8 Relaxing Total Body Stretches - Stretch Your Entire Body

Stretching is something we all know we should be doing, but how often do you really do it?  If you can't remember the last time you stretched, it's time for a challenge.  These total body stretches are so simple, you can do them anywhere.  They promote flexibility and relaxation and they just feel darn good.

How many good things do you do for your mind and body each day?  If you need more self-care, this relaxing total body stretch workout is the answer. You'll build flexibility in the chest, shoulders, back, arms and legs. Try these exercises after a workout or anytime throughout the day for flexibility and relaxation.

Precautions

See your doctor if you have any medical conditions, illnesses or injuries

Equipment Needed

A chair, ball or bench

How To

  • Begin with a 5-10 minute warm-up of light cardio (walking in place, etc.)
  • Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds and repeat for 1-3 times.
  • Perform these stretches after a workout for best results
  • Avoid any exercises that cause pain or discomfort

1
Quad Stretch

John Fedele/Blend Images/Getty Images

Stand and hold onto a wall for balance if needed. Grab the top of the right foot and bend your knee, bringing the foot towards the buttocks, knee pointing straight at the floor. You should feel a stretch right down the front of your leg. Squeeze your hips forward for a deeper stretch.  Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch sides, repeating 1-3 times.

2
Standing Hamstring Stretch

Standing Hamstring Stretch. Paige Waehner

Take your left foot forward and tip from the hips, keeping the back flat. Lower down until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg. Repeat on the other side.

If you feel shaky or your hamstrings are tight, try using a resistance band to give you more leverage.

Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch sides, repeating 1-3 times. 

3
Chest and Shoulder Stretch

Chest Stretch. Paige Waehner

Sit or stand and clasp your hands together behind your back, arms straight. Lift your hands towards the ceiling, going only as high as is comfortable. You should feel a stretch in your shoulders and chest.

Hold for 15-30 seconds, repeating 1-3 times.

If your shoulders are a little tight, try just taking your arms out to the sides like an airplane.

4
Upper Back Stretch

Upper Back Stretch. Paige Waehner

Clasp your hands together in front of you and round your back, pressing your arms away from your body to feel a stretch in your upper back.  Make sure you contract the abs, to really get the most out of this stretch.

Hold for 15-30 second, repeating 1-3 times.

5
Biceps Stretch

Biceps Stretch. Paige Waehner

Take your arms out to the sides, slightly behind you, with the thumbs up (as in The Fonz). Rotate your thumbs down and back until they are pointing to the back wall to stretch the biceps.

Hold for 15-30 seconds, repeating 1-3 times.

6
Shoulder Stretch

Shoulder Stretch. Paige Waehner

Take right arm straight across your chest and curl the left hand around your elbow, gently pulling on the right arm to deepen the stretch in the shoulders. Try dropping the shoulder down if you're not feeling a stretch. 

Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch sides, repeating 1-3 times.

7
Seated Side Stretch

Seated Side Stretch. Paige Waehner

Sitting or standing, clasp your hands straight up overhead, palms facing the ceiling. Stretch up and then over to the right, feeling a stretch down your left side.

Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch sides, repeating 1-3 times.

8
Triceps Stretch

Triceps Stretch. Paige Waehner

Bend the left elbow behind your head and use the right hand to gently pull the left elbow in further until you feel a stretch in your triceps.

Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch sides, repeating 1-3 times. 

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