Most of us associate flexibility exercises with warming up but the fact is that stretching should be considered a crucial part of your exercise routine. Flexibility exercises can be categorized as either static or dynamic. Static stretching, or passive stretching, consists of a slow and constant movement that is held for up to 30 seconds at the end of a position. Dynamic stretching consists of using a combination of voluntary muscle contraction, speed of movement and momentum to activate a stretch. These stretches do not require holding the end position.
Experts suggest that not only do flexibility exercises help avoid injuries; they also help increase blood and circulation, thus allowing your brain to receive more oxygen.
Below are a combination of static and dynamic exercises that target all major muscle groups to assist you in your daily workout routine.
Shoulder and ChestClasp hands behind your back and straighten your arms. Raise hands as high as you can while bending forward at the waist and hold for up to 30 seconds.
Back and ArmsStart by placing one arm straight across your chest. Place your other hand on your elbow and bring the arm towards your chest. Repeat movement on other arm.
TricepsPlace one hand on your back and over your shoulder with your elbow pointing upwards. Using your other hand, carefully push elbow down. Repeat movement on other arm.
AdductorsStand as wide as comfortably possible. Bending your knee, shift your weight to one side and lowering yourself as much as possible. Reach for your extended foot. Hold position and repeat on other side.
GlutesStart in sitting position with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend one leg and place it over the other leg. If your left leg is bent, use your right arm and place it over your bent knee while using your elbow to gently push the knee. If your right leg is bent, use your left arm to complete the movement. Hold position and repeat on other side.
QuadricepsStand on one leg while grabbing your other leg from right above your ankle. Bring your heel towards your glutes while pushing out your hips. Hold position and repeat on other side.
CalvesStand facing a wall with your one foot about 18 inches behind the other. Keeping your back straight, push against the wall and push your hips forward. Hold and repeat on other side.