My Top 5 Stretches To Do At Home

When working from home or sitting for many hours a day it is very important to implement a stretching routine. Stretching throughout the day will not only help to keep you active and give you a nice break from your work, but it will also help to improve posture, loosen up tight muscles and ease any tension in the neck, back, and shoulders. I have found that simple stretches throughout the day make ALL the difference, especially when you are used to being more active than you may be when working from home or stuck inside. Not only to your muscles and stiffness, but to your motivation also! You will be waking up your body AND your mind by getting up and dedicating 5 minutes to these.

Try my top five stretches to do on days when you’re less active or having a rest day! 

1. Standing Hamstring Stretch

Target: Hamstrings, hips, lower back.

Hamstrings can be quite susceptible to injury or strain so it is important to stretch them out when you can. This exercise will help with hip alignment and to loosen up tight lower back muscles. 

How to perform:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and spine in a neutral position. 
  2. Place the right leg in front of your body with your foot flexed with toes pointed towards the ceiling. 
  3. Slightly bend the left knee and lean forward placing hands on your thighs.
  4. Keep a neutral spine (don’t arch over) and hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the other side. 

Lauren doing a standing hamstring stretch.

2. Cross Body Shoulder Stretch

Target:Posterior deltoids (back of shoulder), triceps, shoulder blades.

This exercise helps to increase range of motion and help to prevent injury while stretching out the back of your shoulders.

How to perform:

  1. Stand with relaxed shoulders and feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Reach across your body with your left arm out straight across your chest. 
  3. Hold the left arm there with your right arm. 
  4. Gently pull the left arm in towards your chest until you feel a stretch in the back of your left shoulder. 
  5. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. 
  6. Repeat with your right arm.

Lauren doing a cross body shoulder stretch.

3. Overhead Triceps Stretch

Target: Triceps, shoulders.

This stretch helps to improve the flexibility of your triceps, improve posture and help stabilise the shoulders.

How to perform:

  1. Stand or sit in an upright neutral position. 
  2. Shrug your shoulders up, back and then down to ensure a good posture. 
  3. Lift your left arm up towards the ceiling then bend your elbow so your hand is resting on your neck and middle finger is resting on your spine. 
  4. Lift your right arm up towards the ceiling then bend your elbow and place your right hand onto your left elbow. 
  5. Use your right hand to gently push your left elbow towards your spine and down. 
  6. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side.

Lauren doing an overhead triceps stretch.

4. Chair Pose

Target: Quads, calves, feet, core, back, chest, arms.

I love this exercise as it works your whole body by opening the chest, stretching your back and calves, and strengthening your quads and core muscle strength. This stretch can also help to improve your posture.

How to perform:

  1. Stand with your legs hip-width apart and your feet facing forward.
  2. Reach your arms up straight with your palms facing towards each other, keeping your shoulders down and spine straight. 
  3. Bend your knees and keep your thighs, knees and feet parallel until you’re in a squat position. 
  4. Lean your torso forward, keeping arms raised and stretched out. You should feel a stretch in your arms and your core should engage.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds.

Lauren instructing the chair pose.

5. Downward Dog

Target: Back, hamstrings, calves, chest, arms, core.

This stretch is a popular yoga pose that targets the full body and works to stretch and open the chest and shoulders, stretch the hamstrings, calves, back and arms, and helps to sculpt your arms and abs.

How to perform:

  1. Start on the floor on your hands and knees with your knees slightly behind your hips. 
  2. Bring your hands slightly forward in front of your shoulders with your fingers spread apart.
  3. Press your hands into a mat and lift your knees away from it, straightening your legs as much as you can. 
  4. Keep your spine and neck in a straight line and try to lift away from your hips while pushing heels towards the floor.
  5. Hold position for 30 seconds.

Lauren instructing downward dog stretch.

Doing these exercises multiple times a day when you’re inactive or having a rest day can help to reduce any muscle tightness, keep you moving, active and refresh the brain to keep you motivated throughout your day. Try these out today my #LSFbabes, and feel the difference!

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