When was the last time you stretched? If you can’t remember the last time you did a stretching exercise, there’s a chance you’re dealing with some tight muscles and muscle tension.
Even if it’s been a while, you can always start stretching again. Stretches are equally important as warmups and cooldowns in a workout routine. Whether you are a beginner, an athlete, or a professional personal trainer, stretching should not be optional.
Having a basic stretch routine is beneficial for everyone! Stretching improves your mobility remarkably, helps prevent post-workout pain, increases flexibility, and helps keep your muscles healthy.
However, as a beginner, you should start slow to avoid putting pressure and hurting your joints and muscles. With time, you can increase the pace and deeper stretch moves to your routines.
Types of Stretching
1. Dynamic Stretching
These types of stretches involve active movements. Your joints and muscles go through a range of progressive muscles with every dynamic stretch.
You can use dynamic stretches such as walking lunges and trunk twists to warm up before a sport or an exercise. You can also perform stretches that mimic the sport or exercise you are about to do. Dynamic stretching helps lengthen your muscles gradually over a repeated series of stretches and movements.
2. Static Stretching
Probably the most common, static stretching involves stretching a muscle then holding at that position for 15 seconds.
After release, you can return to the next set and stretch further than the previous stretch, then hold for 15 seconds.
The main difference between the two types of stretching is that the body is not moving in static stretching.
3. Getting Started
As a beginner, start performing each stretch exercise for a short time. You can increase the stretching time as your muscles start to get used to stretching and flexibility training.
Don’t stretch too much or do difficult stretches. If you realize a particular stretch is causing you pain, you’re probably pushing yourself too much, or the stretch is not right. Go gentle or stop doing it altogether.
Stretches should produce mild tension, not pain and injuries.
If you are suffering from injuries like knee injury or back injury, be careful not to cause more harm. You might want to consult a specialist on the best stretches you can do comfortably.
Daily Stretching Routine for Beginners:
- Stand up with your gaze forward and head straight
- Tip down your chin gently towards your chest
- Roll your head gently clockwise for one complete rotation
- Then roll the head in the opposite direction taking about 7 seconds for each roll
- Repeat three times
- Stand straight with your arms loosely on the sides
- Raise your shoulders to the highest level without bending your elbows
- Slowly roll the shoulders backward and back to their original position
- Repeat 5 times, then rest for 5 seconds
- Reverse directions and repeat
- Stand with your arms on the sides and feet apart
- Lift your chest, pull your hands behind your back and interlace your fingers
- With your chest still lifted, pull your shoulder plates downwards and straighten your arms.
- Hold in that position for 15-20 seconds, then release your hands
- Go down on all fours with your hands straight under the shoulders and knees bent under your hips.
- Inhaling, lift your chin towards the ceiling while lifting the chest, dropping the belly, and arching your back down to form a depression
- Exhaling, move back your chin towards your chest, lifting your belly and back towards the ceiling.
- Alternate the two poses a few seconds each
- While on a high plank, place your hands slightly forward and your feet open a little wider than your hips and move your hips back and up.
- Keep your palms flat and spread widely on the surface.
- With your legs straight, move your heels downwards to touch the surface (it’s still okay if they don’t touch).
- Stay in that position for 5 to 7 seconds.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
- Stand straight with your feet straight together.
- Put the left foot a few inches forward with the toes lifted and the heel on the surface while slightly bending the right foot.
- Place your hands one above the other on the left thigh and lean forward slightly for 5 times.
- Repeat with the other leg to make one sequence.
- Repeat the sequence thrice.
- Lie down on your right side with the left leg resting on the right leg.
- Keep your left hand on the floor and the right supporting your head.
- Lift your light leg gently to about 45° and hold it there for 5 seconds.
- Repeat four times, then turn and lay on your left.
- Repeat the movements with your right leg.
- Lie on your back, with your legs straight and your hands on the sides.
- With the right leg straight on the surface, slowly bend the left leg towards your chest and place your hands a little below the knee.
- Pull the knee gently towards your chest and hold for 15 seconds.
- Return the left leg straight on the surface and repeat with the right leg.
- Repeat 5 times for every leg.
Lower Spine Stretch
- Lie flat on your back. Bend your knees and put your feet on the surface.
- Place your hands straight on your sides.
- Slowly lift your buttocks up and off the floor while hardening your butt and moving your hips up.
- Hold there for 10 seconds, then slowly move your butt and hips back to the surface.
- Repeat 5 times.
- Go down on all fours with your knees bent on the mat and your hands straight below your shoulders.
- Open your knees wide.
- Push your hips back, letting your butt press on your heels.
- Stretch your hands forward and drop your face down on the mat.
- Press your hips a bit harder on your heels and stretch the arms a little more while pressing on the mat to stretch your shoulder
- Hold there for 15-20 seconds.
- Relax for 5 seconds, then repeat four times.
Anyone can perform stretches, not just athletes. Everyone who wants to be more flexible and add mobility to their daily lives can benefit from daily flexibility exercise. This guide to a stretching routine for beginners will help you make daily movements easy and strengthen your muscles.