Do these exercises, and your body will remain flexible at any age
Simple exercises for daily stretching from a NYU physical therapy professor.
These exercises will help avoid muscle stiffness, increase flexibility, and reduce the risk of injury. Do them daily. If you sit a lot, do them several times a day.
Do not exercise if you feel pain or have problems with your musculoskeletal system.
Before you start stretching, you need to get into the right position.
First, sit down on a firm surface. Transfer your body weight to your sciatic bones so that your spine assumes its natural position. Pull your chin back and down so that your neck is in line with your back.
1. Stretching the neck
Turn your head to the right and hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Return your head to its original position and turn to the other side.
2. Tilting the head
Tilt your head to the right. Place your right hand on the left side of your head next to your ear and press gently. Pull your left hand down toward the floor. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds, then change sides.
3. Rotating the body
Cross your arms over your chest. Turn your body and head to look behind your right shoulder. Your pelvis stays in place and does not move.
Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds and repeat in the other direction.
4. Stretching the back
Put your palms on your knees. Bend your back slightly. A small bend will be enough to stretch the stiff muscles.
Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.
5. Inclinations to the sides
Lift your right arm up. Bend to the left, stretching the right side of your body.
Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds and repeat to the other side.
6. Forward Bend
Flexibility exercises: forward bend
Bend forward and lie with your belly on your knees. Arms hanging freely, neck straight. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.
7. Triceps and Shoulder Stretching
Flexibility exercises: shoulders and triceps stretching
Lift right elbow over head, place forearm behind back, palm on shoulder blade closer to center of back. Place your left hand behind your back at waist level.
Elbow pressed to the waist, forearm extended along the back, palm facing outward. If possible, connect fingers of both hands. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds and change hands.
8. Stretching the quadriceps
Flexibility exercises: Stretching of the quadriceps
Stand up straight. Bend your right knee and grasp the toe with your right hand, pressing your heel against your buttock. Don’t push your right hip too far forward, it should be about level with your left hip. Feel a stretch at the front of your thigh.
Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds, holding onto a wall or the back of a chair if you lose your balance. Repeat with the other leg.
9. Stretching the lower leg muscles
Flexibility exercises: Stretching of shin muscles
Walk up to the wall and lean your palms against it. Put your right foot close to the wall so that your toe is against it. Take a step back with your left leg.
Bend the knee of the right leg and pull it toward the wall. Your left leg stays straight with your heels pressed to the floor. You should feel the muscles of the left leg stretching.
Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
10. Stretching the hip flexor muscles
Flexion exercises: hip flexor stretch
Lie on the floor on your back, straighten your legs. Bring your right knee to your chest, put your hands on it and pull it closer.
Hold the position for 30-60 seconds, then switch legs.
11. Stretching the posterior surface of the thigh
Flexibility exercises: Stretching the back of the thigh
Lie on the floor on your back. Bend your left leg at the knee and place the foot on the floor. Straighten your right leg and lift it up. The angle between your hip and your body should be 90 degrees or less.
If you have an expander, slip the loop over your leg and pull it closer to your body. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
12. Chest muscle stretching
Flexibility exercises: Chest Stretch
Lie on the floor on your back. Lift and bend your left leg at the knee. Place the ankle of the right foot on the knee of the left foot.
Pull your left knee closer to your body, feeling the stretch in the right gluteal muscle. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.