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5 Best Flexibility Exercises for Beginners

Flexibility is for everyone, not just athletes. It helps in performing many everyday activities with ease (Image via Pexels @Andrea Piacquadio)
Flexibility is for everyone, not just athletes. It helps in performing many everyday activities with ease (Image via Pexels @Andrea Piacquadio)

Flexibility exercises are basically stretches inspired by yoga asanas that will relax your muscles and, hence, allow your body to be lighter and more flexible. Some stretches are hard to perfect, but many are easy for people who are just starting out.

Flexibility is very important for a healthy, active life. Studies show that it can help your muscles work better, make you less likely to get hurt, and alleviate chronic pain. Moreover, being able to bend can increase your range of motion and be very useful in everyday life.

There are a number of health benefits linked to being flexible. Check out these five exercises that will improve your flexibility.


Flexibility Exercises for Beginners

1) Cobra Pose

This is one of the best exercises overall as well as for increasing flexibility. Relatively easy for newcomers to perform, it can help ease lower back pain and make your abs stronger. Because you use so many muscles in cobra pose, it's easy to get tense, so remember to stay calm and pay attention to your shoulders.

Here's how you can do this asana:

  • Start by lying down on a clean floor or your yoga mat, on your belly.
  • Lift your upper body and head off the floor by putting your flat palms under your shoulder blades.
  • Using your hands as a push, lift your head and upper body as high as they will go.
  • Use the muscles in your lower back and lift your chin as high as you can.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths.
  • As you breathe out, slowly lower yourself back to the mat.
  • Beginners can start by performing 6-8 reps.
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2) Seated Side Straddle Stretch

An excellent tension relieving stretch, this pose qualifies as a good flexibility exercise. The seated side-straddle stretch lets your abs and back move more freely. Part of the magic of the seated side-straddle is putting your arms up over your head. This gets your chest, ribs, and shoulders to work and opens them up.

Here's how you can do this asana:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs as far apart as you can without being uncomfortable.
  • Bend your elbows and raise your arms to your sides while keeping your head and neck in line with your spine.
  • Engage your abs and slowly bend to your right as you exhale.
  • Bring that elbow as close to the floor as you can without twisting your back.
  • Bend until you feel tension.
  • Hold for 15โ€“30 seconds, then let go and go back to where you started.
  • Do the above three or four times.
  • Change sides and perform again on the other side.
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3) Butterfly Stretch

This flexibility exercise is derived from a yoga pose, which effectively targets your hip and leg flexibility. This is one of the easiest ways to open up your inner thighs, hips, and groin, and get them to work together. It will ease the hip pain that many people feel after sitting at a desk for a long time.

Here's how you can do this asana:

  • Sit down with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Grab your right foot with your hand.
  • Pull your foot up to your belly button, and do the same thing with your left foot. This will connect the soles of your feet.
  • Let your elbows rest until they reach your knees while you hold your feet in your hands.
  • Gently press your elbows into your knees so that they sink down toward the ground, and do this until your groin feels tight and pulled.
  • For 20โ€“30 seconds, hold.
  • Perform 6-8 times.
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4) Reclined Pigeon Pose

The main purpose of this flexibility exercise is to stretch the hips and lower back, but it can also help loosen up tight hamstrings. Why would you want your hamstrings to be more bendy? Well, having flexible hamstrings can help with posture problems and muscle pain in general.

Here's how you can do this asana:

  • Lay down on the floor with your knees bent and your heels close to your butt.
  • Lift your right foot and move it across your body so that the right angle of your foot rests on your left thigh.
  • Put both hands under your left thigh and clasp them together. Use them to bring your left knee up to your chest, lifting your left foot off the floor.
  • Once you feel your hips stretching, let them bend and hold.
  • To make the hip stretch work better, keep your right foot bent and your right knee open and away from your chest.
  • Hold the pose for three deep breaths, and then go back to the starting position.
  • Change legs and do it again.
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5) Overhead Tricep Stretch

This is one of the best flexibility exercises for your upper body. It helps to stretch your shoulders, upper back, and upper arms. Tension that accumulates in these regions from long hours of sitting can be remedied by this stretch.

Here's how you can do this asana:

  • Straighten your back and stand up straight.
  • Raise your right arm, so it's pointing toward the ceiling.
  • Bend your right elbow and reach down toward your upper back with your right hand.
  • Using your middle finger as a guide, bring your right hand as close as you can to your spine.
  • Raise your left arm over your head, grab the right elbow, and pull the arm until you feel the right triceps stretch.
  • Wait 30 seconds.
  • Do this 3โ€“4 times for each arm.
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Takeaway

These 5 easy-to-learn stretches are a great way to get stronger and more flexible. Just remember that this list is for people who are new to flex-life.

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Edited by Susrita Das
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