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Best Stretches for Flexibility

Best Stretches for Flexibility

The older we get, the more our bodies can try to defy us.  Whether you sit all day, run around with small children, or you’re out in the field performing manual labor, there are certain stresses that your body endures almost every day, many of which are unique to your own daily routine and genetics.  Tight muscles can become more than just an uncomfortable inconvenience; they can actually make you prone to injuries and further joint and muscle damage down the line.

To help prevent future problems, which could come from a hard workout or simply from experiencing day-to-day life, start getting into the habit of stretching out those muscles.  As you become more limber, your body will be better equipped to keep you protect you in the event that you endure extraordinary strain in the future.  Here are some great stretches for flexibility to help you get started:

Shoulder Stretch

  1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Raise your right arm until it’s aligned level with your shoulder.
  3. Move your raised arm across your chest.
  4. Using your left arm, hold your right arm, then pull it as close to your chest as you can without becoming uncomfortable.
  5. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat this stretch with your right arm four times, then switch, and do the same with your left arm.

Neck Stretch

  1. Find a comfortable position.  This stretch works just fine seated or standing.
  2. Turn your face toward your right shoulder and lower your chin to your chest.
  3. Raise your right hand and bring it over your head, touching just above your left ear.
  4. Gently pull your head downward toward your right shoulder by using your right hand.  You should feel a nice stretch in your left trapezius muscle.
  5. Focus on your breath, taking deep, slow breaths while holding this position for 30 seconds.
  6. After 30 seconds, straighten your neck and relax your body.
  7. Repeat 4 times.
  8. Mirror the steps above, switching your hands and direction to obtain the same stretch to your right trapezius muscle.

Tricep Stretch

  1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Extend your right arm into a straight position, reaching toward the ceiling.  Now bend your right arm toward the back of your head and gently reach toward your left shoulder.
  3. Using your other hand, hold your right elbow and begin pressing it backwards.  You should feel this stretch in the back of your arm and in the upper part of your shoulder.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Relax then repeat these steps 4 times.
  6. Switch, and do the same actions with your left arm.

Hamstring Stretch

  1. Lie on your back.  For comfort, place a yoga or exercise mat on the floor before beginning this exercise.
  2. Bend your left knee to create extra support and stability for your hips.
  3. Keeping your right leg as straight as possible, begin lifting it off the mat slowly and steadily begin lifting it off the mat.
  4. Continue lifting it until you feel the stretch in the back of your leg.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds.
  6. Relax your right knee for a few moments, then repeat.  Do this 3 more times.
  7. Switch legs, and repeat these sequences on your left leg 4 times total.

If you have some great stretches for flexibility that you keep in your arsenal of healthy living, we’d love you to share them in the section below!

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Mike Swan

Mike Swan

View all posts by Mike Swan

Mike Swan is co-Founder of, he has been developing his own in-home gym workouts for the last 5 years, holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is an avid runner. He loves spending time with his family and can be found in the pool on a hot summer day with his thoughts and a cocktail.

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