20 Best Stretches to Help Adults Stay Flexible Part 2

20 Static Stretches to Help Adults Stay Flexible

What is static stretching?

Static stretching is a type of stretch where the position is held until a gentle tension is felt.

Once a gentle tension is felt, that position is held for thirty seconds or until a muscle release is felt.

There is no movement or bouncing, unlike dynamic stretching.

It’s important to ease in and out of the stretch and to take your time.

Static stretching is meant to be performed on warms muscles, such as after a training session or following a light aerobic session.

Static Stretching for Weight Loss

Static stretching itself isn’t a calorie burner since it involves little movement, but it can still be used towards your weight-loss goals.

When performed after a workout, static stretching can help improve performance, prevent injury, and increase flexibility.

All of these factors will benefit your workouts designed for weight-loss.

If you are looking for stretching that involves movement, check out part 1 of this blog, dynamic stretching.

An overview of our recommended stretching exercises for adults

  • calf stretch
  • hamstring stretch
  • triceps stretch
  • shoulder stretch
  • butterfly stretch
  • achilles stretch
  • quadriceps stretch
  • lower back twist
  • chest stretch
  • upper back stretch
  • biceps stretch
  • side bends
  • forward lunge
  • cobra pose
  • IT band stretch
  • chest opener with forward bend
  • side lean half straddle
  • downward dog
  • spiderman stretch
  • child’s pose

Here are 20 simple static stretches to help you stay flexible.

You want to take your time with these stretches. Each one should be held for at least 30 seconds and not rushed.

1. Calf Stretch

static calf stretch

Stand with feet should width apart and arms length away from a wall.

Step your left foot back about two feet, while bending your right knee.

Try to keep both heels on the ground. Hold and then repeat with your right foot behind you.

2. Seated Hamstring Stretch

seated static hamstring stretch

Sit on the floor and stretch your right leg out in front of you, and bend your left leg in.

Rotate your right leg inwards and lean forwards, towards your right toe until you feel a stretch. Hold and then repeat with your left leg.

You can also do this stretch with turning the extended foot outwards.

3. Triceps Stretch

static triceps stretch

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lift your right arm, bend at the elbow, moving your right hand towards the ground behind you.

With your left hand, grab your right elbow and gently push downwards.

Repeat on your other side.

4. Shoulder Stretch

static shoulder stretch

Stand or sit with your back straight.

Raise both arms above your head and interlock your fingers.

Keeping your shoulders pressed down, gently push your palms towards the ceiling.

5. Butterfly Stretch

static butterfly stretch

Sit on the ground and press the soles of your feet together.

Drop your bent knees towards to ground as low as they will comfortably go and lean your forward with your hips.

6. Achilles Stretch

Stand with feet should width apart and arms length away from a wall.

Step your left foot back about two feet. Bend both knees.

Try to keep both heels on the ground. Hold and then repeat with your right foot behind you.

7. Quadriceps Stretch

static quad stretch

Stand up and bend your left knee, with your heel going towards your bottom.

With your left hand, grasp your ankle and gently pull your heel towards your bottom. Hold and repeat with your right leg.

For additional balance, use your free hand to hold onto a wall or sturdy chair.

8. Lower Back Twist

static lower back stretch

Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent and feet on the floor.

Stretch both arms out in a “T” position and slowly drop your knees to the left side.

Aim to keep your shoulders on the floor.

Hold and slowly roll your knees to the right side.

9. Chest Stretch

static chest stretch

Facing a wall, stretch your left arm out to the side, parallel to the floor.

Place your left palm against the wall and twist to the right.

Hold, then switch and place your right palm on the wall and twist to the left.

10. Upper Back Stretch

static upper back stretch

Reach both hands in front of you, and clasps your hands together, with your thumbs pointed down.

Round your shoulders and reach forward.

This stretch can be done either sitting or standing.

11. Biceps Stretch

Stand with your feet hips width apart.

Clasp your hands behind you, interlocking your fingers.

Raise your arms up towards the ceiling.

12. Side Bends

static side bends

Stand straight up and reach both hands above your head.

Take your right arm and lower it down the right side of your body.

As you do this, lengthen the left arm over the head, bending your body gently to the right.

Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

13. Forward Lunge

static lunge stretch

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and hands on hips.

Step forward with your right foot, and keep lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground.

Keep your left leg straight. Hold, step the right foot in, and repeat with your left foot.

14. Cobra Pose

static cobra pose

Lie on you stomach and place your hands underneath your shoulders.

Slowly straighten your arms and lift your chest, while keeping your elbows tucked in.

Think about lifting your chest up towards the ceiling.

15. IT Band Stretch

static it band stretch

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you.

Bend your left knee and place your left foot on the outside of your right knee.

Turn your upper body to the left.

Press your right arm gently against your left knee and your left hand against the floor to help further the stretch.

16. Chest Opener with Forward Bend

static chest opener

Stand with your feet hips width apart and interlock your fingers behind your back just like in 11. on our list.

Squeeze your should blades together and bend forwards at your hips.

Keep your chin tucked and bring your hands over your head.

17. Side Lean Half Straddle

static seated side bend

Sit on the floor in a wide straddle position.

Bend your left knee and place your left heel near your groin.

Try to reach your right hand to your right foot.

Stretch your left arm over your head to the right side.

Try to keep both buttocks on the floor. Hold and switch sides.

18. Downward Dog

static downward dog
Start on your hands and knees, and place your hands underneath your shoulders.

Press into your hands and lift your hips towards the ceiling.

Reach your chest towards your thighs, and keep your spine straight and long.

Your arms should now be extended in front of you, hands still on the floor.

Let your head and neck hang freely, or you can look at your belly button.

19. Spiderman Stretch

static spiderman stretch

Stand up and step your left leg on in front of you.

Bend your left knee until it is parallel to the ground and slowly lower your right knee to the floor.

Once in the wide lunge stand, place your right hand on the inside of your left foot.

Open your chest to the left and stretch your left arm towards the ceiling.

Hold and repeat on the other side.

20. Child’s Pose

static child's pose

A personal favorite, child’s pose is a great stretch and can be very relaxing.

Start on your hands and knees.

Sit on your heels and separate your knees about as wide as your hips.

Lay your torso down between your things and let your forehead rest on the floor.

Stretch your arms out in front of you, as far as feels comfortable.

Static Stretching for Overall Health and Wellness

Stretching exercises can help

  • increase range of motion
  • decrease the risk of muscle and tendon tears
  • improve balance and posture
  • relieve stiffness and muscle tightness

When stretching, always ease in and out of movements. You should feel slight tightness, but you should never feel any pain.

Take your time and don’t forget to breather while you stretch.

Weight Loss, Health, and Wellness in St. Louis

If you are looking to start your journey towards a positive life of health and wellness, Against the Grain is here for you.

Our health solutions allow you to live healthy and happy, while also losing weight

As holistic health coaching experts, Against the Grain’s goal is to help you live fully by developing a sustainable healthy-living routine.

 

Resources:

Static Stretching Exercises & Flexibility Program

http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/thigh-pain/back-thigh/tight-hamstrings-stretching

https://www.prevention.com/fitness/5-stretches-to-ease-your-lower-back-pain/slide/3