The Art of Stretching: Lower Your Risk of Pain and Injury with These 20+ Stretching Exercises

Stretching is an excellent way to boost the alertness and flexibility of the body, and soothe pain due to injuries and various conditions.

Stretching offers numerous health benefits, including:

-Stretching jump-starts the mind and body in the morning, boosts blood flow, and relaxes the body. Moreover, it calms you and causes a feeling of euphoria

-It improves body posture and keeps the spine aligned properly. It soothes pain and tones the muscles

-Stretching will treat muscle fatigue and boost blood flow, and thus ensure the needed oxygen flow in the blood, which is essential for your endurance

-Regular stretching will lower high cholesterol levels and thus lower the risk of hardening of arteries and heart diseases

-It will boost your energy levels and keep the mind and body alert during the day

-Stretching before and after a workout will help you soothe the muscle pain and supply the muscles with the needed nutrients, since it improves blood circulation

-The improved blood flow will support cell growth and organ function, regulate blood pressure, lower the heart rate, and shorten recovery time

-Regular stretching will relax the muscles and improve athletic performance

-It boosts flexibility and improves the range of motion, so it will help you lower the risk of injuries, and support the health of the joints.

Yet, it is of high importance to stretch in the right way, in order to prevent injuries, and deliver the desired effects. Here is how to stretch in order to strengthen and tone the body, and reduce the risk of pain:

  • Head

Lateral side flexion of the neck

To stretch the Sternocleidomastoid “SCM”, sit on the chair, and clutch the bottom of the seat.

Lateral side flexion of the neck with hand assistance (image 7)

Sit and grab the bottom of the seat for an even deeper stretch.

Neck extension stretch (image 9)

You should be careful not to collapse the cervical spine.

Neck rotation stretch (image 8)

For an even deeper stretch, use the opposite hand to add pressure.

  • Upper Body

Lateral shoulder stretch (Image 13)

This stretch targets the side deltoid.

Forearm extensor stretch

To boost the stretch, touch the tips of your fingers in a teacup shape.

Standing assisted neck flexion stretch (Image 14)

This stretch targets the trapezius muscle.

Lat stretch at the wall (image 16)

It stretches the Latissimus dorsi, but do not perform it in the case of lower back problems.

Lat stretch with spinal traction (image 15)

It stretches the latissimus dorsi, but avoid it in the case of shoulder pain or injury

Child’s pose

It targets the Latissimus dorsi.

Lateral flexion with a dowel (Image 27)

It stretches the external obliques and latissimus dorsi, but avoid it if you suffer from lower back pain.

 

Triangle pose (Image 28)

Focus the gaze on the hand in the air while rotating away. It stretches the external obliques.

Chest stretch at the wall (Image 29)

It targets the pectorals.

Assisted chest stretch variation (Image 30)

This stretch will extend the pectorals.

Down dog variation at the wall

Bend the knees if your hamstrings are tight, and in this way, you will stretch the pectorals and latissimus dorsi

Standing upper back extension

Hold the stretch for 15 seconds to extend the teres major, rhomboids, and upper traps

 

  • Lower Body

Wide forward fold (Image 2)

It extends the abductors.

Camel Pose (Image 1)

In the case of neck pain, do not drop the head back. This will extend the Rectus abdominous and external obliques.

 

Frog Pose (Image 3)

For a deeper stretch, push the hips back and forward. This will stretch the abductors.

Wide side lunge pose (Image 4)

This exercise will extend the abductors.

Standing calf stretch (18)

To ease the stretch, slightly rotate the ankles. This stretch extends the soleus and gastrocnemius (low body).

 

Deep squat (22)

You can do it with the feet up the wall. This will stretch the glutes.

 

Single leg forward bend (21)

It will help you stretch the hamstrings.

 

Seated half king pigeon pose (23)

This will help you stretch the glutes.

Standing calf stretch at the wall (24)

This is an excellent stretching exercise for the Soleus and gastrocnemius (low).

Try out these beneficial stretches, and enjoy the strength and health of your body!