5 Exercises to Improve Flexibility and Reduce Pain
Many of us remember to do our daily workouts, but sometimes stretching goes by the wayside. Stretches are important to your physical health too. Whether you are a strong athlete or an elderly person with arthritis, stretching can be invaluable to taking care of your body and preventing pain and injuries. Balance and flexibility are key to preventing falls, injuries, and the kind of pain that can keep you in bed instead of doing the things you love. So, it’s time to start thinking about adding stretching into your routine. Try some of the stretches below for the best results.
Stretch 1: Toe raise and curl
Get into a sitting position with your feet flat on the floor for this exercise. First, raise your heels off the ground so that the balls of our feet are the only things left touching the ground. Then, lift again where only the big toe is touching the ground. Now, curl your toes inward like your shoes are too small. Lastly, flex your foot up so that only the tip of your heels touch the ground. Each exercise should be held for 5-10 seconds.
Exercise 2: Child Pose
Yoga is a great way to stretch, and this pose is great for beginners. Get down on your knees and then bring your thigh and buttocks down to rest on your lower legs. Fold the top half of your body over and slide your palms out to stretch in front of you like a cat while you relax, your face almost to the floor. Hold this for 10-20 seconds.
Exercise 3: Ball Roll
For this, you will need a ping-pong, or tennis ball. Place your feet flat on the floor in a sitting position and lay one foot on the ball. Press down as hard as is comfortable and move it, rolling it back and forth along the bottom of your foot. Do this for about two minutes on each foot.
Exercise 4: Inner Thigh Stretch
Stand up with a wide stance. Place your right foot in front with the heel on the ground and toe pointing up. Bending from the waist, slide your hand down the outstretched leg to the knee or just below if you can. Repeat ten times on each side.
Exercise 5: The Pelvic Tilt
This exercise will help back and hips at the same time. Lay flat on your back with hands flat at each side. Bring your knees up so your feet are flat on the ground. Be sure your back is relaxed and as straight as possible. Push upward using your pelvis and lower back with your upper back, and arms staying put on the ground. Hold for 5 seconds then drop back down and relax for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.