Stretching is a very useful method in handling body soreness and tightness. A person uses his or her body to handle life every day, and getting in a good stretching routine can make a huge difference in the ability to handle life and have less pain. Stretching might be hard to do as it does take work and consistency. However, if a person sticks with it, a huge impact can be made on how the body feels and moves.
Here are some simple stretches that can help a person relieve aches and pains:
1. Triceps Stretch
This is a great stretch for sore muscles and relieves tightness in your arms, neck, shoulders & back. You can do this sitting down or standing up. If you are standing, stand tall with feet hip-width apart. If you are seated, sit with your back straight and your feet planted on the ground. Extend your arms over head. Bend your right elbow so your right palm lands on your upper back. Reach your left hand over and grasp just below the right elbow. Gently pull the elbow back and toward head. Hold the pose for about 45 seconds. Then switch arms and repeat.
Stretches: neck, shoulder, back, abs and triceps
2. Reclining Pigeon (Piriformis Stretch)
This is a wonderful stretch for the lower body and helps address lower back, hips, glutes and hamstring tightness and soreness. Lie face up with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your right foot over your left thigh. Hook your arms around your left hamstring and lift the left foot a few inches, keeping back and shoulders on the floor. Gently pull right leg toward you until you feel a stretch. Hold your position for 45 seconds to 2 minutes. Then lower your back first and switch legs and repeat.
Stretches: lower back, hips, glutes and hamstrings
3. Butterfly Stretch
This pose is a very easy way to stretch out your neck, back, glutes, hamstrings and thighs. Start by sitting tall on floor with the soles of your feet together in front of you and your knees bent out to the sides. Grasp your feet with your hands, engage your abs, and slowly lower your body toward feet. Make sure that you only going as far as it is comfortable and then holding that position for 45 seconds to two minutes. Then you can slowly release.
TIP: If this pose is uncomfortable for you, then elevate your hips onto a couple of blankets and then try again.
Stretches: neck, back, glutes, hamstrings and thighs
4. Toe Touch Stretch
This is a great stretch to loosen your tight back and legs. You start by standing tall with your feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent and arms by your side. Exhale as you bend forward from your hips and lower your head toward the floor. Make sure your neck and your shoulders are relaxed. Reach your hands toward your toes and if possible grab your toes and hold for 45 seconds to 2 minutes. To release bend your knees and roll up slowly.
TIP: If it is more comfortable, then you can do the same stretch by being seated on the floor. Just make sure that you sit with your legs out and your back straight and reach for your toes. Now if your legs are very tight and you have a difficult time keeping your back straight while sitting down you can find a wall and sit with your back against it. Put your legs out straight until you feel a stretch and hold for 45 seconds to 2 minutes.
Stretches: neck, back, glutes, hamstrings and calves
Building your flexibility and having a good stretching routine can go a long way when overcoming body aches and pains. The stretches above, along with a wide range of other stretches, can give your body the needed relief from soreness and tightness. Do these stretches once or twice day, a few days a week, and start feeling the benefits! These stretches are not just for people who work out or are very active, these are for anyone who needs relief from tight or sore muscles. Make sure that you find a routine that works best for you! Happy stretching!