Simple Flexibility Exercises

Simple daily stretching exercises can help prevent injuries and pain by improving joint flexibility and muscles limber. Try to hold each position for a short moment when you feel a stretch and repeat as necessary.

PrintDownload the Stengthening and Flexibility Exercises leaflet

Neck

There are four basic neck movements to follow:
  • Turn your head to one side, hold for a few seconds and return. Repeat to other side.
  • Tilt your head toward one shoulder until you feel a stretch on the opposite side. Hold for few seconds and then return. Repeat to other side.
  • Lower your chin to chest, hold for few seconds and then return to starting position.
  • Keep your head level and pull your chin back and/or use your finger for an additional gentle push.
  • Hold and return.

Shoulder

  • Start with your arms relaxed on your side. Lift both arms straight forward over your head. Separate your arms sideways and take them back down to the starting position.
  • Place hands behind your head and then behind back.

Upper back

  • Sit on a chair with your legs apart. Round your back and bend forward, keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed. Hold and relax for a few seconds and repeat.
  • Sit with one hand on the seat or floor. Reach the other arm up and bend to the side. Hold and repeat to other side.
  • Take hold of the back of a chair. Look over your shoulder while turning your upper body. Hold for a few seconds and repeat to other side.

Lower back

  • Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent. Slowly roll your knees from side to side keeping your upper trunk still.
  • Lie on your front and push your trunk upwards by straightening your arms. Keep your hips to the floor.
  • Place hands on the side of both thighs and bend slowly to one side until you feel a stretch and repeat to other side.

Hips

  • Sit on the floor with the knees bent and feet together as close to your groin as you can. Push your knees down towards the floor, hold for a few seconds and then return to your starting position.
  • Lie on your back and pull each knee in turn to the chest and keep the other leg straight.

Front of thigh

  • Begin by holding on to a support. Bend one knee and take hold of the ankle. Draw your heel towards your buttock with your knee pointing towards the floor. Once you have felt a stretch, hold for a few seconds and repeat. Do the movement in the opposite leg.

Back of thigh

  • When lying on your back, lift your leg towards your chest. Place your hands behind the knee and gently pull your leg towards your chest. Once you have felt a stretch, hold for a few seconds and repeat. Do the movement in the opposite leg.

Ankles

  • Slowly bend and straighten your ankle
  • Move your ankle around in a large circle. Do this in a clockwise and anti-clockwise manner.

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