There are several easy flexibility exercises you can do at home. Before you begin, you should think of your muscles as chewing gum. When they’re relaxed after no activity – still in the wrapper – they’re stiff and not as prone to movement. To prepare for your stretches, you should do a brisk walk – start chewing – around your home while pumping your arms. This will soften up your muscles to make the stretches more effective.
Now let’s stretch!
While sitting on a supportive surface with good posture gently lower your chin to you chest for a few seconds. Next, tilt your head back to look at the sky. You’ll feel more stretch if you pull up with the muscles in your jaw. Third, sit on your left hand. Reach straight up with your right hand and place your fingers on your left temple. Gently pull down. Repeat with the other hand. Sitting on your relaxed hand insures that you don’t tilt your entire body to the side and render the stretch useless.
Reach straight out in front of you, palm facing in. With the arm still extended, bring it across your body and gently grasp the back of your triceps just above the elbow with your other hand. Hold for a count of eight. Relax and repeat three times. Switch arms.
This time, reach straight up, palm facing in. Bend your elbow so your hand touches your upper back. With the other hand, reach over your head to grab your elbow. Gently pull on your elbow so you feel your fingers lower on your back. Hold for a count of 8. Relax and repeat 3 times. Switch arms.
If you haven’t already, move to the floor. Lie down with your legs straight. Cross your legs so your left ankle rests just above your right knee. Slowly bend your right knee up. This will pull your left leg up and stretch that hip. For more of a stretch, continue to bring your knee toward your nose. Hold for an 8 count. Relax. Repeat 3 times. Switch legs.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Cross you right leg over your left and bend your knee up. Your right foot should be flat on the floor just outside your left knee. Next, rotate to the side so you can grasp your right knee with your left arm. Gently pull on your knee. Hold for an 8 count. Relax. Repeat 3 times. Switch legs. Please note that this stretch works the muscles in your back.
While sitting on the floor, bend your knees so the soles of your feet touch each other. Grasp your feet and gently pull them in to your body. While still holding your feet, press your knees to the floor with your elbows. Hold for 8 counts. Relax, then repeat 2 more times.
Still sitting on the floor, extend your legs in front of you in a “V.” Keeping your posture straight and tall, reach your arms straight out in front of you as far as they will go while lowering your head as far to the floor as it will go. Hold for 8 counts. Sit up and relax. With your hands still together, turn your torso slightly to the left and stretch it over the top of your left leg. Hold for 8 counts. Sit up and relax. Finally, turn your torso to the right and stretch it over your right leg. Hold for 8 counts. Sit up and relax. Repeat the entire series 2 more times.
Stand up. Using a chair or wall for balance, bend one knee up until you can hold onto your ankle with your hand. Keeping your knees together, pull up on your foot until your heel touches your butt. For a greater stretch, push the stretching leg behind you from your hip. Hold for 8 counts. Relax, then repeat 2 more times. Switch legs.
Finally, place both palms against a wall and hold your arms straight in front of you so you’re standing an arm length away. Bring one foot forward until that toe touches the wall. Keeping your back foot planted, still and square, gently bend your front knee until you feel the calf muscle of your back leg stretch. Hold for 8 counts. Relax, then repeat 2 more times. Switch legs.
And there you have it! Easy flexibility exercises that you can do at home.