Home Basics Exercises Videos Magazines Equipment

Fitness Basics



Stretching Exercises

As we grow older our flexibility diminishes with time. It is important to stretch yourself on a daily basis in order to maintain your flexibility throughout your lifetime. Flexibility will help you to keep your muscle tone, and balance, as you grow older. Staying flexible will also reduce the severity of any accidental injuries. Here are some simple stretching exercises that you can do at home; remember that stretching exercises should never cause you pain or discomfort.

Stretch Your Legs and Hips

Sit on a comfortable cushioned matt on the floor. Keep your legs in front of you together and point your toes forward. Hold the position for 5 seconds and then bend toes and feet back towards you and hold for another 5 seconds. Repeat at least 10 times. Relax your feet and, keeping your legs together, slowly stretch forward and try to touch the tips of your toes, or as far as you can go; hold the position for 5 seconds and then return to sitting up, repeat 10 times. Next, place your legs in a V position. Slowly bend forward and stretch your finger tips out to the floor between your legs, hold the position for 5 seconds, and repeat 10 times.


Stretch Your Back

Toe touches are some of the most beneficial stretching exercises that you can do as they help to maintain the flexibility in your back, neck, and arms. Stand straight up and keep your legs and feet together. Slowly bend forward with your arms out and try to touch your toes; hold the position for 5-10 seconds and try to repeat the exercise at least 10 times. Do not become discouraged if you cannot touch your toes, just go down as far as you can and keep working at everyday.

Stand straight up, with your shoulders back, hands on your hips, legs together, and slowly bend forward then straighten up and bend backward. Try to hold the position for a few seconds and repeat at least 10 times. Then, standing with your hands on your hips and your legs slightly apart bend first to the left and then to the right. Do not move your lower body and try to hold each stretch for at least 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Stretch Your Neck

Neck rolls will help to keep your upper back, neck, and shoulders flexible. Stand straight up, legs together, and slowly bend your head forward; try to touch your chin to your chest. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds and then slowly lift your head back up. Then, gently lower your head down to the left and lower your left ear towards your left shoulder; make sure you keep your down during this exercise. Hold the position for 5 seconds and then repeat it on the right side. Try to do this 5-10 times a day.