6 of the best stretches you should do everyday for flexibility and function. This daily stretching routine will help improve mobility in your spine, hips, and shoulders and decrease pain in your neck and back. These are my top stretches that I prescribe in my physical therapy clinic – perform them everyday to improve range of motion, mobility, and function!
➡️ LINK TO STRETCH OUT STRAP:
✅ 10 BEST STRETCHES FOR TIGHT HIPS:
✅ 10 BEST STRETCHES FOR LOWER BACK PAIN:
✅ BEST STRETCHES FOR TIGHT HAMSTRINGS:
✅ DO THIS EVERY MORNING! 5-MINUTE MOBILITY FOLLOW-ALONG ROUTINE:
Mobility is one of the critical components to our overall wellness. In order to maintain normal, pain-free function and movement, we have to be mindful of our flexibility and mobility – especially in our spines (collectively the most mobile part of our body).
Our muscles and joints undergo what we call “adaptive shortening” and “adaptive lengthening” based on the stresses (or lack thereof) placed upon an area.
Basically – our bodies and joints operate under a “use it or lose it” principle. If we don’t take our joints into their end ranges of available motion and if we stay fixed in one posture for an extended period of time, we start to lose our range of motion. This can result in feelings of tightness, stiffness, and even pain.
The best way to combat these effects is by regularly taking your joints into ranges that they should go into and that they’re capable of going into, but don’t get there regularly.
That’s where these exercises come in. This is a collection of the best exercises to stretch key muscles and joints into their end ranges of motion to increase your mobility and promote normal pain-free movement.
Click on the time stamps below to be taken directly to each exercise in the video.
1. CHIN TUCKS (3:38) – My go-to exercise to decrease pain, tension, and even headaches in your cervical spine (neck). This is a must if you spend long periods of time in a “forward head posture” (working at a laptop, looking at a tablet or phone, etc).
2. NECK AND UPPER BACK EXTENSION STRETCHES (4:40) – Think about it – we rarely look up! Our whole lives are in front of us and we spend a lot of time looking straight or down. But our necks and our upper backs are designed to extend – to look up and move backwards. One of the best things you can do for your neck and upper back is to improve extension mobility.
CORRECT YOUR UPPER BACK AND NECK POSTURE NOW:
3. DOORWAY STRETCHES (6:54) – When we slump, our head comes forward on our necks and our shoulders round forward and in. To break out of this posture we need adequate range of motion through the front of the chest and shoulders. This is my go-to stretch to target those area.
4. LOWER BACK EXTENSION STRETCH (8:44) – We spend a lot of time sitting and many of our daily motions involve forward bending. Rarely do we extend our spines back the other direction in an effort to stretch them out. That’s where this stretch comes in.
*Don’t do this one if you have certain specific spine conditions. If you’re dealing with back pain from things like stenosis, degenerative disc disease, or spondylolisthesis, please do not perform these extension exercises. You need to promote spine flexion (bending forward) to stretch your back out safely.
BEST EXERCISES FOR DISC BULGE AND SCIATICA:
5. HIP FLEXOR STRETCH (10:40) – we spend a lot of time sitting. Over time our hip flexors can adapt and shorten in this position. The unfortunate part about this is one of your hip flexor muscles attaches to your lower back vertebrae. If your hip flexors are tight they can pull on these vertebrae and pull your back forward and out of proper alignment.
HIP FLEXOR PAIN? YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS ONE:
6. HAMSTRINGS STRETCH (12:13) – Probably the one area/muscle group that most of us could use a little work on – our hamstrings are an area that are prone to becoming tight. They also have a connection on the pelvis and can contribute to lower back pain if not stretched out properly.
THE BEST WAY TO STRETCH YOUR HAMSTRINGS:
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