When should these exercises be performed?
The best time to do these exercises is when your muscles have warmed up, which will make the stretches themselves painless. If you plan on only performing the flexibility exercises, make sure you warm up the muscles by taking a brisk walk for a few minutes. If you consider adding these exercises to your stamina or strength workout, make sure you perform them at the end of the session.
The correct way to perform flexibility exercises
The most important thing to remember when performing flexibility exercises is that they are only effective if you’re feeling a slight stretch in the area you’re working on. Many people try and stretch to the point where they feel some pain, but you have to remember that pain is the body’s response to a potentially damaging action. The moment you feel a light stretch, maintain that level and remain in the position for 10 to 30 seconds.
1. Stiffness in the lower back
Exercise: Lying down ankle stretch
This exercise uses the ankle to stretch the lower back, freeing the vertebrates and relieving stress and spinal stiffness.
2. Pain and stiffness in the shoulders
Exercise: Stretching your arms
Pain or stiffness in the chest and shoulder regions are common in people who spend many hours in a sitting position. This exercise releases the stiffness that forms because of the sitting posture, and stretches your hands to restore their full range of motion. You will need a rolled up mat or towel for this exercise.
3. Stiff knees
Exercise: Sitting towel stretch
This is a great flexibility exercise for people who suffer from stiffness in the knees, and cannot perform stretches that require reaching down to your feet. In addition, using the towel aids in stretching the correct areas without damaging your back.
4. Upper back pains
Exercise: The “Angry Cat” exercise
This exercise is nicknamed the “Angry Cat”, and it allows you to release your shoulder blades, which are the source of most upper back pain.
5. Pain or burning sensation in the knee
Exercise: Sideways towel stretch
Experiencing pain or a burning sensation in the side of either knee is a typical issue for people who have suffered a knee injury in the past. This stretch will help in reducing the load on the knees and relieve much of the pain in the region.
6. Outer thigh pain
Exercise: The heel bend stretch
Pain in the thigh region is quite common, and can often be solved through exercises that increase your flexibility without having to see an orthopedist. Try this exercise for a couple of weeks and you’ll notice the difference too.
Exercise: Resistance stretch
If you feel like you’re slouching and have a hard time holding your back straight for a prolonged period of time, this chest-expanding exercise may be what you need.
8. Prolonged sitting damage
Exercise: Sideways roll stretch
This exercise is perfect after a long day at the office, and will help prevent pain in the lower back and buttocks. You will need a long, hard pillow, or a rolled up yoga mat or towel.