tight hip flexors.

How to:

  • Assume a lunge position with your right leg forward, ensuring your right knee is over your right foot.
  • Allow your left knee to rest on the floor.
  • Place both hands on your right leg for support and keep your back straight.
  • Gently lean backwards until you feel resistance, hanging out here to feel the stretch.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Neck Exercise. Photo Getty

Neck Rotation
Bad sleeping positions can leave one with pains in the neck and feeling out of alignment. It is important not to forget the neck area when stretching

How to:

  • In either a seated or standing position, place your right hand on the top left side of your head.
  • Tilt your head to the right, allowing your left hand to gently deepen the stretch you feel along your neck’s left side.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Seated Inhale And Exhale
Build on a diaphragmatic breath by adding movement with your arms.

How to:

  • Sit cross-legged with your arms down at your side.
  • Inhale and bring your arms up overhead.
  • Exhale and return your arms back to start.

Figure-four stretch
Release tight hips and glutes with a figure-four stretch. You can also perform this stretch while standing, though it requires quite a bit more balance. Stay on the ground until you’re comfortable.

How to:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Bring your right ankle to your left knee, allowing your right leg to rest there, bent.
  • Placing your hands on the back of your left leg, gently pull your left leg toward your chest, feeling a stretch in the right hip and glute.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Chest Stretch
Another culprit of sitting all day: a tight chest.
When your shoulders naturally round forward, your chest will take the brunt, so allowing for a nice opening stretch will ensure that you can continue to stand proud.

How to:

  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Clasp your hands, with arms extended, together behind your back.
  • Begin to raise your arms up and bend forward at your waist, feeling the stretch in your chest.

Front Swings
Loosen up your hips with this move.

How to:

  • Position yourself next to a wall or other stable surface, allowing your hand to reach out for balance.
  • Begin to gently swing your outside leg front and back, aiming to swing your leg as high as it will go.
  • Repeat on the other leg.
In this article:
Exercise
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