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Flexibility Training: Top 5 Stretching Exercises for Beginners & Benefits

Woman Doing Flexibility Stretch Exercises

Any athlete, sportsperson, or regular exerciser knows the importance of stretching. Stretching is vital before and after exercise to keep your muscles in shape. Stretching will get your blood moving before starting your workouts if you’re doing cardio exercises. People who need more intensive training need to stretch to keep their muscles strong. Whatever the exercise, stretching is vital for everyone looking to do some exercise.

It can be overwhelming trying to understand which stretching exercises are best for beginners. Here is a look at the top 5 stretching exercises for flexibility training. These are all certified for beginners and have numerous benefits.

 

The Frog Stretch

Jump into the pond with this easy stretch! This stretch is helpful for runners and anyone who suffers from back pain. It will make your hips more flexible and loosen the tightness in your groin area. It’s an excellent stretch for anyone sitting at a desk all day.

  • Stary by getting on your knees and putting your palms to the floor.
  • Widen your knees until they are roughly shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your toes out and feet flat on the floor.
  • Move your hips back towards the heels of your feet.
  • For more of a challenge, move from your hands to your forearms.
  • Hold the pose for a deeper stretch for around a minute or two.

 

Standing Hamstring Stretch

This is another stretch that is perfect for any runner. You can also try it after exercise to help your calves. This stretch works your neck, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and back. Best of all, you can do this almost anywhere!

  • Stand up straight and bend your knees slightly. Keep your arms at your side.
  • Breathe out and bend forwards slowly at the hips. Make sure your shoulders, neck, and head stay relaxed.
  • Grab the back of your legs. Hold the pose for at least 45 seconds. If you can, try holding it for 2 minutes.
  • When you’re done, release your hands. Slowly bend your knees and stand up straight.

 

Butterfly Stretch

Try this stretch to work on your thighs, back muscles, glutes, and hips. If you are a runner or want to practice the splits, it is an excellent stretch to make you more flexible. You can also try it after working out your lower body. It’s also perfect for anyone with an office job because it opens your hips.

  • Start by sitting on the floor. Put the soles of your feet together and bend your knees slightly to the sides.
  • Put your hands on your feet or ankles. Use your abdominal muscles to gently lower yourself towards your feet.
  • If you can, keep your knees pressed towards the floor. If not, press them down with your hands.
  • Keep the pose for a minimum of 30 seconds. For an extra challenge, try doing it for 2 minutes.

 

Sphinx Pose

Stretch like an Egyptian with this simple pose. This stretch will gently work out your lower back, and you can do this before or after exercise. It also helps to tone your abs and exercises your chest.

  • Start by lying down on your stomach. Keep your legs out behind you.
  • Put your arms on the floor with your elbows under your shoulder. Slowly lift, with your chest going up into the air.
  • Keep your thighs and hips pressed to the floor. Try to keep your spine straight while your shoulders stay relaxed.
  • Prop your body up slightly to feel a stretch in your back. Make sure that you don’t force your body too much and keep things feeling comfortable. If you feel any pain, stop immediately.

 

Reclining Figure 4 Stretch

It would be best if you did this stretch to work out your outer hip and gluteal muscles. It is also an excellent way to relieve any tension that you might feel in your lower back.

  • To start, lie down on your back. Keep your knees bent, and make sure your feet stay flat on the floor.
  • Using your right foot, cross it over your left thigh. Slowly bring your knees towards you until you have made a rough “4” shape with your body.
  • Don’t force your body into this position. Allow your body to deepen the stretch as your legs come closer gradually.
  • Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds. You can try doing it for 2 minutes if you want more of a challenge.
  • Gradually release your body, then swap legs and repeat.

 

Important Tips

  • Don’t force your body into any stretches. If you are feeling any pain, you should stop immediately. Stretches should make you feel mild discomfort, not pain.
  • Similarly, if you find it challenging to stretch immediately after exercising, then give yourself a short break. When your muscles are warm, they will pull more easily. Try taking a hot shower or bath, then repeat the stretches.
  • Keep a steady breathing pattern as you stretch. Holding your breath will make things feel worse, so keep inhaling and exhaling regularly.
  • Remember that you don’t need to start at the deep end. Start at a slower pace, and then build up your stretches over time. If you can only do 30 seconds at the start, that is okay. Keep practicing and gradually increase the time.
  • Move your body slowly instead of jerking it around. If you move your body too quickly, you risk overstretching or injuring your muscles.
  • Your level of flexibility depends on various factors, including your age. Each person can stretch their muscles in different ways and have several levels of flexibility across their bodies. Try a different one instead if one stretch doesn’t work for you.
  • The most important thing to remember is not to give up! You are on an exercise and fitness journey, not a race. Take your time to increase your flexibility, and you will be able to see the results soon enough.

Are you looking for more tips to stay fit and healthy? Take a look at our other fitness guides!

This article is for educational use, any treatment decisions should be used in consultation with a medical practitioner.

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