Not only are gymnasts expected to have a high degree of flexibility, but anyone can benefit from it. In addition to enhancing mobility, it lowers injury risks, improves blood flow to joints, eases muscular tension, and so on.
Stretching after a workout helps loosen up tense muscles, making it an essential part of any regular workout routine. These 10 simple flexibility exercises can help you improve the flexibility of specific muscles as well as the overall body.
10 Flexibility Exercises
1. Standing Quad Stretch
Stand with your feet a few inches apart. Lift one foot behind you and pull the heel toward your buttock while holding it firmly in place with both hands. For about five seconds, keep your hands in this position. Repeat this with the other foot as well.
2. Standing Side Stretch
Lift your arms overhead while standing with your feet together. Your fingers should be entwined in a fist-like grip. Taking a deep breath in, lift your arms to the sky and bend your upper body to the right as you exhale. For five seconds, hold. After exhaling, return to your starting position, and then switch sides.
3. Seated Hamstring Stretch
Extend your right leg out in front of you as you sit on the floor. Put the sole of your left foot against the inside of your left thigh as you do the squat. Pull the toe toward your body as far as you can while leaning forward. Hold the position for 10 seconds, then switch legs.
4. Standing Calf Stretch
Place your palms flat on the wall, shoulder-width apart, about three feet from the wall. Toes facing forward, place your right foot behind you and in a forward position. Lean forward while keeping your right knee straight and your heel on the ground. Hold for a few seconds before switching to the other leg and repeating the exercise.
5. Shoulder Stretch
Grab one elbow with the other hand and pull it across your chest while keeping your back straight. Repeat on the other side for a few seconds.
6. The Forward Hang
Keep your knees slightly bent and your feet hip-width apart as you stand. Your fingers should be entwined behind your head. Exhale as you raise your arms overhead. Bend your knees and raise your arms toward your head as you exhale. For five seconds, hold.
Get down on your hands and knees on the floor. As you take a deep breath, lift your upper back toward the ceiling. Return to the starting position after a few seconds of holding the position. Hold for a few seconds as you dip your back and push your tummy toward the floor.
8. Butterfly Groin Stretch
As you sit upright on the floor, bend your knees and pull your feet toward your groin. Drop your knees and apply gentle pressure to your groin and inner thighs until you feel a stretch. Grasp your feet. Rotate your upper body in a clockwise and anticlockwise motion.
9. Split Squat
Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Place your right foot in front of your left one and step forward. Your hands should be intertwined under your ribs. Gluteal and pelvic floor muscles should be squeezed and tucked in to improve posture. Count to three before slowly lowering one knee at a time. Bring your hands back up to three while pressing into the floor. Repeat on the other side.
10. Modified Cobra
You can do this position by lying on your stomach on the floor, with the thumbs under your shoulders and your feet wide apart. Pull in your pelvic floor and tuck your lower back in. Pushing with your thumb and index finger, raise your chest. Return to the starting position after five seconds.