The Best Stretches You Need in Your Daily Routine – Improve Health and Fitness Easily

Stretching is an underrated type of movement that has amazing full-body benefits. Different types of stretches target different muscle groups, increasing flexibility, range of motion, and strength.

person who is practicing stretches
Daily stretches can be very beneficial – source

Without daily stretches, our muscles may become compressed, feel tighter, or weaken. This is particularly true of individuals who have occupations that keep them sedentary, like a desk job. Daily stretches reduce the risk of injury, help elongate the muscles for a full range of motion, increase flexibility, and can even help you manage stress!

Add it to your pre and post-workout routine, and in your day-to-day life to improve overall wellbeing and health exponentially!

Top 3 Stretches to Try Daily

Without further ado, here are three stretches guaranteed to improve your life.

Deep Squat

A deep squat is also called a yogi squat or a Slavic squat. This is a position in which you stretch and strengthen the thighs, ankles, and knees greatly. It can even help strengthen the lower back and increase pelvic stability greatly.

Deep squats have actually been found to be great for building the glutes and inner thigh muscles as well!

Before, people would say that in squats, your knees should not reach past your knees. In fact, there has been no research that found injury to joints, ligaments, or muscles when squats go past the knees. As long as you activate the core and support yourself if needed, this exercise is completely safe.

deep squat stretch
Deep squat – source

How to do it:

Start with your feet planted shoulder-width apart. Toes can point forward or out slightly. Activate your core and begin to squat as if you were to sit in a chair. Keep going down until you are as far down as you can go with the feet still completely planted on the ground. Rise and repeat.

Remember, there are always various ways to make this stretch easier. Actually, add a chair if you do not have a full range of motion, or assist yourself on the way up and down with a study object. 

You can even start from the ground, sitting with your knees bent towards the ceiling, and pull yourself to raise your glutes off the floor. This variation will help to increase ankle mobility.

Passive Hanging Stretches

Yup. Passive hanging, otherwise known as the bottom of a pull-up, is an amazing stretch for your entire body! It is incredibly simple yet highly effective. This stretch will work out the upper back, lats, and even the triceps and biceps. 

The best part about this stretch is that the weight of your own body allows the muscles to lengthen naturally and deeply.

man doing hanging stretch
Just hanging out – source

How to do it:

Simply find a sturdy horizontal bar and hang! Grab a bar with your palms facing away, slightly wider than shoulder width. Once you have a good grip, allow yourself to hang. Make sure your core is activated and that your spine is aligned properly. Activate your glutes and point your toes.

You can assist yourself with a chair below you until you have the stretch and range of motion to accomplish this.

Bridge Stretch

A bridge pose is an absolutely amazing stretch for the body. Bridge pose can help reduce lower back pain, and strengthen the muscle in the back, as well as the glutes and core. It can even work to strengthen the thighs and ankles if done from the floor. This is also a great stretch to improve posture.

Individuals who have undergone back, neck, or shoulder surgery may want to avoid a full bridge pose, but there are always easier variations that will still give you amazing benefits, listed below!

woman doing bridge stretch
Modified bridge pose – source

How to do it:

A full bridge pose starts with you flat on your back. Bend your knees towards the ceiling and move your feet closer to your buttock. Raise your hips, keeping your spine straight, and clasp your hands together underneath your body. Make sure your chin is pointing towards the ceiling and not towards your knees. Hold for a couple of seconds, then release towards the ground.

An easier variation is also called a baby back bend. It can be done from a standing position or even from your chair right at your desk! Reach up towards the ceiling then reach backward, feeling the stretch in your upper back. If you want a bit more of a stretch, reach towards a wall and help yourself go a bit deeper in your bend.

To make it more challenging, start flat on the ground, reach your palms to your ears and press your palms into the ground. Lift your entire body and hold a full arch for a couple of seconds.

Bonus Stretch

Here is a bonus stretch sure to get your body mobile and flexible! The best part is that it targets a common health concern many of us struggle with: the lower back.

Child’s Pose

A child’s pose is a stretch that can significantly reduce lower back pain, also stretching the muscles along the spine, back, and even glutes. It can help reduce stress and reduce tightness along the neck, shoulders, and spine.

person doing child's pose stretch
Chilling in child’s pose – source

How to do it:

Go to the ground on all fours with your knees directly below your hips and arms directly below your shoulders. Start to move your hips back to rest your glutes on your ankles and reach your arms out completely in front of you. Rest the forehead on the ground and hold the stretch for a couple of seconds, or even minutes. It should feel comfortable.

You can add a towel or pillow underneath your thighs, knees, or ankles to add extra support for the body as a modification. You can even rest your forehead on a pillow to support the neck further. If you want a different variation, try a wide-legged child’s pose. 

The Takeaway

Stretching can be a great addition to a pre or post-workout routine, or even just on its own. Some stretches are so easy and effective, they can be done from a desk at work.

Stretching is very important to maintain muscle strength and increase range of motion. We want our bodies to be able to move the way we want them to, and stretching can help increase that strength and flexibility.

Not every stretch is accessible to everyone and it is important to listen to the body. While you can push yourself, you don’t want to hurt yourself by doing movements too quickly without proper support or warm-up. Remember to consult your doctor before trying anything you have concerns about.

Stretching can help reduce the risk or injury, support mental wellbeing, and is highly effective in a fitness program. Try these three or four stretches today for amazing benefits, improving overall wellness greatly!

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