Do you wake up in the morning with stiff muscles? Or do you sit behind a desk all day and feel stiff and sluggish by the end of the day? Getting movement in every day is so essential, but many of us struggle to make it to the gym even a few times a week.
Here are 5 simple stretches you can do every day that will take only a few minutes of your time and will leave your whole body feeling stretched and mobile!
1. Weighted Neck Tilts
Grab a light dumbbell, kettlebell, or even a light jug of milk from your kitchen for this stretch. Stand nice and tall and hold the light weight in one hand and let it hang from your side. Tilt your head gently over in the opposite direction, increasing the stretch you feel on the right side of your neck.
Breathe and hold this position for 20-30 seconds, and then switch the weight and try this on the opposite side. Only tilt your head until you feel a comfortable stretch.
2. Rotator Cuff Stretch
If you have access to a PVC pipe or a thicker resistance band, grab one of those. Otherwise, grab a towel for this stretch! Take the PVC pipe/band /towel in your right hand, and let it hang behind your back. Your right arm should be behind your head with your elbow pointing toward the spine. Take your left arm and grab the PVC pipe/band/towel behind your back at waist-height so that your left elbow points directly off to the side. Pull the PVC pipe/band/towel up with your right hand to get a great stretch in your left rotator cuff. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides.
3. Scorpion Stretch
This stretch is great for your spine and lower back! Lie on your stomach with your arms directly out to your sides (your hands should be in line with your shoulders). Bring your right foot up and over your back, and try to touch your left hand with it. Bring it back down to the ground and then take your left foot and try to touch your right hand. Repeat this 6-8 times per side.
4. Wall Hip Flexor Stretch
Make sure you have a yoga mat, carpet, or other comfortable surface for your knee for this stretch. Facing away from a wall, place your right knee down on the ground so that your knee is about 6-10 inches from the wall. Place your toes and the ball of your right foot up on the wall so that your right leg is completely bent. Take your left leg and place it out in front of you so that your knee and ankle of your left leg are in alignment, and your left leg is making a 90 degree angle. You should feel a stretch in the right hip flexor and the right quad muscle. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.
5. Wall Calf Stretch
Stand in front of a wall. Place your toes and the ball of your right foot on the wall keeping your heel on the ground, leaving your right foot in a flexed position. Make sure your left foot is flat on the ground, and then place your hands on the wall and gently rock forward toward the wall, increasing the stretch you feel in the right calf muscle.
Rock forward and back to the starting position 10 times and then switch your feet and repeat 10 times on the opposite side.
Work on these five stretches every day and in no time, you’ll start feeling a lot more mobile and less stiff during the day!
Lauren Weiss is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor based out of Long Beach, CA. She specializes in kettlebell training and unconventional workouts and has been working with both types of fitness for over a year. Lauren has her BOLT Kettlebell Sport Certification through the USA Kettlebell League and has expertise working with kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells and several unconventional fitness tools. Lauren received her BA in Journalism and uses her writing expertise to craft thought-provoking articles about trending fitness, health & wellness topics. Follow Lauren on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Main Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Keith Rowles/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Tuzemka/shutterstock.com; Fourth Photo Credit: Corepics VOF/shutterstock.com