Stretching

Other categories

123 Exercises

90/90 Hamstring

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: beginner
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back, with one leg extended straight out.
  • With the other leg, bend the hip and knee to 90 degrees. You may brace your leg with your hands if necessary. This will be your starting position.
  • Extend your leg straight into the air, pausing briefly at the top. Return the leg to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-20 repetitions, and then switch to the other leg.

Adductor

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Lie face down with one leg on a foam roll.
  • Rotate the leg so that the foam roll contacts against your inner thigh. Shift as much weight onto the foam roll as can be tolerated.
  • While trying to relax the muscles if the inner thigh, roll over the foam between your hip and knee, holding points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

Adductor/Groin

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with your feet raised towards the ceiling.
  • Have your partner hold your feet or ankles. Abduct your legs as far as you can. This will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to squeeze your legs together for 10 or more seconds, while your partner prevents you from doing so.
  • Now, relax the muscles in your legs as your partner pushes your feet apart, stretching as far as is comfortable for you. Be sure to let your partner know when the stretch is adequate to prevent overstretching or injury.

All Fours Quad Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Start off on your hands and knees, then lift your leg off the floor and hold the foot with your hand.
  • Use your hand to hold the foot or ankle, keeping the knee fully flexed, stretching the quadriceps and hip flexors.
  • Focus on extending your hips, thrusting them towards the floor. Hold for 10-20 seconds and then switch sides.

Ankle Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Use a sturdy object like a squat rack to hold yourself.
  • Lift the right leg in the air (just around 2 inches from the floor) and perform a circular motion with the big toe. Pretend that you are drawing a big circle with it. Tip: One circle equals 1 repetition. Breathe normally as you perform the movement.
  • When you are done with the right foot, then repeat with the left leg.

Ankle On The Knee

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • From a lying position, bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor.
  • Place your ankle of one foot on your opposite knee.
  • Grasp the thigh or knee of the bottom leg and pull both of your legs into the chest. Relax your neck and shoulders. Hold for 10-20 seconds and then switch sides.

Anterior Tibialis-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Begin seated on the ground with your legs bent and your feet on the floor.
  • Using a Muscle Roller or a rolling pin, apply pressure to the muscles on the outside of your shins. Work from just below the knee to above the ankle, pausing at points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

Arm Circles

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Stand up and extend your arms straight out by the sides. The arms should be parallel to the floor and perpendicular (90-degree angle) to your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly start to make circles of about 1 foot in diameter with each outstretched arm. Breathe normally as you perform the movement.
  • Continue the circular motion of the outstretched arms for about ten seconds. Then reverse the movement, going the opposite direction.

Behind Head Chest Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit upright on the floor with your partner behind you.
  • Place your hands behind your hand, and push your elbows back as far as you can. Your partner should hold your elbows. This will be your starting position.
  • Gently attempt to pull your elbows forward with your hands still behind your head for 10 or more seconds. Your partner should prevent your elbows from moving.
  • Now, relax your muscles and have your partner gently pull the elbows back as far as it comfortable for you. Be sure to let your partner know when the stretch is adequate to prevent overstretching or injury.

Brachialis-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Lie on your side, with your upper arm against the foam roller. The upper arm should be more or less aligned with your body, with the outside of the bicep pressed against the foam roller.
  • Raise your hips off of the floor, supporting your weight on your arm and on your feet. Hold for 10-30 seconds, and then switch sides.

Calf Stretch Elbows Against Wall

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Stand facing a wall from a couple feet away.
  • Lean against the wall, placing your weight on your forearms.
  • Attempt to keep your heels on the ground. Hold for 10-20 seconds. You may move further or closer the wall, making it more or less difficult, respectively.

Calf Stretch Hands Against Wall

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Stand facing a wall from several feet away. Stagger your stance, placing one foot forward.
  • Lean forward and rest your hands on the wall, keeping your heel, hip and head in a straight line.
  • Attempt to keep your heel on the ground. Hold for 10-20 seconds and then switch sides.

Calves-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Begin seated on the floor. Place a foam roller underneath your lower leg. Your other leg can either be crossed over the opposite or be placed on the floor, supporting some of your weight. This will be your starting position.
  • Place your hands to your side or just behind you, and press down to raise your hips off of the floor, placing much of your weight against your calf muscle. Roll from below the knee to above the ankle, pausing at points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat for the other leg.

Cat Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Position yourself on the floor on your hands and knees.
  • Pull your belly in and round your spine, lower back, shoulders, and neck, letting your head drop.
  • Hold for 15 seconds.

Chair Leg Extended Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Sit upright in a chair and grip the seat on the sides.
  • Raise one leg, extending the knee, flexing the ankle as you do so.
  • Slowly move that leg outward as far as you can, and then back to the center and down.
  • Repeat for your other leg.

Chair Lower Back Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Sit upright on a chair.
  • Bend to one side with your arm over your head. You can hold onto the chair with your free hand.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat for your other side.

Chair Upper Body Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Sit on the edge of a chair, gripping the back of it.
  • Straighten your arms, keeping your back straight, and pull your upper body forward so you feel a stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

Chest And Front Of Shoulder Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Start off by standing with your legs together, holding a bodybar or a broomstick.
  • Take a slightly wider than shoulder width grip on the pole and hold it in front of you with your palms facing down.
  • Carefully lift the pole up and behind your head.

Chest Stretch on Stability Ball

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Get on your hands and knees next to an exercise ball.
  • Place your elbows on top of the ball, keeping your arm out to your side. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower your torso towards the floor, keeping your elbow on top of the ball. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, and repeat with the other arm.

Child's Pose

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Get on your hands and knees, walk your hands in front of you.
  • Lower your buttocks down to sit on your heels. Let your arms drag along the floor as you sit back to stretch your entire spine.
  • Once you settle onto your heels, bring your hands next to your feet and relax. "breathe" into your back. Rest your forehead on the floor. Avoid this position if you have knee problems.

Chin To Chest Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • neck
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Get into a seated position on the floor.
  • Place both hands at the rear of your head, fingers interlocked, thumbs pointing down and elbows pointing straight ahead. Slowly pull your head down to your chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

Crossover Reverse Lunge

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • abductors
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Perform a rear lunge by stepping back with one foot and flexing the hips and front knee. As you do so, rotate your torso across the front leg.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side, continuing in an alternating fashion.

Dancer's Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Sit up on the floor.
  • Cross your right leg over your left, keeping the knee bent. Your left leg is straight and down on the floor.
  • Place your left arm on your right leg and your right hand on the floor.
  • Rotate your upper body to the right, and hold for 10-20 seconds. Switch sides.

Dynamic Back Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your arms straight, swing them straight up in front of you 5-10 times, increasing the range of motion each time until your arms are above your head.

Dynamic Chest Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Stand with your hands together, arms extended directly in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your arms straight, quickly move your arms back as far as possible and back in again, similar to an exaggerated clapping motion. Repeat 5-10 times, increasing speed as you do so.

Elbow Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Sit or stand with your feet slightly apart.
  • Place your hands on your shoulders with your elbows at shoulder level and pointing out.
  • Slowly make a circle with your elbows. Breathe out as you start the circle and breathe in as you complete the circle.

Elbows Back

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight.
  • Place both hands on your lower back, fingers pointing downward and elbows out.
  • Then gently pull your elbows back aiming to touch them together.

Foot-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • This exercise stretches the fascia of the muscles in the feet. Start off seated with your shoes removed. Using a foot roller or a similar object, such as a small section of pvc pipe, place your foot against the roller across the arch of your foot. This will be your starting position.
  • Press down firmly, rolling across the arch of your foot. Hold for 10-30 seconds, and then switch feet.

Frog Hops

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand with your hands behind your head, and squat down keeping your torso upright and your head up. This will be your starting position.
  • Jump forward several feet, avoiding jumping unnecessarily high. As your feet contact the ground, absorb the impact through your legs, and jump again. Repeat this action 5-10 times.

Front Leg Raises

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand next to a chair or other support, holding on with one hand.
  • Swing your leg forward, keeping the leg straight. Continue with a downward swing, bringing the leg as far back as your flexibility allows. Repeat 5-10 times, and then switch legs.

Groin and Back Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet together.
  • Interlock your fingers behind your head. This will be your starting position.
  • Curl downwards, bringing your elbows to the inside of your thighs. After a brief pause, return to the starting position with your head up and your back straight. Repeat for 10-20 repetitions.

Groiners

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Begin in a pushup position on the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • Using both legs, jump forward landing with your feet next to your hands. Keep your head up as you do so.
  • Return to the starting position and immediately repeat the movement, continuing for 10-20 repetitions.

Hamstring Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with one leg extended above you, with the hip at ninety degrees. Keep the other leg flat on the floor.
  • Loop a belt, band, or rope over the ball of your foot. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull on the belt to create tension in the calves and hamstrings. Hold this stretch for 10-30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.

Hamstring-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • In a seated position, extend your legs over a foam roll so that it is position on the back of the upper legs. Place your hands to the side or behind you to help support your weight. This will be your starting position.
  • Using your hands, lift your hips off of the floor and shift your weight on the foam roll to one leg. Relax the hamstrings of the leg you are stretching.
  • Roll over the foam from below the hip to above the back of the knee, pausing at points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat for the other leg.

Hip Circles (prone)

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Position yourself on your hands and knees on the ground. Maintaining good posture, raise one bent knee off of the ground. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the knee in a bent position, rotate the femur in an arc, attempting to make a big circle with your knee.
  • Perform this slowly for a number of repetitions, and repeat on the other side.

Hug A Ball

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Seat yourself on the floor.
  • Straddle an exercise ball between both legs and lower your hips down toward the floor.
  • Hug your arms around the ball to support your body. Adjust your legs so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees line up over your ankles. Keep a good grip on the ball so it doesn't roll away from you and send you back onto your buttocks.

Hug Knees To Chest

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Lie down on your back and pull both knees up to your chest.
  • Hold your arms under the knees, not over (that would put to much pressure on your knee joints).
  • Slowly pull the knees toward your shoulders. This also stretches your buttocks muscles.

Iliotibial Tract-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • abductors
Instructions:
  • Lay on your side, with the bottom leg placed onto a foam roller between the hip and the knee. The other leg can be crossed in front of you.
  • Place as much of your weight as is tolerable onto your bottom leg; there is no need to keep your bottom leg in contact with the ground. Be sure to relax the muscles of the leg you are stretching.
  • Roll your leg over the foam from you hip to your knee, pausing for 10-30 seconds at points of tension. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Inchworm

Category: stretching
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand with your feet close together. Keeping your legs straight, stretch down and put your hands on the floor directly in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by walking your hands forward slowly, alternating your left and your right. As you do so, bend only at the hip, keeping your legs straight.
  • Keep going until your body is parallel to the ground in a pushup position.
  • Now, keep your hands in place and slowly take short steps with your feet, moving only a few inches at a time.
  • Continue walking until your feet are by hour hands, keeping your legs straight as you do so.

Intermediate Groin Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with your legs extended. Loop a belt, rope, or band around one of your feet, and swing that leg as far to the side as you can. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull gently on the belt to create tension in your groin and hamstring muscles. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and repeat on the other side.

Intermediate Hip Flexor and Quad Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Lie face down on the floor, with a rope, belt, or band looped around one foot.
  • Flex the knee and extend the hip of the leg to be stretched, using both hands to pull on the belt. Your knee and your hip should come off of the floor, creating tension in the hip flexors and quadriceps. Hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds, and repeat on the other leg.

Iron Crosses (stretch)

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Lie face down on the floor, with your arms extended out to your side, palms pressed to the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • To begin, flex one knee and bring that leg across the back of your body, attempting to touch it to the ground near the opposite hand.
  • Promptly return the leg to the starting postion, and quickly repeat with the other leg. Continue alternating for 10-20 repetitions.

IT Band and Glute Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • abductors
Instructions:
  • Loop a belt, rope, or band around one of your feet, and swing that leg across your body to the opposite side, keeping the leg extended as you lay on the ground. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your foot off of the floor, pull on the belt, using the tension to pull the toes up. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and repeat on the other side.

Knee Across The Body

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Lie down on the floor with your right leg straight. Bend your left leg and lower it across your body, holding the knee down toward the floor with your right hand. (The knee doesn't need to touch the floor if you're tight.)
  • Place your left arm comfortably beside you and turn your head to the left. Imagine you have a weight tied to your tailbone. let your tailbone fall back toward the floor as your chest reaches in the opposite direction to stretch your lower back. Switch sides.

Knee Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Stand with your legs together and hands by your waist.
  • Now move your knees in a circular motion as you breathe normally.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Kneeling Forearm Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start by kneeling on a mat with your palms flat and your fingers pointing back toward your knees.
  • Slowly lean back keeping your palms flat on the floor until you feel a stretch in your wrists and forearms. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

Kneeling Hip Flexor

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Kneel on a mat and bring your right knee up so the bottom of your foot is on the floor and extend your left leg out behind you so the top of your foot is on the floor.
  • Shift your weight forward until you feel a stretch in your hip. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat for your other side.

Latissimus Dorsi-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • While lying on the floor, place a foam roll under your back and to one side, just behind your arm pit. This will be your starting position.
  • Keep the arm of the side being stretched behind and to the side of you as you shift your weight onto your lats, keeping your upper body off of the ground. Hold for 10-30 seconds, and switch sides.

Leg-Up Hamstring Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Lie flat on your back, bend one knee, and put that foot flat on the floor to stabilize your spine.
  • Extend the other leg in the air. If you're tight, you wont be able to straighten it. That's okay. Extend the knee so that the sole of the lifted foot faces the ceiling (or as close as you can get it).
  • Slowly straighten the legs as much as possible and then pull the leg toward your nose. Switch sides.

Looking At Ceiling

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Kneel on the floor, holding your heels with both hands.
  • Lift your buttocks up and forward while bringing your head back to look up at the ceiling, to give an arch in your back.

Lower Back Curl

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie on your stomach with your arms out to your sides. This will be your starting position.
  • Using your lower back muscles, extend your spine lifting your chest off of the ground. Do not use your arms to push yourself up. Keep your head up during the movement. Repeat for 10-20 repetitions.

Lower Back-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • In a seated position, place a foam roll under your lower back. Cross your arms in front of you and protract your shoulders. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your hips off of the floor and lean back, keeping your weight on your lower back. Now shift your weight slightly to one side, keeping your weight off of the spine and on the muscles to the side of it. Roll over your lower back, holding points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Lying Bent Leg Groin

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of the feet pressed together. Have your partner hold your knees. This will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to squeeze your knees together, while your partner prevents any movement from occurring.
  • After 10-20 seconds, relax your muscles as your partner gently pushes your knees towards the floor. Be sure to inform your helper when the stretch is adequate to prevent injury or overstretching.

Lying Crossover

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abductors
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  • Cross one leg over your body with the knee bent, attempting to touch the knee to the ground. Your partner should kneel beside you, holding your shoulder down with one hand and controlling the crossed leg with the other. this will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to raise the bent knee off of the ground as your partner prevents any actual movement.
  • After 10-20 seconds, relax the leg as your partner gently presses the knee towards the floor. Repeat with the other side.

Lying Glute

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with your partner kneeling beside you.
  • Flex the hip of one leg, raising it off of the floor. Rotate the leg so the foot is over the opposite hip, the lower leg perpendicular to your body. Your partner should hold the knee and ankle in place. This will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to push your leg towards your partner, who should be preventing any actual movement of the leg.
  • After 10-20 seconds, completely relax as your partner gently pushes the ankle and knee towards your chest. Be sure to inform your helper when the stretch is adequate to prevent injury or overstretching.

Lying Hamstring

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with your legs extended. Your partner should be kneeling beside you. Raise one leg up towards the ceiling and have your partner hold the ankle. Your partner can use their shoulder to brace your leg if necessary. This will be your starting position.
  • With your partner holding your leg in place, attempt to flex the knee, contracting the hamstrings for 10-20 seconds.
  • Then relax your leg, allowing your partner to gently push the leg towards your head. Be sure to inform your helper when the stretch is adequate to prevent injury or overstretching. Switch sides once complete.

Lying Prone Quadriceps

Category: stretching
Level: expert
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Lay face down on the floor with your partner kneeling beside you. Flex one knee and raise that leg off the ground, attempting to touch your glutes with your foot. Your partner should hold the knee and ankle. This will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to extend your knee while your partner prevents any actual movement.
  • After 10-20 seconds, relax your muscles as your partner gently pushes the foot towards your glutes, further stretching the quadriceps and hip flexors.
  • After 10-20 seconds, switch sides.

Middle Back Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • lats
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Stand so your feet are shoulder width apart and your hands are on your hips.
  • Twist at your waist until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then twist to the other side.

Neck-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • neck
Instructions:
  • Using a muscle roller or a rolling pin, place the roller behind your head and against your neck. Make sure that you do not place the roller directly against the spine, but turned slightly so that the roller is pressed against the muscles to either side of the spine. This will be your starting position.
  • Starting at the top of your neck, slowly roll down the muscles of your neck, pausing at points of tension for 10-30 seconds.

On Your Side Quad Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Start off by lying on your right side, with your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle resting on the floor in front of you (this stabilizes the torso).
  • Bend your left knee behind you and hold your left foot with your left hand. To stretch your hip flexor, press your left hip forward as you push your left foot back into your hand. Switch sides.

On-Your-Back Quad Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Lie on a flat bench or step, and hang one leg and arm over the side.
  • Bend the knee and hold the top of the foot. As you do this, be careful not to arch your lower back.
  • Pull the belly button to the spine to stay in neutral. Press your foot down and into your hand. To add the hip stretch, lift the hip of the leg you're holding up toward the ceiling.
  • Switch sides.

One Arm Against Wall

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • From a standing position, place a bent arm against a wall or doorway.
  • Slowly lean toward your arm until you feel a stretch in your lats.

One Half Locust

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • biceps
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Lie facedown on the floor.
  • Put your left hand under your left hipbone to pad your hip and pubic bone.
  • Bend your right knee so you can hold the foot in your right hand.
  • Lift the foot in the air and simultaneously lift your shoulders off the floor. This also stretches the right hip flexor and the chest and shoulders. Switch sides. If it doesn't bother your back, you can try it with both arms and legs at the same time.

One Handed Hang

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Grab onto a chinup bar with one hand, using a pronated grip. Keep your feet on the floor or a step. Allow the majority of your weight to hang from that hand, while keeping your feet on the ground. Hold for 10-20 seconds and switch sides.

One Knee To Chest

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Start off by lying on the floor.
  • Extend one leg straight and pull the other knee to your chest. Hold under the knee joint to protect the kneecap.
  • Gently tug that knee toward your nose.
  • Switch sides. This stretches the buttocks and lower back of the bent leg and the hip flexor of the straight leg.

Overhead Lat

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Sit upright on the floor with your partner behind you. Raise one arm straight up, and flex the elbow, attempting to touch your hand to your back. Your parner should hold your tricep and wrist. This will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to pull your upper arm to your side as your partner prevents you from doing actually doing so.
  • After 10-20 seconds, relax the arm and allow your partner to further stretch the lat by applying gentle pressure to the tricep. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then switch sides.

Overhead Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • forearms
  • lats
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Standing straight up, lace your fingers together and open your palms to the ceiling. Keep your shoulders down as you extend your arms up.
  • To create a full torso stretch, pull your tailbone down and stabilize your torso as you do this. Stretch the muscles on both the front and the back of the torso.

Overhead Triceps

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Sit upright on the floor with your partner behind you. Raise one arm straight up, and flex the elbow, attempting to touch your hand to your back. Your parner should hold your elbow and wrist. This will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to extend the arm straight into the air as your partner prevents you from doing actually doing so.
  • After 10-20 seconds, relax the arm and allow your partner to further stretch the tricep by applying gentle pressure to the wrist. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then switch sides.

Pelvic Tilt Into Bridge

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Lie down with your feet on the floor, heels directly under your knees.
  • Lift only your tailbone to the ceiling to stretch your lower back. (Don't lift the entire spine yet.) Pull in your stomach.
  • To go into a bridge, lift the entire spine except the neck.

Peroneals Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • In a seated position, loop a belt, rope, or band around one foot. This will be your starting position.
  • With the leg extended and the heel off of the ground, pull on the belt so that the foot is inverted, with the inside of the foot being pulled towards you. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then switch sides.

Peroneals-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Lay on your side, supporting your weight on your forearm and on a foam roller placed on the outside of your lower leg. Your upper leg can either be on top of your lower leg, or you can cross it in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your hips off of the ground and begin to roll from below the knee to above the ankle on the side of your leg, pausing at points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

Piriformis-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Sit with your buttocks on top of a foam roll. Bend your knees, and then cross one leg so that the ankle is over the knee. This will be your starting position.
  • Shift your weight to the side of the crossed leg, rolling over the buttocks until you feel tension in your upper glute. You may assist the stretch by using one hand to pull the bent knee towards your chest. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds, and then switch sides.

Posterior Tibialis Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • In a seated position, loop a belt, rope, or band around one foot. This will be your starting position.
  • With the leg extended and the heel off of the ground, pull on the belt so that the foot is everted, with the outside of the foot being pulled towards you. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then switch sides.

Pyramid

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Start off by rolling your torso forward onto the ball so your hips rest on top of the ball and become the highest point of your body.
  • Rest your hands and feet on the floor. Your arms and legs can be slightly bent or straight, depending on the size of the ball, your flexibility, and the length of your limbs. This also helps develop stabilizing strength in your torso and shoulders.

Quad Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Lay on your side. Loop a belt, rope, or band around your top foot. Flex the knee and extend your hip, attempting to touch your glutes with your foot, and holding the belt with your hands. This will be your starting position.
  • With the belt being held over the shoulder or overhead, gently pull to increase the stretch in the quadriceps. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then switch sides.

Quadriceps-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Lay facedown on the floor with your weight supported by your hands or forearms. Place a foam roll underneath one leg on the quadriceps, and keep the foot off of the ground. Make sure to relax the leg as much as possible. This will be your starting position.
  • Shifting as much weight onto the leg to be stretched as is tolerable, roll over the foam from above the knee to below the hip, holding points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Switch sides.

Rear Leg Raises

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: beginner
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Place yourself on your hands knees on an exercise mat. Your head should be looking forward and the bend of the knees should create a 90-degree angle between the hamstrings and the calves. This will be your starting position.
  • Extend one leg up and behind you. The knee and hip should both extend. Repeat for 5-10 repetitions, and then switch sides.

Rhomboids-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Lay down with your back on the floor. Place a foam roll underneath your upper back, and cross your arms in front of you, protracting your shoulders. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your hips off of the ground, placing your weight onto the foam roll. Shift your weight to one side at a time, rolling over your middle and upper back. Pause at points of tension for 10-30 seconds.

Round The World Shoulder Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight with your legs together, holding a bodybar or broomstick.
  • Hold the pole behind your hips with a wider than shoulder width grip. Your palms should be down and your thumbs facing out.
  • Slowly lift your arms up behind your head. Don't force it if it gets hard to lift further.

Runner's Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • It's easiest to get into this stretch if you start standing up, put one leg behind you, and slowly lower your torso down to the floor.
  • Keep the front heel on the floor (if it lifts up, scoot your other leg further back).
  • Place your hands on either side of your front leg. To get more out of this stretch, push your butt up toward the ceiling, and then gradually lower it back toward the floor. You'll Stretch the hip flexor of the back leg and the hamstring and buttocks of the front.

Scissor Kick

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • To begin, lie down with your back pressed against the floor or on an exercise mat (optional). Your arms should be fully extended to the sides with your palms facing down. Note: The arms should be stationary the entire time.
  • With a slight bend at the knees, lift your legs up so that your heels are about 6 inches off the ground. This is the starting position.
  • Now lift your left leg up to about a 45 degree angle while your right leg is lowered until the heel is about 2-3 inches from the ground.
  • Switch movements by raising your right leg up and lowering your left leg. Remember to breathe while performing this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Biceps

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your partner standing behind you. Extend your arms straight behind you with your palms facing each other. Your partner will hold your wrists for you. This will be the starting position.
  • Attempt to flex your elbows, while your partner prevents any actual movement.
  • After 10-20 seconds, relax your arms while your partner gently pulls your wrists up to stretch your biceps. Be sure to let your partner know when the stretch is appropriate to prevent injury or overstretching.

Seated Calf Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Sit up straight on an exercise mat.
  • Bend one knee and put that foot on the floor to stabilize the torso.
  • Straighten your other leg and flex your ankle.
  • Using a band, towel, or your hand if you can reach, pull the toes toward you. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.

Seated Floor Hamstring Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Sit on a mat with your right leg extended in front of you and your left leg bent with your foot against your right inner thigh.
  • Lean forward from your hips and reach for your ankle until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat for your other side.

Seated Front Deltoid

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Sit upright on the floor with your legs bent, your partner standing behind you. Stick your arms straight out to your sides, with your palms facing the ground. Attempt to move them as far behind you as possible, as your assistant holds your wrists. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your elbows straight, attempt to move your arms to the front, with your partner gently restraining you to prevent any actual movement for 10-20 seconds.
  • Now, relax your muscles and allow your partner to gently increase the stretch on the shoulders and chest. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.

Seated Glute

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • In a seated position with your knees bent, cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Your partner will stand behind you. Now, lean forward as your partner braces your shoulders with their hands. This will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to push your torso back for 10-20 seconds, as your partner prevents any actual movement of your torso.
  • Now relax your muscles as your partner increases the stretch by gently pushing your torso forward for 10-20 seconds.

Seated Hamstring

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • In a seated position with your legs extended, have your partner stand behind you. Now, lean forward as your partner braces your shoulders with their hands. This will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to push your torso back for 10-20 seconds, as your partner prevents any actual movement of your torso.
  • Now relax your muscles as your partner increases the stretch by gently pushing your torso forward for 10-20 seconds.

Seated Hamstring and Calf Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Loop a belt, rope, or band around one foot. Sit down with both legs extended . This will be your starting position.
  • Leaning forward slightly, pull on the belt to draw the toes of your foot back. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.

Seated Overhead Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Sit up straight on an exercise mat.
  • Touch the soles of your feet together with your feet six to eight inches in front of your hips.
  • Place one hand on the floor beside you and your other hand behind your head.
  • Lift your elbow to the ceiling as you incline your torso to the other side. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.

Shoulder Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • With shoulders relaxed and arms resting loosely at your sides (or in your lap if you're seated), gently roll your shoulders forward, up, back, and down.
  • Reverse direction. You can do this exercise alternating shoulders or both at the same time.

Shoulder Raise

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Relax your arms to your sides and raise your shoulders up toward your ears, then back down.

Shoulder Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Reach your left arm across your body and hold it straight.

Side Leg Raises

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Stand next to a chair, which you may hold onto as a support. Stand on one leg. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your leg straight, raise it as far out to the side as possible, and swing it back down, allowing it to cross the opposite leg.
  • Repeat this swinging motion 5-10 times, increasing the range of motion as you do so.

Side Lying Groin Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Start off by lying on your right side and bend your right knee in front of you to stabilize the torso.
  • Rest your head on your right hand or shoulder. Lift your left leg upward and hold it by the back of the knee (easier) or the foot (harder).
  • Pull your left knee in toward your left shoulder and simultaneously press your foot or knee down to the floor. To intensify this stretch, straighten your left leg. Switch sides.

Side Neck Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • neck
Instructions:
  • Start with your shoulders relaxed, gently tilt your head towards your shoulder.
  • Assist stretch with a gentle pull on the side of the head.

Side Wrist Pull

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • lats
Instructions:
  • This stretch works best standing. Cross your left arm over the midline of your body and hold the left wrist in your right hand down at the level of your hips. Start the stretch with a bent left arm.
  • Slowly straighten, pull, and lift it up to shoulder height, as pictured. Feel this stretch originate in your back, not your shoulders, and don't pull too hard on the shoulders joint. Switch sides.

Side-Lying Floor Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • First lie on your left side, bending your left knee in front of you to stabilize your torso (use your abdominal muscles as well to hold you upright).
  • Straighten your right leg and rest the right foot on the floor behind your left. Straighten your right arm over your head and gently pull on your right wrist to stretch the entire right side of the body. Switch sides.

Sit Squats

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin the movement by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips.
  • Continue until you have squatted a portion of the way down, but are above parallel, and quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position. Repeat for 5-10 repetitions.

Spinal Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
  • lower back
  • neck
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Sit in a chair so your back is straight and your feet planted on the floor.
  • Interlace your fingers behind your head, elbows out and your chin down.
  • Twist your upper body to one side about 3 times as far as you can. Then lean forward and twist your torso to reach your elbow to the floor on the inside of your knee.
  • Return to upright position and then repeat for your other side.

Split Squats

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Being in a standing position. Jump into a split leg position, with one leg forward and one leg back, flexing the knees and lowering your hips slightly as you do so.
  • As you descend, immediately reverse direction, standing back up and jumping, reversing the position of your legs. Repeat 5-10 times on each leg.

Standing Biceps Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Clasp your hands behind your back with your palms together, straighten arms and then rotate them so your palms face downward.
  • Raise your arms up and hold until you feel a stretch in your biceps.

Standing Elevated Quad Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Start by standing with your back about two to three feet away from a bench or step.
  • Lift one leg behind you and rest your foot on the step,either on your instep or the ball of your foot, whichever you find most comfortable.
  • Keep your supporting knee slightly bent and avoid letting that knee extend out beyond your toes. Switch sides.

Standing Gastrocnemius Calf Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Place your right heel on a step with your knee extended and lean forward to grab your right toe with your right hand. Your left knee should be slightly bent and your back should be straight.
  • Support your weight on your left leg and place your left hand on your left thigh.
  • Pull your right toes toward your knee until you feel a stretch in your calf.

Standing Hamstring and Calf Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Being by looping a belt, band, or rope around one foot. While standing, place that foot forward.
  • Bend your back leg, while keeping the front one straight. Now raise the toes of your front foot off of the ground and lean forward.
  • Using the belt, pull on the top of the foot to increase the stretch in the calf. Hold for 10-20 seconds and repeat with the other foot.

Standing Hip Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Begin standing on one leg, holding to a vertical support.
  • Raise the unsupported knee to 90 degrees. This will be your starting position.
  • Open the hip as far as possible, attempting to make a big circle with your knee.
  • Perform this movement slowly for a number of repetitions, and repeat on the other side.

Standing Hip Flexors

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight with the spine vertical, the left foot slightly in front of the right.
  • Bend both knees and lift the back heel off the floor as you press the right hip forward. You can't get a thorough, deep stretch in this position, however, because it's hard to relax the hip flexor and stand on it at the same time. Switch sides.

Standing Lateral Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Take a slightly wider than hip distance stance with your knees slightly bent.
  • Place your right hand on your right hip to support the spine.
  • Raise your left arm in a vertical line and place your left hand behind your head. Keep it there as you incline your torso to the right.
  • Keep your weight evenly distributed between both legs (don't lean into your left hip). Switch sides.

Standing Pelvic Tilt

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Start off with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Bend your knees slightly to keep them soft and springy.
  • You may want to move your pelvis forward and backward and back few times before holding the tailbone forward in this stretch.

Standing Soleus And Achilles Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, one foot slightly in front of the other.
  • Bend both knees, keeping your back heel on the floor. Switch sides.

Standing Toe Touches

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Stand with some space in front and behind you.
  • Bend at the waist, keeping your legs straight, until you can relax and let your upper body hang down in front of you. Let your arms and hands hang down naturally. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.

Stomach Vacuum

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart from each other. Place your hands on your hips. This is the starting position.
  • Now slowly inhale as much air as possible and then start to exhale as much as possible while bringing your stomach in as much as possible and hold this position. Try to visualize your navel touching your backbone.
  • One isometric contraction is around 20 seconds. During the 20 second hold, try to breathe normally. Then inhale and bring your stomach back to the starting position.
  • Once you have practiced this exercise, try to perform this exercise for longer than 20 seconds. Tip: You can work your way up to 40-60 seconds.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of sets.

Superman

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, lie straight and face down on the floor or exercise mat. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you. This is the starting position.
  • Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor and hold this contraction for 2 seconds. Tip: Squeeze your lower back to get the best results from this exercise. Remember to exhale during this movement. Note: When holding the contracted position, you should look like superman when he is flying.
  • Slowly begin to lower your arms, legs and chest back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions prescribed in your program.

The Straddle

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Begin in a seated, upright position. Start by extending your legs in front of you in a V.
  • With your hands on the floor, lean forward as far as possible. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.

Toe Touchers

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • To begin, lie down on the floor or an exercise mat with your back pressed against the floor. Your arms should be lying across your sides with the palms facing down.
  • Your legs should be touching each other. Slowly elevate your legs up in the air until they are almost perpendicular to the floor with a slight bend at the knees. Your feet should be parallel to the floor.
  • Move your arms so that they are fully extended at a 45 degree angle from the floor. This is the starting position.
  • While keeping your lower back pressed against the floor, slowly lift your torso and use your hands to try and touch your toes. Remember to exhale while perform this part of the exercise.
  • Slowly begin to lower your torso and arms back down to the starting position while inhaling. Remember to keep your arms straight out pointing towards your toes.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Torso Rotation

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Stand upright holding an exercise ball with both hands. Extend your arms so the ball is straight out in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • Rotate your torso to one side, keeping your eyes on the ball as you move. Now, rotate back to the opposite direction. Repeat for 10-20 repetitions.

Tricep Side Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Bring right arm across your body and over your left shoulder, holding your elbow with your left hand, until you feel a stretch in your tricep. Then repeat for your other arm.

Triceps Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Reach your hand behind your head, grasp your elbow and gently pull. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.

Upper Back Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Clasp fingers together with your thumbs pointing down, round your shoulders as you reach your hands forward.

Upper Back-Leg Grab

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • lower back
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • While seated, bend forward to hug your thighs from underneath with both arms.
  • Keep your knees together and your legs extended out as you bring your chest down to your knees. You can also stretch your middle back by pulling your back away from your knees as your hugging them.

Upward Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Extend both hands straight above your head, palms touching.
  • Slowly push your hands up and back, keeping your back straight.

Windmills

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Primary Muscles:
  • abductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with your arms extended out to the sides and your legs straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Lift one leg and quickly cross it over your body, attempting to touch the ground near the opposite hand.
  • Return to the starting position, and repeat with the opposite leg. Continue to alternate for 10-20 repetitions.

World's Greatest Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • This is a three-part stretch. Begin by lunging forward, with your front foot flat on the ground and on the toes of your back foot. With your knees bent, squat down until your knee is almost touching the ground. Keep your torso erect, and hold this position for 10-20 seconds.
  • Now, place the arm on the same side as your front leg on the ground, with the elbow next to the foot. Your other hand should be placed on the ground, parallel to your lead leg, to help support you during this portion of the stretch.
  • After 10-20 seconds, place your hands on either side of your front foot. Raise the toes of the front foot off of the ground, and straighten your leg. You may need to reposition your rear leg to do so. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then repeat the entire sequence for the other side.

Wrist Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start by standing straight with your feet being shoulder width apart from each other. Elevate your arms to the side of you until they are fully extended and parallel to the floor at a height that is evenly aligned with your shoulders. Tip: Your torso and arms should form the letter "T: Your palms should be facing down. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your entire body stationary except for the wrists, begin to rotate both wrists forward in a circular motion. Tip: Pretend that you are trying to draw circles by using your hands as the brush. Breathe normally as you perform this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.