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An Easy Guide on How to Start Stretching for Beginners

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Stretching is a fundamental piece that should be incorporated into every daily routine from beginner and professional athletes to corporate employees. It has numerous benefits that can help improve overall health and wellness no matter one’s age or lifestyle. But what does it really mean to stretch and how do we know if we’re even doing it correctly? This easy guide is exactly what every beginner needs to start stretching!

What is Stretching

Stretching is the act of extending or lengthening a muscle or group of muscles. Stretching helps increase muscle flexibility and mobility through holding the stretch in a static position (static stretching) or moving the body through a range of motion (dynamic stretching). 

Both static and dynamic stretching are beneficial for improving flexibility, and can easily be done by any stretch beginner! What many find intimidating is knowing what stretches would benefit their area of needs and how to perform them so that they are properly stretching the right muscles. To help you get started on your stretching journey, the below stretches are perfect for any beginner to help improve their flexibility and mobility!

3 Beginner Stretches For Better Flexibility and Mobility

Seated Chest Opener

This is a great beginner stretch for opening up tightness held in the chest. It’s especially helpful for anyone who sits behind a desk, hunched over a computer for long periods of time. While in a seated position, place your hands behind your head - that alone will help you feel a big stretch! Keeping your hands in place, pull your arms back as far as you can without feeling pain. If unable to place hands directly behind your head try holding your hands shoulder width apart instead! Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds to maximize the benefits. Try to do this stretch throughout the day to reduce tightness build up in your chest.

easy seated chest opener stretch for beginners

Standing Side Bend

Do you find bending or twisting hard to do? This beginner stretch is exactly what you need! To do this stretch, stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart and arms to your side. Slowly bend to one side, going far enough that you feel a stretch on the opposite side, but not enough that it causes pain. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then return to an upright position, repeating the stretch on the opposite side. This is a great stretch to do if you’ve been in a static position for a long time such as sleeping or sitting.

easy standing side bend stretch for beginners

Neck Flexion Stretch

Our necks carry a lot of tension and stress that often goes untreated. This beginner stretch is great for relieving that tension and can even help alleviate pain and headaches. To do this stretch, all you need to do is bring your shoulder blades back and down, and then slowly bring your chin toward your chest. Hold your chin in this position for about 30 seconds and then repeat 2-4 times. This stretch can be done throughout the day whenever you feel tension in your neck such as after being on the computer or driving.

easy neck flexion stretch for beginners

Make Stretching Easy with StretchLab

A common misconception is that getting stretched by a professional is only for pro athletes. Assisted stretching is great for beginners to ensure they’re properly stretching, while also being able to fully relax during the stretch. It can also be a great way to learn what stretches are best for your needs and how to properly do them to avoid injury while maximizing benefits.

Interested in starting your stretching journey? Find a StretchLab near you to get your first 50-minute stretch for half off!

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