Stretching every day is incredibly important. When you stretch, you improve circulation, increase range of motion, avoid injury, reduce stress, and improve your sleep. Daily stretching also helps keep back, neck, and hip pain away. If you workout regularly with weights, then stretching also helps repair the tiny tears that occur in your muscles when strength training. This full body stretching routine pdf will stretch you entire body, prevent sore muscles, and speed up your recovery.
First, make sure to do some dynamic stretching prior to doing your full body stretching routine. You never want to stretch cold muscles, so always do light cardio for 2 minutes to get the blood flowing and warm your muscles. (1)
An easy way to do this is to hop in place, or do 30 jumping jacks. Light cardio is a must prior to any static stretching, or you can tear muscles or suffer even more severe injuries.
Head to Toe Body Stretching
If you’re looking for a full body stretching routine, then you’re in the right place. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds, and be sure to repeat on each side. Do this full body stretching routine every day to keep your muscles relaxed, supple, and healthy!
A good rule to follow is to progress in the following order (head to toe):
- Upper Legs
- Lower Legs
Full Body Stretching Routine
Our full body stretching routine begins with your neck. Keeping your neck muscles from getting tight will help relieve neck and shoulder pain. Gently turn your head toward one shoulder and look past your shoulder. You can place your hand on your check to help you gently extend this stretch. Then reverse and stretch in the opposite direction.
You can stretch your shoulders with a fixed object, like a wall or pole. Begin by placing one arm horizontally on the fixed object. Step your feet slightly away from the object while leaning your body towards the wall or pole. Then grab the pole with the other arm to stretch the other shoulder.
You can stretch your triceps and biceps to help your arms loosen up. To stretch your biceps, extend both arms behind your back with your palms facing out. Make sure the motion is controlled and smooth. Hold for 20 seconds. (2)
For the tricep stretch, begin by lifting one arm above your heard. Bend your elbow so that your hand is now behind your neck. Use the opposite hand to hold onto your bent elbow and pull it gently toward your body.
Stretching your wrists is just as important as stretching your arms in this full body stretching routine pdf! Reach your arm straight in front of you with your palms facing up. With your other hand, gently point your fingers down until you feel the stretch in your wrist. Repeat this process with your palm facing down. Then reverse arms to stretch the other wrist.
Chest stretches are very helpful to keep your pecs loose and supple, and chest stretches are great for men and women. Stretching your chest on a daily basis will keep your pecs active and healthy, and also improve the elasticity of your tendons. (3)
Stand tall and slowly lean your body toward one side without bending forward or backwards. Then reverse directions and bend the other way. Last of all, slowly lean back in a smooth and controlled motion, and feel your abs stretch and become tense.
Lay down on your belly with your arms bent and hands near your shoulders. Gently lift your head, neck, and upper torso while supporting yourself on your arms.
Back Stretch | Lower Back
Lay on your back and bring your knees up to your chest. Slowly rock back and forth to massage your lower back and release tension.
You can stretch your hips by kneeling into a lunge position. Slowly lean forward toward your top knee so that your back leg extends until you feel a stretch in your hips.
Upper Legs | Quads | Hamstrings
You may need to do this stretch near a chair, wall, or table to help you balance. Stand on one leg and lift your opposite foot while bending the knee. Hold onto your foot and try to get it as close to your glutes as possible. Once you’ve stretched both quads, reach down and touch your toes to stretch your hamstrings. (4)
Lower Legs | Calves
Stand about arm’s length away from a wall and lean forward with one leg slightly in front of the other. Lean forward until you feel the stretch in your calves and achilles tendon. (5)
You can stretch your ankles while sitting or standing. Point one foot slightly out and make circles with your ankle. Be sure to go both clockwise and counter clockwise.
Stretching Your Feet
Finally, end your full body stretching routine with your feet. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Raise your heels with the balls of your feet on the floor. Now, raise your heels and point your toes so that only your big toe is touching the floor. Finally, raise your heels a third time and curl your toes in.
A full body stretching routine pdf is an excellent way to get a full body stretch in an organized, structured manner. You can perform the entire body stretch in less than 20 minutes, and realize the full benefits a well-rounded stretching routine.
- Rachel Lapidos Rachel Lapidos. (2020, January 24). I’m a professional stretcher and this is the one thing I’d never, ever do to muscles. Well+Good. https://www.wellandgood.com/stretching-cold-muscles/#:~:text=Having%20%22cold%22%20muscles%20basically%20means,d%20in%20New%20York%20City.
- Preiato, D. (2021, January 8). Biceps vs. triceps: What’s the difference? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/biceps-vs-triceps
- Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (n.d.). Tendon. Encyclopædia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/tendon
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, November 17). Hamstring injury. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hamstring-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20372985#:~:text=The%20hamstring%20muscles%20are%20a,and%20to%20bend%20your%20knee.
- Achilles tendon pain: Causes, diagnosis and treatment: HSS. Hospital for Special Surgery. (n.d.). https://www.hss.edu/condition-list_achilles-tendon.asp#:~:text=The%20Achilles%20tendon%20is%20a,while%20walking%2C%20running%20and%20jumping.