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10 Stretches That You Need

I believe that mobility and good movement are medicine for the body and that movement precedes intensive fitness training. The journey towards improved mobility and flexibility begins with stretching.

With that in mind, here are the 10 stretches that I think can greatly improve your mobility and ensure that you are moving better.

It doesn’t matter if you are an avid athlete, a desk-bound professional, or just someone looking to achieve a healthier lifestyle, these movements are exactly what your body needs. So treat yourself well and learn to soothe any stiff joints and tight muscles you might have. Let’s do a deep dive into these 10 awesome stretches! Some of these movements are quite advanced so I’ll offer regressions for those who need it.

1. Wrist Stretch

This exercise is in two positions. The first stretches the forearm flexors and the second works the forearm extensors.

2. Chest And Shoulder Stretch

This exercise opens up the chest (pec), the front of the shoulder (anterior deltoid) and the biceps. Do one side and then the other. If you find this stretch a little too challenging right now then you can start with a doorway stretch and build up to it.

3. Kneeling Prayer Stretch

This prayer stretch targets the lats and teres in the back as well as the triceps. If you aren’t quite at the stage where you can do this stretch comfortably then you can try a roller lat stretch instead.

4. Thoracic Rotations / Windmill

Both of these exercises stretch the lats in the back, pecs (chest) and the tricep at the back of the arm. Alternatively, if you’re not quite able to do Thoracic Rotations then you might want to start with Turtle rotations first. A good beginner’s substitute for the Windmills is the Kneeling 180 Degrees Wall Slide.

5. Rig Stretch

This exercise works the lats and the quadrarus lumborum in the back. If you don’t have access to a rig for this stretch, a door frame will do the job just as well.

6. 90/90

This stretch focuses on the glutes and hip flexors. At first you might struggle to touch the floor with your knees, so just make sure that you’re not causing yourself pain by overstretching. If you stick within your comfortable range of movement, it will gradually increase over time. A beginner’s regression for this movement would be to use suspension straps to assist you.

7. Quad Opener

This stretch focuses on the quads (muscle on the top half of the leg) and the hip flexors. This is another exercise that you need to be careful with. If your flexibility is limited then try the Rear Foot Elevated Hip Stretch.

8. Pigeon

Pigeon stretches the glutes (maximus, medius, minimus) and is an exercise that a lot of people struggle with at first. Never try to force your lead leg to lie flat, you also might want to try supporting the front leg with a yoga block or a cushion. This video shows you how. If you are just starting stretching practice then you can start with the Lying Figure-4.

9. Cossack Stretch

This exercise works the calves, hamstrings, and the inner thigh and groin (adductors). Like all exercises here, ensure that you’re moving within your comfortable range of motion. If your movement is limited here then try using a bench for support or suspension straps.

10. Squat to Stand and Hang

Like the Cossack Squat this exercise works the calves and hamstrings as well as spinal erectors and adductors. If this is a little too advanced for your current mobility then you can use a bench or similar for assistance.

There you have it. These are the 10 stretches that you need to keep you moving well, day-in day-out. If you have any questions or would like to book a success session then get in touch and we’ll see how we can help you fall in love with fitness.

“Strength for Life”

Davie

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Davie McConnachie

Davie McConnachie is Scotland’s leading health and wellness coach, multi-award-winning gym owner, motivational speaker and the founder of DMC Fitness, a fitness education facility known as the premier choice for 1-2-1 personal training. He has inspired thousands of people to fall in love with fitness – his true purpose and mission in life.

Diving into the world of fitness and wellness has helped Davie to deal with his own trauma and inner demons. He, overcame many dark times using his own unique methods to continue his cycle of healing.