Medically reviewed by Peggy Pletcher, M.S., R.D., L.D., CDE — composed by Gretchen Stelter — update on December 19, 2016

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Flexibility isn’t disputed much when it pertains to general wellness, however it’s not just for yogis and also gymnasts.

You are watching: If your goal is to improve range of motion stretch to the point

Though current studies have uncovered that stretching before exercise is not as “necessary” as once thought, the shouldn’t be taken as “no stretching is needed.” increasing your adaptability can help you:

avoid injuriesstave off arthritis and also other chronic issuesincrease your variety of motionimprove posture and also balance

Increasing your versatility is ideal up there with cardiovascular health and strength training as soon as it involves staying fit and also healthy. And also no, you don’t have actually to end up being a person pretzel to reap the benefits. Listed below are five straightforward ways to boost flexibility, from certain stretches to tips on exactly how to add new additions to your present routine.

Stretching can be exceptionally beneficial, yet is the best before or ~ you job-related out?

It comes under to what you desire to achieve. If girlfriend stretch prior to exercise, it deserve to weaken muscles in the instant future, but increase your range of motion. If girlfriend really desire to get your foot behind her head during your workout because that some factor or have other variety of motion desires, big beforehand.

If you desire to rise your flexibility overall, not simply for the next hour or less, it deserve to be more rewarding to stretch once your muscles have warmed up. If you’re not all set to include a complete stretching workout day to her routine, consider adding stretches to the finish of your present regimen. Though stretching prior to is good if you choose it, stretching when your muscles room warm and pliable can more effectively boost your power and speed and assist prevent injury.

What’s going to aid most? extending for 10 minutes a job is best, no issue when you carry out it. This is specifically true if you’re currently dealing with:

inflexibilitybalance issuesback paindecreased range of motion

There are a number of different types of stretching, favor dynamic, static, ballistic, and beyond. However there space two main varieties you want to emphasis on and know about: dynamic and static.

Static extending is what a many of civilization think of as soon as they think the stretching. This is stop a position that goes just past your point of comfort for about 30 seconds and also repeating it two to three times. Think of the standard quad stretch when you was standing on one leg, bending the various other knee, and grab that foot.

Dynamic extending is often done prior to exercise. Done correctly, dynamic stretches warm up muscles and also lubricate joints. A an excellent example is swinging her arms throughout your chest, back and forth, prior to doing pushups.

If you decide to large every work or to include stretches through exercise, perform a little bit of dynamic stretching prior to you begin your routine. Static stretches are ideal for lengthening her ligaments after her workout, ~ muscles space warm.

Dynamic Stretches


Stand through your legs hip-width apart. Seize a chair earlier for more support if you need to.Rest your appropriate hand on your hip (or chair), and lift her left foot off the floor simply a couple of inches (as much as you can and still save your leg straight).Slowly swing your leg across your human body to the right, then the end to the left. Nothing go as high as you can. This is just to heat up her hip joint.After law this at least 10 times, switch her swing to forward and also back. Again, don’t go as high as you have the right to go, just roughly a 45-degree angle at most from her standing leg.When done, switch sides.


As stated above, merely swinging your arms ago and soon is a an excellent dynamic stretch.

Stand with your feet planted firmly. Make sure nothing is in your way that will acquire hit as you move.Begin to swing your arms in front of your body, crisscrossing your arms as you do. Then swing them ago out to your sides or a little beyond.Don’t prevent the totter to just go come a particular point. Just swing gently and in a managed manner, limiting your swing only if it hurts.

Static Stretches

Static stretches should go just past your suggest of resistance and also then be held for 20 come 30 seconds. The stretch shouldn’t hurt and also you may have the ability to go deeper as you hold it. Exhaling helps you relocate deeper right into a stretch.

Upper Body

Stand v feet hip-width apart.Inhale and lift her arms up and also out till you can clasp them overhead.As friend exhale, reach up through your spine, revolve you best hand palm up, master your right wrist with your left hand, and bend to the left.As you continue to organize this position, breathing deeply and also slowly, checking in with your shoulders. They shouldn’t be up roughly your ears, yet rather in a neutral place with your shoulder knives relaxed on her back.

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Lower Body

Sit on the soil in a vast straddle.Turn your upper body toward your ideal leg so her leg is stretching out in line through the middle of her chest.Facing your leg, gradually exhale and also lower your ribs towards your knee. You have the right to reach for your knee, her calf, or her foot to help support you.Hold because that at least 20 seconds, and do the stretch at the very least twice on each leg. Girlfriend can alternating legs or simply do the large multiple time on one leg prior to switching.

Medically reviewed by Peggy Pletcher, M.S., R.D., L.D., CDE — written by Gretchen Stelter — updated on December 19, 2016