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Best Overall Stretching Exercises

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Calf Stretch

calfstrechThe calf stretch is one of the primary stretching exercises for stretching the lower leg and foot. It is an often overlooked stretch but it is still important for running, cycling, and weight training. If the calves are not properly stretched, the user may experience a cramp.

The calf stretch is performed one leg at a time, while bracing yourself against a wall or sturdy piece of exercise equipment. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

Quad Stretch, Hamstring Stretch, Lower Back Stretch,  Front Shoulder Stretch,  chest stretch,  Tricep StretchQuad Stretch

The quad stretch is an important leg stretch that should be used as a complement to the hamstring stretch. The quad stretch is performed one leg at a time. Both the quad stretch and hamstring stretch should be part of any stretching routine. If you cannot balance on one leg, brace yourself against a wall or sturdy piece of exercise equipment.

The leg being stretched should be perpendicular to the body. Do not let the leg flare during the stretch. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

Hamstring Stretch

Quad Stretch, Hamstring Stretch, Lower Back Stretch,  Front Shoulder Stretch,  chest stretch,  Tricep StretchThe hamstring stretch is an important leg stretch that should be used as a complement to the quad stretch. Both the hamstring and quad stretch should be part of any stretching routine. The hamstring stretch that is performed with one leg bent is preferable to the stretch that is performed with two legs.

By performing the stretch with a bent leg, the user will not be limited by tightness in the other hamstring which might be experienced if you have to keep it straight. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

Quad Stretch, Hamstring Stretch, Lower Back Stretch,  Front Shoulder Stretch,  chest stretch,  Tricep StretchGroin Stretch

The groin stretch is one of the primary stretching exercises for working the groin and inner thigh area. This particular stretch is better than the butterfly stretch that stretches both sides of the muscle at the same time because it prevents one side from being limited by a less flexible other side.

The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

IT Band Stretch

itstretchThe IT band stretch is one of the most important and overlooked stretching exercises. Tightness in the IT band can be very painful and limiting for anyone looking to run, cycle, walk, or lift legs. When performing this exercise, brace yourself against a wall or sturdy piece of equipment.

The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

Lower Back Stretch

backstretchThis stretch is one of the most important stretching exercises for both relieving low back pain and improving future low back health. It should be part of any stretching routine. It is important for the user to keep the leg that is not being pulled to the chest flat on the ground. Doing so keeps the back in the proper position for the best lower back stretch.

The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good. (See EMG’s Lower Back Stretches for more stretches.)

Front Shoulder Stretch

shoulder-straechThe front shoulder stretch is the primary stretch for stretching the frontal deltoids. When performing this exercise, the user should grip the upper part of the arm. This allows the user to get the best stretch of the muscle and prevents any undo pressure on the elbow.

The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

Back Shoulder Stretch

backshoulderstreachBack shoulder stretches are the basic stretching motion for the shoulder muscles. They may be performed either with a towel or rope to bridge the gap between the two hands. If the user is flexible enough, he may perform the stretch without a towel or rope, simply by putting his hands together and pulling.

The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

Tricep Stretch

tristrechThe tricep stretch is an alternating arm stretch that stretches the triceps muscles. This exercise is one of the important upper body stretching exercises because triceps are used in all pressing motions, including those in chest and shoulder workouts.

The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard by pulling with the opposite arm. This can do more harm than good.

Chest Stretch

Quad Stretch, Hamstring Stretch, Lower Back Stretch,  Front Shoulder Stretch,  chest stretch,  Tricep StretchThe Chest stretch is an alternating stretch that stretches the pectoral muscles. Stand with your left side facing a wall. Bend your left elbow 90 degrees, and place your palm and forearm on the wall.

Lean your torso forward to stretch your chest. Hold for 30 seconds, then turn around and repeat with your right arm.

Neck Stretch

neckstrechThe neck stretch is a stretch to improve flexibility and prevent future injury to the neck. When the user is performing the neck stretch, he should keep his spine straight throughout.

A bend in the spine coupled with the stretching of the neck could lead to injury due to pressure from the spine upon the neck. Standing upright and not stretching the neck too far will prevent any such injury. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good.

Originally posted 2015-07-22 16:02:14.

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