Stretching is more important than you might think, especially in daily life. It mainly helps you to loosen the joints that you use every day. We have compiled a top four below of the best stretch exercises that you can perform anytime and anywhere!

Why stretch?

When stretching, we strive to extend our muscles so that they eventually become more flexible. This is good for your joints because you can move better. Stretching before you exercise helps you to reduce the risk of injuries, after sport it helps to recover faster. This way we prevent, among other things, stiff muscles. But also stretching in itself, without being involved in sports, can be very useful! Stretching also helps you with other things, such as improving blood circulation, reducing stress and helping you maintain a better posture.

Stretch exercises

The exercises listed below are held for a total of 30 seconds. Focus especially on your breathing and you will probably also experience some mental stress relief. Always nice!

1. Cat

Do you have a stiff back? This posture is perfect to alleviate that, it stimulates blood flow and provides more mobility in your spine.
Step 1: Put your hands and knees on a practice mat or on the floor, with your wrists, shoulders, and knees in line with the hips. 

Step 2: Make your back, push your pelvis down and look at the floor. 

Make it dynamic: Breath in when you run the cat and exhale when you return to your starting position.


2. Single Leg Stretch

Having flexibility in your hamstrings is never wrong. Bonus advantage: you train your abdominal muscles at the same time.
Step 1: Lie on your back on the floor or on a practice mat. Put one leg stretched on the floor and stretch one leg up towards the ceiling.
Step 2:  Grasp your leg by your tibia or ankle and lift your shoulders off the floor.
Step 3:  Keep your legs as straight as possible and your toes towards the ceiling.

Make it dynamic: Swap leg and try to go next level by fully extending your leg and then grabbing your ankle.

3. Child’s Pose

This stretch is probably one of the most soothing stretches ever and also works well for your recovery.
Step 1:  Sit on the floor and bend your body forward. Put your hands stretched out in front of you and let your chest rest on or between your thighs.
Step 2:  Keep your arms straight in front of you and look at the floor.

4. Downward Dog

A yogi favorite without a doubt!  This posture focuses primarily on hip and shoulder mobility while stretching your hamstrings, lats (muscles in your middle back) and deltoids (muscles in your shoulders).
Step 1:  Start in a plank position with your shoulders over your wrists. Push your hips towards the ceiling so that your body forms a triangle. Keep your head between your arms and stretch your legs well. No bent knees, but a full Downward Dog.
Step 2:  Reach the ground with your heels. Keep your balance so that your body weight is evenly distributed over your hands and feet (on the photo the Bended Knee Downward Dog is demonstrated, this is possibly an easier variant).

Make it dynamic: Move regularly between the plank position and the Downward Dog.

Team FitnessAlbum

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