Flexibility exercises can increase blood flow throughout the body, burn calories and decrease pain. Always move slowly and gently when stretching and avoid bouncing. Only stretch as far as is comfortable. Every stretch should be done with a starting position of a straight back and head square on the shoulders. If you're standing, have your feet shoulder width apart. If you're seated, keep your feet flat on the floor. Here are 5 easy exercises to try at home that require no equipment. Try doing 10 to 15 repetitions total on each side.
1. Neck Tilt
Gently try to press your right ear to your right shoulder and slowly return to the resting position, and do the same for the other side. Slowly lower your chin to your chest. Return to the resting position. Tilt the head straight back very slowly.
2. Neck Rolls
Rotate the head all the way around from tilted forward, looking over the right shoulder, rotating to tilt your head backwards, looking over the left shoulder, down again and then to the resting position. It should take 7 to 10 seconds to go all the way around.
3. Arm across the Chest
Grasp one arm at the triceps and stretch it across the chest. You can also rest the stretching arm in the V of your other arm that's bended and press into the chest. Always keep the stretching arm straight.
4. Wrist and Forearm Stretches
Extend one arm in front of you and use the other hand over the top of the extended arm's hand to point the finger tips down to the floor. Do the same thing, but turning the palm outwards and then trying to push the hand so that the fingers point to the floor.
5. Lower Back and Hip Stretching
Lie on your back and bring both knees to your chest as far as you can. Roll gently back and forth. Then pull one knee at a time up to the chest. You can also bring both legs up and grab each leg around the outer part of the knee so that you are in a classic birthing position.