Your 5-Minute Full Body Stretch Routine


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  15 comments   :  80,953 Views

I was not blessed with natural flexibility.  Unless I stretch on a regular basis, I have no hope of reaching down and touching my toes.  My tendency to skip stretching after runs (I know, shame on me) has come back to bite me in the past.  I’ve had a few running injuries that could easily have been avoided, had I been stretching on a regular basis.  Therefore, this blog is for both you and me.  Maybe it will give both of us a new stretching routine to add to our regular workouts, and if it only takes 5 minutes, it’s a short amount of time that’s well-spent.
These stretches are some of my favorites that target all of your major muscle groups and leave you feeling good at the end of your workout.  I always recommend stretching when your muscles are warm to help prevent injury.  Warm up, workout, cool down and then stretch at the end, holding each stretch for 10-30 seconds while taking deep breaths.  Feel free to repeat each stretch a few times, especially if you have tight areas that need it.  All of these stretches can be done from a standing position (or modified to a seated position if needed.) 
Looking for more stretching ideas?  Check out SparkPeople’s Reference Guide to Stretching, which includes more stretching routines and videos.
What are some of your favorite stretches that you could add to this list?  How have you found stretching to be a beneficial part of your exercise routine?

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    I love to stretch and include it with all of my workouts because it makes me feel great afterwards. - 11/14/2017   8:01:12 AM
    and it just feels soooo good - 9/7/2012   7:53:09 PM
  • 13
    The older I get the more imperative it is to add in adequate time for stretching.

    A personal trainer said that I should plan a warm-up, stretch, and then do strength training + stretch when I'm done!
    - 8/30/2012   1:33:15 AM
  • 12
    I love stretching it's my New 'thing', who would have thought that stretching can make you Feel this GREAT afterwards...These tips here will be in my daily routine as well...Thx! - 8/29/2012   4:36:28 PM
  • 11
    Will check this out - thanks - 8/29/2012   12:22:34 PM
  • 10
    awesome, needed some new ones! - 8/29/2012   9:22:56 AM
    Thanks for the reminder to stretch. Did the chest, shoulder and triceps stretches as I went through this blog. Felt so good! It's so easy to forget to do these simple moves, but, oh the benefits! - 8/29/2012   9:04:26 AM
  • 8
    what is this flexibility thing? it means that if your muscles are flexible then you don't need to stretch? despite my weight, my body is very flexible and i can easily touch my toes without putting in any effort. - 8/29/2012   6:55:06 AM
  • 7
    ok - 8/29/2012   4:35:41 AM
  • 6
    Fabulous - what a great reminder. Thank you :) I always stretch after my work out but I tend to rush through. I will work on holding my stretches for 10-30 seconds as suggested. - 8/28/2012   4:50:14 PM
  • 5
    I consider stretching a vital part of my workout program. I did have to hunt to find a quad stretch that didn't involve pulling on my ankle region though (one that requires lying down). The only time I've suffered major soreness after a workout was when I did one with a Personal Trainer and, while we stretched after, we didn't cover one of the areas he worked a lot (glutes). Since then I make sure I stretch all muscles that have been well-worked. - 8/28/2012   1:12:28 PM
  • 4
    I hope I am assuming right by thinking that stretching should burn some calories even if they are minimal, so I am wondering why they can't be added to our exercise tracker. - 8/28/2012   10:55:16 AM
  • 3
    Intuitively, I look at stretching and flexibility as an anti-aging issue.
    However, Jeff Galloway discounts stretching in injury prevention. - 8/28/2012   8:56:05 AM
    Thanks for this information. The pictures really helped. - 8/28/2012   8:53:53 AM
  • 1
    Yep, you're right -- this is for me! I am bad about not stretching after a workout. I will give these a try. - 8/28/2012   8:43:47 AM

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