Stretching is great for one’s health. It helps improve circulation, flexibility, and even mood! Although you should always do some stretching at the beginning of each day, here are five easy stretches that can be done whenever you have the free time. They’ll target five regions, respectively: the legs, the hips, the spine, the shoulders, and the neck.
Number 1. The Legs (Hamstrings)
Lying down on a flat surface, place your hands flat against the ground parallel with your body. Raise your right foot (with your leg straight) as high as you can in the air. Try to make a 90 degree angle with your quadriceps and waist. Hold for 20 seconds.
Next, slowly lower your right leg and repeat the exercise with your left. If it is difficult to do this with both legs, consider a support for pulling in the legs. One option is to take a piece of cloth (long) and pull it around the base of your foot. Hold the two ends in each hand and slowly pull your leg up.
Remember, you don’t want to hurt yourself stretching, so take your time – you’ll reach that 90 degrees after a few sessions.
After you’ve done both legs, put your ankles together and raise them both at the same time. You’ll feel the tension in your core, but hold the pose for 20 seconds.
Number 2. The Hips
Remaining the floor from the last stretch, take a deep breath in and release. This will help center you from the last stretch. Once you’ve regained energy, slightly raise one foot into the air, about 30-40 degrees above the ground. Keeping your legs straight, draw circles in the air with your foot (rotating clockwise). Do this for about 20 seconds and repeat with other leg.
* Bring the legs and hips stretching to a close by once again laying flat on the ground. Bending your knees, bring one leg against your hips (ankle should touche the buttocks). Repeat with other leg, and finally do both legs at once. Hold each pose for 20-30 seconds.
Number 3. The Spine
First, find yourself a small pillow or pad for neck support. Laying back down (now with your neck slightly raised by a pillow) pull up your knees to your chest area. Use both hands to bring your knee closer to the body. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
Next, switch legs and repeat the same process. Finally, use both legs.
On all fours, slowly arch your back while keeping your shoulders relaxed. As you drop your head and slowly move your legs close to your arms, focus on making a C shape with your back. Repeat 3-4 times.
Number 4. The Shoulders
Either standing up straight with your legs shoulder length apart or sitting with your legs tucked under your body, take a few deep breathes and relax. Slowly raise both shoulders as high as you can without making any sudden jerking movements. Repeat 5-10 times.
Next, touch your shoulders with your hand, making a V shape at your elbows. Touch your elbows together, then rotate each arm separately in opposite directions.
Number 5. The Neck
Stand up straight with your arms relaxed and at your side. Slowly bring your head as forward as possible. Next, bring your head as far back as possible. Repeat the process with respect to both right and left directions. Do all motions 4-5 times.
Also consider rotating your head in a full clockwise motion. Move your neck slowly without jerking it, and be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed. Repeat counter clockwise.