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ACE Certified Personal Trainer
This article was co-authored by Monica Morris. Monica Morris is an ACE (American Council on Exercise) Certified Personal Trainer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. With over 15 years of fitness training experience, Monica started her own physical training practice and gained her ACE Certification in 2017. Her workouts emphasize proper warm-ups, cool-downs, and stretching techniques. This article has been viewed 3,447,192 times.
Updated: May 25, 2021
Becoming more flexible can help reduce muscle pain, prevent injuries, and improve your balance. To increase your flexibility, stretch for at least 10 minutes every day. Regular stretching helps loosen and lengthen your muscles, which gives you more flexibility. To stretch your back, sit in a chair with your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor. Bend forward at your hips as far as you can, relaxing your neck and reaching for your ankles with your hands. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times. To stretch your calves and hip flexors, face a wall one arm’s length away and place your hands on the wall in line with your shoulders. Take a step forward with your right leg and bend your right knee at a 45-degree angle. Push into the wall and push your hips down to stretch your left calf and hip flexor. Repeat on each side 3-5 times. To stretch your chest, hold onto opposite sides of a doorway with your hands and step forward with one leg. Lean forward until you feel a stretch, then hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times. In addition to stretching, regularly practicing yoga can also help you become more flexible. Try the cat-cow pose to become more flexible in your core, shoulders, and back. Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Inhale and raise your chest and chin, then exhale and round your spine as you tuck your chin toward your chest. Repeat for 1 minute. You can also try the low lunge pose for more flexibility in your hips. Kneel on your left knee with your right knee bent and your right foot on the floor. Lengthen your spine and raise your arms above your head. Lean into your right hip and hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. By stretching every day and/or regularly practicing yoga, you should start to notice improved flexibility in as little as 3-4 weeks! To learn a few simple yoga and Pilates stretches, read on!
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