Flexibility equipment can be helpful but expensive. It's possible to complete many stretches and give yourself a good flexibility workout with no equipment. You can also turn everyday household items into stretching equipment that's a lot cheaper than what you'd buy at a workout store. Here are some stretches you can do at home or at the office right now. Whenever you start a flexibility routine, it's important to be meticulous about form. Even if you're a seasoned athlete, don't assume that you can stretch really far right off the bat. Never stretch beyond the point of comfort.
These are great because you can do them sitting down or standing up. Make your back straight and have your feet planted firmly on the ground. Bend your head straight down, pressing your chin to the chest and then tilt the head back. This is a slow "yes" motion. Do the same with a "no" motion. Another great neck stretch involves tilting the chin up and to the side and looking up to that corner of the room. This will stretch the side of the neck.
Stretch one arm across the chest, using the other hand on the tricep to help amplify the stretch. To stretch the tricep, bend the arm straight back at the elbow and try to touch your shoulder blade with your hand. You can use the wall to help you stretch the arm back. Try to put your tricep on the wall as you face it.
Back, Glutteal and Hip Stretches
Lie on your back and stretch your arms over your head. This will help stretch the abs and the back before you start the other stretches. Lift the knees to the chest and hug them with your arms. Rock from side to side and then allow your body to rock over completely to one side. Try to keep as much of your back on the floor as possible, with your knees as close to the floor as possible over the side of your body. Repeat on the other side.
Go back to the starting position and bring one knee up to the chest at a time. Attempt to lift the other leg off the ground to stretch the glutteal muscle. The last stretch involves grasping the legs just above the knee on the outside of the leg. Bring the legs up, bending the knees. This will be like a classic birthing position, but great for men and women alike to open the groin and the hip area.
Twists and Side Bends
These will help you gain flexibility and tone the abdominal muscles on the side. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Try to lower your right hand down the right leg as you bring your left arm directly over the ear, elongating the left side. Repeat on the other side. After 10 slow repetitions, return to a good standing position. Pretend you are hugging someone at the waist in front of you. Twist slowly to one side without bending the trunk or back. Hold and repeat on the other side.