Everyday Stretches To Improve Flexibility And Mobility

It’s hard for us to get out of our comfort zone and break our life’s old patterns. We don’t even realize how trapped we are in our conventional way of living, working eight hours a day sitting in one place, an hour or so goes in commuting, the remaining time may be spent eating in front of the television. Often, many of us complain of pain in the joints and stiffness, which doesn’t surprise us as these pains are a by-product of our sedentary lifestyles, but let’s pause and look at our everyday life. Can we be a little mindful and make simple and easy daily life changes to keep up good health? 

The older you get, the harder it becomes to bend down, climbing up the staircase, lifting your kid, or even a simple thing like getting up from the couch. Improving the body’s flexibility is very important to be able to do these everyday activities efficiently. We can’t achieve this without moving a muscle. 

Let’s take a look at some fast relieving and gentle stretches to get rid of random pains.

Toe Fanning

Target Muscles: Foot Muscles

Steps to Perform: 

While you’re either lying down on a surface or sitting, once you’re comfortable resting in the position, spread your toes as wide as possible, then relax your foot. To gain some additional mobility for your ankles, you can point and flex your foot as you perform this exercise, repeating these steps about 10 to 15 times for each foot.

Foot Dome

Target Muscles: The plantar fascia (thick tissues present at the sole of your foot)

Steps to Perform:

Take a golf ball or a lacrosse ball, position the center of your foot on top of the ball. Hold at the same position for your desired duration of time. You can also utilize the ball to massage out any tension you feel. You can perform this by moving your foot back & forth on the ball, especially on the areas that you feel the tension. Repeat the same process on the other foot.

Banded Calf Stretch

Target Muscles: Achilles tendon and calf muscle

Steps to Perform: 

Take an exercise band or a yoga strap and lie on the ground comfortably.

    1. Bend your left leg and root it on the floor.
    2. Position the band at the ball of your right leg while your leg is raised in the air.
    3. Bend and maintain a slight bend in your right knee.
    4. Pull the band towards your body till you feel the stretch, repeat the same process on the other leg.

Downward Facing Dog

Target Muscles: Calves, hips, and hamstrings

Steps to Perform:

 Position yourself on your knees and hands, then raise your hips into the air as you lower your head back and through your arms.

    1. Attempt to straighten out your legs as you push the top of your thighs back, but ensure that you don’t lock out completely.
    2. Hold the same position for your desired duration of time.

Double Leg Glute Bridge

Target Muscles: Hip flexors

Steps to Perform:

    1. Lie down on your back on a surface comfortably with your knees raised and feet positioned flat at the ground.
    2. Lift your hips and squeeze your butt.
    3. Hold the same position for 3 secs and then proceed to lower your hips back to the floor.
    4. Repeat the same process 10 to 15 times.

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Target Muscles: Hip flexors

Steps to Perform: This is the stricter variation of the Double Leg Glute Bridge exercise. Lie down on your back on a surface comfortably, bend your right leg and raise your left leg straight in front of you. Lift the raised leg off the floor (height is not essential). Lift your hips into the air, squeeze your butt, lower the leg back down to the ground and repeat the process 10 to 15 times for each leg. 

Sitting Hamstring Stretch

Target Muscles: lower back, hamstring

Steps to Perform: 

Sit comfortably on a surface with your legs stretched out in front of you. Ensure that you’re sitting straight and then reach for your toes (as much as you can) without having your back rounded. It’s okay if your knees are a bit bent; hold for your desired duration of time.

Standing Forward Fold

Target Muscles: Calves, hips, and hamstrings

Steps to Perform: 

Stand straight on the ground, and then attempt to reach for your toes, floor, or shins. You can bend your knees if you find your hamstrings incredibly tight. Rest here and breathe.

Standing Quad Stretch

Target Muscles: hip flexors and quads

Steps to Perform: 

Stand on the floor with your feet exactly below your hips. Proceed to raise your left ankle and grab it with your left hand. To maintain balance in this position, lift your left arm upwards or stare at a certain point on the floor. Squeeze your left butt cheek to emphasize the stretch. Perform the same stretch on your other leg.

Standing IT Band Stretch

Target Muscles: lats, hips, IT band

Steps to Perform:

    1. Position yourself with both your feet together.
    2. Proceed to place your left foot behind you as you bring out your right arm above your head.
    3. Shift your hips to the left and hold the same position.
    4. Repeat the same steps for the opposite side.

Conclusion

You can increase your body’s strength, mobility, and flexibility with some gentle and small movements. Some light stretches can bring a massive impact on your body. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym or even spend tons of money on hiring fitness instructors; you can achieve a toned body at home with a little bit of effort. Stretches subside joint-pain as well that people often complain about. So all you need to do is make small and simple changes in your daily routine, and you will be in good shape.