Be More Flexible With This One-Week Stretching Program
Want to be more flexible? It’s the key to becoming more fit and lowering your risk of injury. Try our flexibility fitness challenge.
How to be more flexible
Looking for a new fitness challenge? Cardio and strength training get all the hype, but when is the last time you focused on flexibility? Often overlooked, flexibility can reduce your risk of injury by making your muscles more pliable, and loosening those muscles could give your heart health a boost, too. A 2009 study found that those who have stiff muscles are likely to have stiff arteries as well.
Be more flexible on Monday
Lunge hip flexor stretch
3 reps each side
With one knee on the floor behind you and the opposite foot on the floor in front of you, tilt your pelvis forward and reach up with your arm on the same side as your knee on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat the same move, switching legs and arms.
This will help stretch those muscles around the hips that become stiff and tight from sitting at your desk.
Be more flexible on Tuesday
Seated piriformis stretch
5 reps each leg
Sit on the edge of a chair, cross one ankle over your opposite knee, lean forward and keep your chest tall. Hold for five seconds, then switch legs.
This glute stretch may help with sciatic pain.
Be more flexible on Wednesday
Seated hamstring stretch
Sit on the edge of a chair with your legs in a V shape and toes pulled backwards. Bend at the hips slightly and keep your chest tall. Hold for two seconds.
Hamstrings can get tight, whether you are active or not. So be sure to stretch them after your workouts.
Be more flexible on Thursday
Lying rotation stretch
5 reps, each side
Lie on one side with your knees bent and stacked one over the other. Stretch your arms out parallel to the floor in either direction and bring your upper back flat against the floor. Holding for five seconds, then repeat on the other side.
This stretch is one way to help alleviate tight back muscles and pain (with the go-ahead from your health care provider, of course).
Be more flexible on Friday
Doorway chest stretch
Place your hands on either side of a door frame, with your elbows bent, lean in to open up your chest and slide your forearms up and down. Go at a slow pace.
If you are into yoga, this stretch will complement your practice.
Be more flexible on Saturday
Stand with your back against a wall and your feet six inches from the wall. Stretch your arms forward and back to the wall, keeping your palms up and your back flat, allowing the elbows to flare wide. Hold for two seconds.
This is a challenging move, but it will stretch the shoulders and chest, so you can be more active and lower your risk of injury.
Be more flexible on Sunday
Do all 6 stretches
Skip the rest day and combine all the stretches into a complete workout. Be sure to stick to proper form and complete the required reps. Stick with it and you will be more flexible.
Once you achieve this and can do these moves with ease, combine it with our Get Stronger In One Week workout.