Flexibility and stretching exercises for the foot, ankle, lower leg, thigh, hip, groin, shoulder, neck, upper arm and elbow. We also explain the benefits of stretching, flexibility and the various types and methods of stretching.
Flexibility is a word used regularly in the health and fitness industry, but what does it actually mean, why is it important and how can it be improved? What factors affect flexibility and how can you improve your flexibility either for injury prevention to improve sports performance?
Stretching has many benefits including increased flexibility and range of motion, improved sports performance, injury prevention, preventing muscle soreness, improving posture and stress relief. We explain how and why these benefits of stretching are achieved.
Stretching can take various different forms. Static stretching is the most common. PNF stretching, muscle energy techniques, ballistic stretching, and neural stretching are other types.
Stretching exercises for the foot and ankle including the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) and shin stretches, peroneal muscle and plantar fascia.
Stretching exercises for the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Lying quad stretch, sitting hamstring stretch, partner hamstring stretching.
Hip and Groin stretching exercises including standing groin stretch, long adductor stretch, piriformis Stretch and hip flexor stretch.
The following stretching and mobility exercises are often used as part of treatment and rehabilitation programs for back problems and injuries. They are also important to include in general training programs to help prevent injury and even improve sports performance.
Shoulder stretching exercises including anterior shoulder stretch, chest stretch, Triceps stretch and Latissimus Dorsi stretch as well as partner-assisted exercises which can increase a range of motion still further in the shoulder joints.
Elbow and arm stretching exercises are usually most important when rehabilitating an elbow or wrist injury and include wrist flexors, wrist extensors, tennis elbow stretch and triceps muscle. In particular martial artists often do wrist and arm stretches as part of their warm-up.
Stretching exercises for the neck including rotation stretch, forward and lateral flexion stretches and Sternocleidomastoid stretch. Neck mobility exercises are also excellent for relieving the tension caused by too many hours sitting at a desk or in front of a computer.