Want a Full-Body Stretch? These 6 Moves Will Do the Trick
By: Rebecca Smith, Editor at Body Weight Training Arena
Stretching is good for you… I’m sure you’ve heard this before but are you actually doing it? You may be one of those people who skip stretching because you are not actually feeling the results or benefits. Understanding the benefits of stretching is actually very important whether you’re playing sports, exercising, lifting weights, or practicing a daily calisthenics routine.
The best part of stretching is you don’t need any equipment or any special venue …you just do it. You only need your own body to complete a full-body stretching routine. You can also stretch anytime and anywhere. This makes it a very practical and convenient way to condition your body without the need to shell out gym money or rearrange your schedule.
Stretching provides numerous benefits to your body such as improving your mobility or range of motion, which is essential not only in doing sports and other exercises and also in helping you perform functional day-to-day movements such as bending, squatting, pulling, and pushing. When you have increased mobility, this will also help you to avoid pain and injury. Aside from these amazing benefits, stretching also improves your blood circulation, and serves as a relaxing exercise to reduce your stress.
Don’t put it off any longer! Start stretching today. Here are 6 full-body stretching exercises that will target your entire body. These stretching moves only take a few minutes and require very little space so there’s really no excuse not to do them.
To do this stretch, stand with your legs and feet together while both of your arms are stretched straight over your head as if reaching for the ceiling. Then clasp your fingers together and inhale as you reach upward. As you exhale, bend your body towards the right. Maintain this bend while breathing in and out five more times, then slowly go back to the center. Repeat this move on the left side.
Stretch #2: Runner’s Stretch
To do this move, start by standing up with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Then, with your right foot, step forward into a lunge position until your right knee forms a 90-degree angle while your left leg should be stretched straight behind you. Outstretch your arms with your fingertips reaching towards the floor in front of you. Inhale and as you exhale, straighten your right leg without stepping back, keeping your upper body bent downwards and your hands on the ground. At this point, both your legs should form an inverted V. Bend your right leg again and straighten five more times before switching sides.
To perform this stretch, start by stepping your right foot forward into a lunge while also lowering your left knee to touch the floor. Stretch both your arms forward, bringing them in front of your right leg with your palms facing the floor.
Then, breathe in while sweeping both your arms overhead and stretching as far back as possible. Hold this stretch for five breaths before switching sides.
Your starting position should be standing up with your legs hip-width apart and knees slightly bent forward. Reach behind your back and clasp your hands together. Then, breath in as you straighten your arms which will expand your chest. As you exhale, bend forward at your waist, letting your arms raise up towards your head. Breathe in and out five times while holding this position.
To do this stretch, start with yourself seated on the floor. Place your legs straight in front of you. Then, bend your legs towards you, placing both soles of your feet facing together and your knees on your side touching the floor.
Keep your back straight and your arms on your toes as you breathe in as stretch your chest upwards then as you breathe out, bend forward from your hips, back still straight and your arms stretching towards the ground. Stretch and hold this position for five deep and slow breaths.
Stretch #6: Seated Back Twist
For your starting position, keep yourself seated on the ground with your legs straight in front of you and your back straight. Next, bend your right knee as you step over your left leg. To support yourself, you can place your right hand on the floor close to your upper body. Then, turn to your right while bending your left elbow and placing it against your right knee.
Inhale then as you exhale, twist your body further to the right looking over your shoulder, using your left elbow to press against your right knee to deepen the stretch. Keep holding for five breaths before going back to starting position and switching side.
Rebecca Smith started calisthenics at age 26 to lose weight and tone her body. After completing her first successful muscle up, the amazing feeling inspired her to train further and become a full-time calisthenics instructor. Rebecca also holds a Management Degree and a Diploma in Nutrition.