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5 Simple Stretches You Can Do Anywhere

Shopify API July 13, 2022 No Comments
Learn how to do five simple stretches you can do anywhere to loosen tight muscles and improve your flexibility.
Woman Stretching
July 2022. This article is independently written by Shelby Golding. All opinions given are hers. Shelby has been certified as a personal trainer and nutritional specialist since 2007. In 2008, she found her passion for writing about these topics and hasn't looked back.
Woman Stretching

Most people know they need to stretch, but not everyone understands why flexibility is crucial to a healthy body. Strong muscles are easier to understand. They are the force behind every move you make as you walk, sit, bend, and lift through your daily obligations. But why do you need to be flexible?
 
Strength and flexibility are two sides of the same coin. If you strengthen muscles without stretching, your muscles become tight, stiff, and painful. If you stretch muscles without strengthening them, you risk your joints, ligaments, and tendons. Together, stretching and strength training improves balance, mobility, and performance.
 

Stretching is best when done consistently. If you are new to the practice, you may be looking for stretches you can do anywhere to make stretching easier to fit into your routine. Keep reading for a few simple stretches to get you started!

5 Simple Stretches You Can Do Anywhere

Use these five easy stretches you can do anywhere to keep your muscles healthy and happy.

1. Seated Spinal Twist

Twists stretch the muscles along the spine together with the hips, glutes, abs, obliques, chest, shoulders, and neck. Spinal health is crucial to smooth and pain-free movement. So if you pick one body part to stretch, you should choose the spine.
 
To do a spinal twist:
1. First, start seated with your legs out in front of you.
2. Sit up straight - you may want to adjust your seat so your pelvis tips slightly forward by sitting on the edge of a folded towel or pillow.
3. Bring your right knee in and cross the right foot over the left knee.
4. Reach your right hand behind you for stability and leverage. Wrap your left arm around your left knee as you twist to the right.
5. Sit up tall with each inhale and twist a little deeper with each exhale.
6. Hold the twist for 30 seconds or ten rounds of breath.
7. Repeat on the other side.
 
One of the lesser-known benefits of twists is that it improves your digestion. You should twist to the right first because it opens the ascending colon. Then, when you turn to the left, you compress the descending colon. This moves food in the right direction while relieving digestive issues such as bloating, gas, or stomach aches.

2. Standing Side Bend

Standing Side Bend Stretch

The standing side bend is another supportive stretch for the spine that incorporates the latissimus dorsi, commonly known as the “lats.” As one of the largest muscles in the body, your lats play a vital role in stabilizing the entire upper body, from the neck to the hips.
 
To do a standing side bend:
1. Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.
2. Raise the arms overhead and reach the right hand for the left wrist.
3. Gently pull on the left wrist as you bend to the right.
4. Engage the core to keep from leaning forward or backward. You want to go directly to the side.
5. You should feel a stretch on the left side of the body.
6. Hold for five rounds of breath, in and out.
7. Return to standing and repeat on the other side, reaching the left hand for the right wrist.
8. Complete three side bends on each side, holding for five breaths each.
 
When you spend long hours at your desk, the lats work hard to keep you from slouching. However, you can do a seated version of this stretch right from your desk in between tasks to help you maintain a healthy posture throughout your workday.

3. Seated Neck Stretch

Muscle tension manifests in a couple of familiar places, including the neck. Neck tightness and tension are common complaints of office workers who spend most of the day sitting at a desk.
 
To do the seated neck stretch:
1. Start seated with your shoulders over your hips and your chin slightly tucked.
2. Reach your right hand for the left ear and gently pull your head to the right.
3. Do not move your head forward or backward. Instead, go directly to the side.
4. To increase the intensity, reach the left hand out to the side.
5. Hold for five rounds of breath and then return to neutral.
6. Repeat on the other side.
 
Neck stretches can be particularly intense for some people. You may not need to pull far before you feel a stretch. Be gentle and stop when you feel the stretch, as your muscles will relax the longer you hold it.

4. Standing Forward Fold

Another area that is often tight on people is the hamstrings. Tight hamstrings are typically the result of long hours of inactivity or sitting. The hamstrings also naturally compensate for weak or underactive glutes.
 
To do a forward fold:
1. First, start standing with feet hip-width apart.
2. Then, fold forward at the waist.
3. Let the arms dangle, grab for opposite elbows, or wrap your hands around the ankles.
4. Relax the back of your neck and your face.
5. Allow a slight bend in the knees if your hamstrings are tight.
6. Hold for 10 to 20 rounds of breath.
 
It may be slightly uncomfortable to stretch your hamstrings. If you feel a pull right below your glutes – where the hamstrings attach to the bone – bend your knees to relieve pressure on the joint. This way, you will still get a stretch but you’ll reduce your risk of overstretching and injury.

5. Sphinx Pose

Sphinx pose is a yoga posture that engages the muscles in the low, mid, upper back, abs, hips, glutes, and shoulders. Of course, you need some floor space to do it, but this simple backbend is worth the extra effort.
 
To do the sphinx pose:
1. Lay down on your stomach with your hands in front and elbows on the floor at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your shoulders line up directly over your elbows.
2. Press your hands to the floor and lift your chest slightly. Next, imagine a string tied to your sternum, pulling you forward and up.
3. At the same time, press the tops of your feet into the floor and lightly engage the quads.
4. Your back should be working slightly to hold your torso above the floor.
5. Tuck the chin slightly and hold for 10 to 20 rounds of breath.
 
Backbends strengthen and stretch your spinal muscles, improving posture and balance. Try this easy backbend while lying in bed to warm up for the day in a gentle way.

Muscles as a Rubber Band

Still not convinced you should try stretching? Picture a rubber band. When in constant use, a rubber band stretches smoothly and returns to neutral when you’re done. But what about a rubber band wrapped around an old chip bag in the back of your cabinet? When you remove it (probably years later), it stays stretched out and it's useless for anything smaller.
 
The same is true of a rubber band sitting idle in your desk drawer. After a while, it wrinkles and dries up until you finally go to use it, and- it snaps! Your muscles are the same. Neglect them, and they will stiffen up. Overstretch them, and you lose control. So instead, use these five simple stretches you can do anywhere to keep muscles flexible and loose, prevent pain, and maintain mobility.
 
If you’re reluctant to start stretching because of existing aches and pains, apply your Kailo Pain Patch before your stretching sessions and wear it all day if needed. Kailo can go with you anywhere, even while you shower or exercise, and it’s designed to relieve pain in seconds. In fact, a recent clinical study showed that Kailo is more effective than other prescription and over the counter medications, with no side effects!
 
Disclaimer: Kailo should not be used if you have a pacemaker or if you are pregnant. Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using Kailo.

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