We all have heard health coaches and instructors going on and on about the importance of warm-ups. You know what, they are right. Without a warm-up, you can be opening your body to undue muscle strain and tears. Warm-ups not only prevent us from muscle and joint damage, they also provide flexibility to our body during and even after exercise. Even if you aren’t exercising, we should be doing some kind of workouts to improve flexibility in your body. As we get older, our muscles become less elastic with time. You might start experiencing muscle or joint pain. If you want to continue enjoying an active lifestyle (or even a sedentary one) without muscle pain in your 60s and 70s, these are some great workouts to improve flexibility in your body.
This exercise targets and stretches your spine, neck, shoulder and chest muscles. Place your hands underneath your shoulders, and slowly lift your torso up while inhaling in. Arch your neck and look at the ceiling. Remember to pull your abdominal muscles towards your spine. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds. Now exhale as you go back to starting position.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
This exercise targets and stretches your neck, back, hamstrings and calves. Stand straight with your feet hips apart and hands by the side. Slightly bend your knees. Bending your hips forwards, lower your head while you exhale. Put your arms around the back of your legs and hold for 15-30 seconds. Inhale and come back to starting position.
Seated Leg Extension
This exercise targets and stretches your legs and back. Sit straight on a chair, with your calves at a 90-degree angle with your thighs. Raise your left leg and hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat the exercise with the right leg.
This exercise targets and stretches your hip, pelvic and back. Get down on all fours. Slide your knees a little more than your shoulders, with your feet flat on the floor. Hold the position for 15-30 seconds.
Downward Dog Pose
This exercise targets and stretches your hamstrings, calves, and tendons. Get down on all fours. Move your shoulders back and straighten your back. Put your feet flat on the ground and push your neck away from your ears. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
This exercise targets and stretches your triceps, shoulder, neck, and back. Sit straight on a mat. Bend your right elbow so that it reaches to the middle of your back. Then raise your left hand and grab your right elbow. Lightly pull the elbow down towards your head. Keep doing for 15-30 seconds. Repeat the exercise for your next arm.
Standing Side Stretch
This exercise targets and stretches your arms. Stand straight with your feet together. Raise your arms straight over your head. Clasp your hands. Now exhale as you bend your upper body to the right. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Come back to starting position. Repeat for the left side of the body.
This exercise is one of the best workouts to improve flexibility. It strengthens the entire body as it focuses on your core. Get down on your fours. Extend the legs. Rest your elbow on the ground and keep your body parallel to your mat. Maintain the position for 15 seconds. You can keep increasing the time for this exercise as your body strengthens. Take it to 60 seconds.
This exercise will target and stretch your hips, legs, and back. Stand straight. Extend your left leg into a kneeling position. Place and press both hands on the left thigh. Push your pelvic floor downwards and stretch your right leg backward. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
I would recommend taking 10-15 minutes of your time every day for these stretching exercises. Give each stretch 15-30 seconds before moving on to the next. Do 5-10 reps of each exercise. With time, you will be able to add more flexibility to your body. You can then add more workouts to improve flexibility.
About Safaa Elbanna
Safaa Elbanna is a certified Homeopath and Skincare Practitioner and a retired Dermatologist and Cosmetic Skincare Surgeon. Safaa helps busy working ladies to avoid the aging effect of physical and mental stress, especially on the skin through natural homeopathy medicines and techniques
9 Simple and Easy Workouts to Improve Flexibility