Let’s first start with some benefits of increasing your flexibility:

1. Improve your performance in physical activities.
2. Decrease your risk of injuries.
3. Help joints move through their full range of motion.
4. Increase muscle blood flow.
5. Enable your body’s core to work most effectively.
6. Improve your ability to perform daily activities.

Hip Flexor Stretch:

1. Kneel with your left knee on the floor and your right leg at a 90-degree angle in front of you.
2. Put your hands on your right knee and keep your back straight.
3. Keeping your left knee pressed to the floor with the toe untucked, lean forward into that right leg and bring your hands to the floor if your body allows.
4. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

For a more challenging variation:

Bend the left leg and grab the foot with your right hand, leaving the left hand on the floor.

Elephant Walks or Hamstring Stretch:

1. Roll down, reaching your hands towards the floor. Don’t worry if they do not touch the ground.
2. Start with a bend in both legs, slowly straightening into one leg.
3. Return to bend both legs before alternating to the other leg.
4. Continue the movement alternating through the legs for 30 seconds.
5. Add 3 reps of extending both legs and holding for 5 seconds at the end.

Pancake or Adductor Stretch:

1. Begin seated on the floor and open your legs as wide as possible.
2. Walk the hands forward, bringing the chest towards the ground.
3. Flex into the quadriceps to straighten the knees.
4. Hold for 30 seconds, sinking deeper into the stretch.

Figure 4 Stretch or Piriformis Stretch:

1. Start by lying on the back.
2. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee. If you feel a stretch through the glutes, hold it there.
3. If not, you can interlace the hands behind the leg and pull the knee towards you, aiming to ground your tailbone as you draw the leg in.
4. Do not let your lower back and bum round and roll off the floor.
5. Hold for 30 seconds before switching sides and repeating the hold.

Latissimus Dorsi Stretch:

1. Begin on all fours with knees under the hips and hands under the shoulders. Then walk hands forward slightly.
2. Keep the arms straight and sink your chest towards the ground without sitting your bum back on the heels.
3. Thumbs face up to the ceiling.
4. Hold this for 30 seconds.
5. To make the stretch more challenging, clasp your hands together and bend the elbows, bringing the hands over the head while you continue to sink the chest to the ground.

Side Stretch or Lateral Bend:

1. Start seated with the legs crossed on the floor or seated on a chair.
2. Taking one arm up to the ceiling, reach over into a lateral bend, ensuring both sit bones remain on the ground.
3. Sink further into the stretch as time goes.
4. Hold for 30 seconds before moving to the other side.

To notice a difference in your flexibility takes time and practice. Ideally, each stretch should be held for a minute and a half to two minutes, but that can get boring.

So, it’s suggested to break each stretch into 30-second intervals and repeat the sequence at least 3 times.

Happy stretching!


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