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If you have been looking for stretches that will help you to start feeling loose, flexible fast, and will let you feel amazing every day then these are the ones you need. None of these movements will take you any longer than a minute to perform and they can all be performed in your home without any equipment at all. Everyone can do these four stretches no matter what level of ability or flexibility you have right now.
The key to any effective stretching program is to make sure you include both static stretches and dynamic stretches.
In these four stretch daily flexibility routine you have two of each.
The first of these is the most important, so if you are short on time this is the one that you are going to want to make sure you prioritize. This is called the bridge and reach over. This dynamic stretch starts with a good glute activation by driving your feet into the ground and lifting your butt up into a bridge position. Not all stretches have to be done passively. The active contraction of the glutes will actually help to accentuate the stretch placed on the hip flexors on the front side of the joint and increase your range of motion.
This is incredibly important for people that have tight hip flexors from sitting down all day.
Beyond this however we get the benefit of upper body flexibility as well. The reaching of the arm up and across the body will improve shoulder mobility as well as the tightness we often feel in the posterior deltoid on the back of the shoulder. The reaching also promotes thoracic rotation. This is something that doesn’t get worked enough. Often times, people will try and increase back rotation in error through the lumbar spine. This is not what you want. Instead, look for ways to twist through the middle portion of your spine like this and you will feel better very quickly.
The goal is to perform 10-15 reps to each side and then move onto the second stretch in this daily flexibility routine.
The next stretch is called the QL slide. This is going to help anyone out there that has suffered from muscular low back pain. The Quadratus Lumborum or hip hiker muscle is often times relegated to chronic stiffness and tightness from never being adequately stretched. This easy to perform movement is going to do a great job stretching this low back muscle.
Simply drop a leg back and use your arms to prop up your body into a side bent position. Try and maintain this position for 30-45 seconds each side and look to feel the stretch most in the outside area of your lower back just around your waistline. To increase the difficulty of the stretch even more you can allow the other leg to slide out a bit which will place more stretch on the adductors of the hips.
The third stretch is called the side pretzel stretch. This is an amazing one for the hips and back but also helps to increase shoulder and upper torso mobility and flexibility as well. Start by laying on your left side and grabbing your left ankle with your right hand. Pull back until you feel a stretch on the quads. From here, grab the top knee with the opposite hand and try to pull the knee down towards the floor without letting your hips rotate too much (which would shift the stretch to the low back in error).
Finally, we have a dynamic stretch called the NSFW. It’s named this because this is simply something you don’t really want to be doing at work since it will likely raise some eyebrows. That said, it will fit perfectly when performed in the gym especially as a squat warmup or in preparation to do a sumo deadlift.
The key is to open up the hips and place the feet in a frog position with the insides of the feet flat against the floor. You should feel a big stretch on the hip adductors and rotators in the bottom position of the stretch. Hold for a brief 2 second pause and then repeat for a total of 10-15 repetitions.
The key to any good stretching routine is that you can perform the stretches without any equipment in a limited amount of space. Once you do just a few sets of these you will see just how amazing you can actually feel with such a small time investment. If possible, incorporate all 4 stretches into your daily routine and let me know how it helps you.
If you are looking for a complete workout routine and meal plan to compliment your flexibility and mobility routine, be sure to head to athleanx.com and check out the program selector tool. It will take you just minutes to find the exact plan that fits your current goals and will help you to build ripped athletic muscle quickly.
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