17 Stretches You Should Know

Torso Release

Torso Release - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The arm and torso.

How: Raise your left arm over your head, then bend your elbow so your left hand drops below your head. Place your right hand behind your left elbow and gently pull your left arm over and down. Repeat with opposite arm.

Get more by: Extending your arms out from your sides and doing arm circles in both directions for 20-30 seconds each.

Office Aches: Tight Back

Office Aches: Tight Back - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The back and chest.

How: Stand up and extend your arms out to your sides. Lift your chest up as you arch your back.

Get more by: Bringing your arms back behind you as you stretch.

Post-Workout: Abdominal Flex

Post-Workout: Abdominal Flex - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Post-Workout: Abdominal Flex
Stretches: The abdominals and spine.

How: Lie facedown with your hands on the floor. Your legs should be straight and the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Press yourself up by straightening your arms, keeping your legs and hips flat on the floor.

Strained Lower Back Stretch

Strained Lower Back Stretch - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The chest, lower back, and calves.

How: Stand with your left foot forward, feet about three feet apart. Press your fists into your back while pushing your hips forward and raising your chest to the ceiling. Repeat with opposite leg.

Get more by: Planting your back heel.

Pain Relief: Tight Triceps

Pain Relief: Tight Triceps - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The triceps.

How: Kneel in front of a low, sturdy object (such as a chair), then lean forward and place elbows on top. Tucking your hands behind your head, grab each wrist to help gently bend each arm even further.

Get more by: Pushing the wrist further back or pressing your torso toward the floor.

Post-Workout: Quadriceps Release

Post-Workout: Quadriceps Release - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The quadriceps.

How: Sit on your heels and place your hands on the floor, a few inches behind your butt – fingertips pointing away from you. Tilt your pelvis upward, tucking your tailbone and raising your hips and chest as high as you can.

Pain Relief: Aching Hamstrings

Pain Relief: Aching Hamstrings - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The hamstrings.

How: Standing with your feet two to four feet apart, bend your knees as you lean forward and grab your ankles (or feet). Keeping one hand on each ankle, gently try to straighten your legs.

Get more by: Placing both hands on your left foot, then your right.

Pain Relief: Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Pain Relief: Pain Between Shoulder Blades - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The pectoralis minor, which can strain back muscles.

How: Get on all fours alongside a knee-high object. Bend your arm at 90 degrees, and place it on top. Exhale as you gently twist, pressing the shoulder of that arm down toward your opposite hand. Repeat with other arm.

Sport Specific: Lengthen Your Swim Stroke

Sport Specific: Lengthen Your Swim Stroke - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The latissimi dorsi (sides of your back).

How: Stand to the side of a doorframe or a bunk bed, bend at the waist, and place hands on the object, one above the other. Repeat on the opposite side.

Get more by: Rotating your torso up toward the ceiling and then down to the floor.

Stiff Neck Stretch

Stiff Neck Stretch - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The anterior neck.

How: Cross your hands in front of you and place them below your neck just above your clavicles. Gently pull down on the front of your neck as you exhale, and raise your chin toward the ceiling.

Get more by: Rotating your head at different angles.

Post-Workout: Back Opener

Post-Workout: Back Opener - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The rhomboids and trapezius muscles.

How: Lace your fingers, then extend your arms in front of you as you rotate your palms so they're facing away from you. Keep your arms out as you tuck your chin down into your chest.

Sport Specific: Prevent Running Injuries

Sport Specific: Prevent Running Injuries - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The hips and hamstrings.

How: Stand in front of a chair-high object, extend one foot out, and place your heel on it to feel the stretch. Repeat with opposite leg.

Get more by: If you can stand upright with a straight leg, find a higher object.

Office Aches: Tight Hips

Office Aches: Tight Hips - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The hips.

How: Lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your left ankle on top of your right knee. Keeping your shoulders on the floor, lower your knees to the right. Switch legs and repeat.

Sport-Specific: Prep Your Golf Swing

Sport-Specific: Prep Your Golf Swing - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The hips and postural muscles.

How: Stand with your feet apart, slightly wider than your shoulders. Keeping your left arm straight, reach it up and out to your side while rotating your torso to the left as far as you can. Rotate back to center and repeat with opposite arm.

Office Aches: Leg Pain

Office Aches: Leg Pain - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The spine, back, and buttocks.

How: While seated, cross your right leg over your left, then bend at the waist, letting your arms and head hang down toward your left foot. Repeat by crossing your left leg over your right.

Pain Relief: Elbow Pain

Pain Relief: Elbow Pain - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The tendons and muscles attached to your elbow.

How: With a straight arm, press the back of your hand against a wall. Raise your arm until you feel a stretch in your forearm.

Get more by: Repeating, but placing your palm against the wall.

Post-Workout: Spine Saver

Post-Workout: Spine Saver - 17 Stretches You Should Know

Stretches: The muscles along the spine.

How: Lie on your side with your legs together, arms bent, and hands on the ground. Straighten your arms, lifting your head and shoulders up and away from the ground as you press your hips forward. Repeat on opposite side.