Adding a 10 minute full body stretch in your daily routine can bring tons of benefits. For one thing, it will improve your mobility and reduce your risk of injury at the same time. It will also improve your blood circulation, as well as induce feelings of relaxation. But best of all, it will level up your athletic performance.
So better make a habit of stretching everyday, starting on these last few days of November. Now in case you don’t know which exercises to try out, you can check out the moves listed below.
Lying Hamstring Stretch
This 10 minute full body stretch will improve your lower back’s flexibility, as well as work on the muscles on your calves and thighs. The great thing about this exercise is that you can adjust its intensity. To make it easier, simply slightly bend your extended leg. To make it more challenging, bring your thigh as close as possible to your chest while keeping your leg straight.
- Lie down on the floor or your yoga mat. Lie flat on your back, bend your knees, and make sure your feet are flat on the ground.
- Slowly pull your left or right knee to your chest.
- Stretch out your leg while keeping your knee slightly bent. For a deeper stretch, use a yoga strap or rope (just make sure you don’t tug too hard).
- Hold your position for 10 seconds, then return your leg to the starting position.
- Repeat the movements with your other leg.
As its name suggests, this exercise focuses on your calves. Doing this move everyday helps loosen up the muscles behind your lower legs, reducing any pain you’re experiencing there. This makes it a great post-jogging stretch.
- Stand up tall and straight behind a chair or wall, then place your hand with your hands against the back of the chair or the wall.
- Take a step forward. Keep your front leg slightly bent and your back leg straight, with your feet flat on the ground.
- Slowly bend your forward leg and lean toward the chair or wall. Keep your back leg straight as you do this, and stop the movement as soon as you feel your back leg’s calf stretching.
- Hold your position for 30 seconds, before returning to the starting position.
- Repeat the movements with your other leg.
(Note: Stop doing this stretch immediately in case you experience pain in your Achilles tendon midway.)
Lying Torso Twist
Meanwhile, the lying torso twist helps exercise the muscles on your lower back, hips, and groin. Aside from improving your middle back’s mobility, it will open up your chest as well. This helps you breathe better and reduce risk of injuries to your back.
- Lie down on the floor or your yoga mat. Make sure your legs are extended straight.
- Pull your left or right knee as close to your chest as possible.
- Then slowly and gently fold your bent leg to one side. If you started with your left leg, then bend it to the right, and vice versa. Use the hand opposite your leg to keep it in place.
- Then extend your other arm out sideways and turn your face in the same direction.
- Hold your position for 20 seconds, taking long, deep breaths along the way. Then slowly revert back to the original position.
- Repeat the movements with your other leg and arm.
On the other hand, the pumping movements done in leg swings help improve blood flow on your legs. It’s also a great exercise if you want to strengthen and stretch your hips, glutes, and inner thighs. Beginners are recommended to start with smaller swings, increasing it only as your muscles get used to the movements.
- Stand up tall and straight. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly lift your left or right leg while using the other to keep yourself balanced.
- Then swing your lifted leg to your left and right, going as comfortably far as possible. You can bend your leg slightly to keep yourself comfortable.
- Do up to 20 reps of this movement before reverting to the standing position.
- Repeat with your other leg.
Finally, the downward dog provides a 10 minute full body stretch for your shoulders, back, hamstrings, and calves. Not only is it great for improving your flexibility, but it’s perfect for relieving neck and back pain, too. Knowing this exercise will also help you learn certain yoga poses, as this serves as a base for many of them
- Kneel on all fours on the floor or your yoga mat. Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart, your shoulders are above your wrists, and your hips are above your knees.
- Slowly lift your knees up, pressing the ground with your toes and extending your legs straight. Your body will now be bent in an upside-down “V” shape.
- Then flex your spine by pressing the ground again, this time with your hands as well as your feet. Keep your back and knees straight while doing this to maintain the upside down V shape.
- Hold your position for 30 seconds, then gently revert back to the kneeling position.
- Repeat the movements as preferred. You can also transition to a yoga session if you like.
Begin Your New Stretching Routine Early
As the year draws to a close, you’re probably planning to exercise and get fitter for the next year. To ensure you keep this resolution, it’s best to start early. So better do these 10 minute full body stretches during these last days of November. That way, your body will already be used to it when January comes.