Increasing your body’s flexibility is a great way to avoid injury, increase your range of motion, relax and cool down your muscles, and more. From top-level athletes to leisurely walkers, incorporating a few everyday stretches into your routine can keep you moving forward and feeling great.

Everyday Stretches to Increase Flexibility

If you are hoping to add some simple stretches into your daily routine, you have come to the right place. Try the some of the following everyday stretches to keep your body feeling great!

Downward Dog

Downward dog is one of many ideal everyday stretches to try. This yoga pose is a strengthening and lengthening stretch that will enable you to stretch through your back and shoulders as well as your lower body. Because it is an inversion, or a stretch where your heart is above your head, downward dog will also increase blood flow to your brain.

To do this stretch, start on in a tabletop position on your knees with your palms flat on the ground. Next, ensure your hands are shoulder width apart and your hips are knee width apart. Then, shift your weight into your feet, straighten your legs, and push your hips into the air. Feel the stretch through your whole body, especially through your hamstrings and calves.

Standing Backbend

To increase flexibility in your chest and mobility in your back body, try a standing backbend. This is a simple pose you can do anywhere that will enable you to stretch through your chest and shoulders and leave you feeling great!

To take this pose, start in tadasana. Reach your hands above your head, open through your shoulders, and slowly lean back into a gentle backbend. Take this stretch and slowly and gently as you need to. You only need a small amount of backbend to feel this hip-opening stretch!

Legs Up The Wall Pose or Viparita Karani

As the name suggests, the legs up the wall pose will enable you to use the wall to increase flexibility in your legs. This pose eliminates the weight-bearing element of stretching while giving you a stretch that feels great through your calves and hamstrings. It is also a great pose for beginners!

To move into this pose, find an empty wall in your home, gym, or wherever you are practicing. Lie on the ground and maneuver your body close enough to the wall where you can stretch your legs up with your body perpendicular to the wall. Scoot yourself as close as you comfortably can to the wall while keeping your legs straight. Take a few breaths to relax into the pose and stay there as long as you would like!

Eagle Arms

For anyone hoping to increase flexibility in their upper body, eagle arms is an ideal everyday stretch to start with. Eagle arms can help you stretch through the backs of your shoulders, wrists, and outsides of your biceps. 

To start with eagle arms, bring one arm in front of you at a right angle. Your elbow should be at about chest height, creating a right angle from forearm to lower arm. Next, swing your other arm under your first, so your elbows meet in front of your chest. Finally, reach your fingers from your bottom arm to meet the palm of your top arm. Hold for as long as you would like and then switch your top and bottom arm! You may also move into full eagle pose, or do some other yoga poses with these arms such as a half forward fold.

To learn more everyday stretches and yoga poses to increase your flexibility, check out Alo Moves‘ Spine Flexibility with Mackenzie Miller.

Megan Herndon

Megan is a Seattle-based writer who covers health and wellness. She has worked in content marketing and journalism for a number of organizations including The Seattle Globalist, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and The Jakarta Globe. She has a BA in journalism from the University of Washington and is currently working on her second UW degree, a Master of Communication and Digital Media. Born and raised in Hawaii and currently embracing the Pacific Northwest lifestyle, Megan loves all things active and outdoors including hiking, camping, outrigger canoe paddling, and yoga.

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