In humans, flexibility is as variable as height or the ability to gain or lose muscle mass. Although scientists consider that, by nature, women are more flexible than men, the truth is that flexibility can develop, since it is something innate in our body.
For this reason, we offer you 14 flexibility exercises to significantly improve your mobility and elasticity. With these exercises, for sure, you will get more agile and strong muscles and joints. Get ready to exercise your whole body and let’s get started!
To warm up, we recommend doing the following stretching exercises. In this way, you will activate muscles and joints to avoid any tear or injury.
- Back twist: Sit on the floor and stretch your right leg. Then, fold the left and pass it over the right. Now, put your left arm above the bent knee(the left) and press with your elbow to do a back twist. Apply force to pressure for greater effectiveness. Then repeat with the other side.
- Hamstring stretch: Still on the floor, stretch your right leg and bend your left, bringing your left foot to your groin. Hold the pose for at least 5 seconds. Next, lean your body forward and try to touch your toes with your hands. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.
- Lumbar stretch: lying on the floor, with your back straight, stretch your right leg and shrug your left. Take the knee of the left leg with both hands and pull it towards the chest. Don’t take your right leg off the ground. Hold for 10 seconds and switch legs. Then, lie on your stomach and reverse the movement. Bend your left knee and bring your foot back, without taking your thigh off the ground. Hold your foot with your left hand and hold the position for 10 seconds. Now, do the same with the other leg.
- Front stretch: Stand firm and rest your right hand on the wall. Bend your left knee back and grasp your foot with your left hand. Pull the foot, trying to reach the height of the neck. Keep your right leg steady and your support arm straight for balance. Then do the stretch with the other leg.
- Abductor stretch: Sit back on the floor. Open your legs and stretch them as far as possible. Now, lean your torso forward, without bending your knees. Stretch your arms forward and progressively lower as far as you can. It’s a great leg flexibility exercise!
With these stretches, you are ready to begin your flexibility exercise routine. Of course, pay close attention to your body and its limits. With the exercises, you should feel the pressure of the muscles stretching, but you should not feel sharp pain. Go as far as you can to avoid injury and, little by little, demand your body go further.
Stride with rotation
With this simple active flexibility exercise, you will be able, in addition to improving flexibility, to work your legs and abdomen. To do rotary strides, you just have to follow these steps:
- First, stand firm.
- Subsequently, extend your right leg to the front, resting your foot on the floor and bending your knee until it is aligned with your gluteus. On the other hand, your left leg, by the nature of the movement, will be at the back resting on the ball of the foot on the ground.
- Once you are in that position, you will rotate the back of your body to the right with your hands extended. Then you will do it to the left.
- To finish, return to the starting position, that is, standing firm, and repeat the exercise, but this time with the left leg.
Keep in mind that the right knee should not exceed the tips of your toes, instead, it should be aligned with the heel, in order to avoid injuries. The left knee, meanwhile, should be in line with the heel and buttock.
Step back squat
Optimize the mobility of your hips and the resistance of the lower zone with this type of squat very easy to do. Follow the instructions below:
- Stand firm.
- Then bend your knees until they are in line with your glutes.
- Move your right leg back quickly, extending it as far as possible and supporting yourself on the ground with the ball of your foot.
- Return your leg to the starting position and repeat the exercise with the other leg.
Warm up roll
With this exercise you will work the posterior hip, improving the flexibility of the lower back. Follow these steps so that you can put it into practice from home:
- Sitting on the floor, spread your legs and stretch both arms to the front.
- Rest your palms on the ground to gain momentum. Then, roll your torso back until you are lying on your back.
- Bring your legs together and bring them all the way back, in a single clean and jerk.
- Keep your arms and hands flat on the ground and try to touch the ground with the balls of your feet.
- Bring your legs forward again and return to the starting position. The shoulders and mid back should never come off the ground during the stretch.
The idea of this active flexibility exercise is to fully stretch your back and optimize your elasticity.
Cat pose or Marjaryasana
This exercise is a very popular yoga posture or asana. With it, you can work flexibility in the back muscles. Furthermore, it also helps relieve back pain. To do so, follow the instructions below:
- Support your knees and hands on the floor. Open the knees to cover the width of the pelvis and the hands to cover the width of the shoulders.
- Inhale and arch your back out, like cats do.
- Exhale and curve your back inward.
- Take deep breaths to feel movement in your vertebrae.
- Complete 5 reps arching and curving your back.
Arch back stretch
This exercise is excellent for improving back flexibility. Over time you will see that you will be able to get higher in each session. Follow these steps:
- Lie face down on the floor, leaning your torso up slightly so that you are resting on your pelvis.
- Keep your legs open, your thighs apart, and your hands flat on the floor. The arms must be firm and the face towards the front.
- Inhale and arch your torso back, lifting your head.
- Exhale and contract your shoulders, bringing your face forward again.
Hold each position(inhaling and exhaling) for 30 seconds. Complete 5 reps to complete the abdominal stretch. If you want to increase the intensity, lift your legs, keeping your knees on the ground and try to touch the balls of your feet with your head.
With this exercise, you will work your entire body, mainly the trunk and upper muscles. This exercise could be of an advanced level for the point where you are, so we advise you to do it with caution. Follow these steps to do the wall climb exercise:
- Stand tall with your back to the wall and at a close distance from it. Squat down and place your hands open, parallel to each other, for support on the floor. Remember to have your back to the wall when starting.
- Take momentum as if you were going to get up on your hands.
- Put your legs back and put your feet on the wall.
- Go backward with your hands until you are completely glued to the wall.
- Then, carefully lower yourself down, doing the movement in reverse, until you are face down on the floor again.
Significantly improve the flexibility of the adductors, muscles located in the pelvis, with this simple exercise:
- Lie on the floor, glutes toward the wall.
- Bring your legs together and lift them up. Support them against the wall, so that your buttocks touch the base of the wall.
- Spread your legs as far as you can. Inhale and exhale, relaxing your legs to each side.
Keep your legs open for 30 seconds and complete 3 reps.
Bridge with ball
The bridge is a fantastic exercise to tone the muscles, improving, in turn and above all, the flexibility of the back. In this case, we recommend practicing it Pilates style, so that it works as a passive flexibility exercise.
- Lie down on the floor and place your legs on top of the ball.
- Bend your knees, bringing them closer to your chest, but without your feet losing contact with the ball.
- Raise your torso, supporting your feet on the ball and using your glutes, lifting your body towards the ceiling.
- Lift one leg up and bring it as far back as you can.
- Hold the position for 10 seconds and return to the starting position to start over.
- Complete 5 reps.
Bicep curls with elastic bands
Elastic bands are an excellent tool to improve flexibility. In the case of push-ups, you can work your core and legs at the same time.
- Hold the resistance band with the sole of your foot.
- Take the handles of the band with your hands leaving your arms extended.
- Pull on the handles, pulling your elbows back toward your shoulders, then slowly return them to their starting position.
In this way, you will improve the flexibility of your limbs while toning your biceps.
Stretch to increase back flexibility
With this exercise, you will be able to expand the flexibility of your back, as well as improve your mobility. To do so, you just have to prepare to follow these instructions:
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended forward.
- Open your legs as wide as you can without hurting yourself.
- Bring your torso forward and try to touch the ground with your chest.
- Inhale and lower and lower.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
By following these steps, you will be working, above all, the mobility of the spine. Rest from the exercise by lying on a mat and bringing your knees to your chest.
Muscle chain exercises
With this exercise you can work, daily, the anterior chain: the chest, the psoas, quadriceps and biceps. By working the previous chain, you will optimize the flexibility of the body in record time.
- Stand up and rest your right hand on the ground, next to your right leg. Take your right leg away from your hand, stretch it out, and rest it firmly on the ground to gain stability.
- Open your left leg and raise it as high as you can. Raise your left arm, forming a triangle with your body. You can hold a barbell in your left hand to gain intensity.
- Keep your head and eyes up.
- Try to stay in this position for at least 15 seconds.
This exercise, usually practiced to tone the gluteal muscles, is perfect for improving leg flexibility. Do the kicks as high as you can and feel the stretch in your muscles.
- Get on your knees on the ground, rest your palms on the ground.
- Straighten your right leg and bring it back with momentum. Get as high as you can, hold the position for 20 seconds, and go back down.
- Do 10 reps, first with the right leg and then with the left.
Side and front split
Have you ever wondered how to spread your legs? The split or split is an essential exercise in any flexibility routine. With it you can stretch your legs to the limit, developing an incredible elasticity. However, you should warm up your hip, quadriceps, and hamstring muscles to avoid injury. To warm up before doing the split, follow these steps:
- Stretch the hip flexor muscles: put your left knee on the floor and then bend your torso towards the semi-bent leg(the right). Do the movement in reverse and complete five repetitions.
- Activate the quadriceps: stand up straight, and bend your right leg back, holding your foot with your right hand. Hold the position for 30 seconds and perform the exercise with the other leg.
- Stretch your hamstrings: Lie on your stomach, with your torso straight and your arms extended in front. Support your right leg on a column or tall piece of furniture, leaving your left leg flat on the floor. Hold for 15 seconds and switch legs.
- After the warm-up is complete, start with the front split.
- Get on your knees on a mat or mat, keeping your torso straight.
- Extend your right leg forward slowly.
- Rest your hands on the mat and lower your pelvis slowly. The right leg should continue to stretch forward, the left leg will help you to rest your weight on the knee on the mat.
- Hold the position for at least 10 seconds.
- Return to the starting position, slowly picking up your right leg. Do the same exercise in reverse to stretch your left leg.
- Now, you can proceed with the side split.
- Get on your knees, keeping your back straight.
- Inhale deeply before beginning the stretch.
- Lower your torso and rest your palms on the floor.
- Open your legs laterally and stretch progressively. If you feel pain, pause and wait for the pain to stop to continue opening your legs.
- Keep lowering your pelvis until your legs complete a 180 ° angle and you are flat on the floor.
- Slightly turn your torso forward. Keep your hands for support to ensure stability.
- Hold for 15 seconds. Then break the split slowly, drawing up your hands to get up and slowly picking up your legs.
The more you practice, the more flexibility you will have to spread your legs. When you feel any very strong pain, stop the maneuver and slowly return to the starting position. Otherwise, you may suffer a muscle tear.