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Daily Stretching Routine

10 Stretches You Can Do Anywhere!

-- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor
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Are you always on the run and running out of time to stretch? Try adding a few standing stretches throughout the day. Whether standing in line, waiting for the bus or watching a soccer game, you can squeeze in some quality flexibility training. You can do these stretches as a set or one at a time, wherever or whenever you find yourself on your feet. Remember never to stretch to the point of pain. For more stretching tips and guidelines, refer to our Reference Guide to Stretching.

Hold each stretch listed for 15-30 seconds, repeating two or three times, depending on how you feel. For detailed instructions and larger photos, click on the name of each stretch. Please note that while some of these stretches depict various body positions, you can perform these upper body stretches while sitting in a chair.

Neck Stretch
Sit or stand with shoulders relaxed, back straight. Bring your left ear down toward your left shoulder and hold. Roll your head down toward the ground and bring your chin to your chest. Hold and finally, roll your head to the right and bring that ear to your right shoulder. Inhale and exhale in a slow and controlled manner.

Chest Stretch
Stand tall or sit upright (not pictured). Interlace your fingers behind your back and straighten you arms. With arms straight, lift arms up behind you while keeping your back straight and your shoulders down. Keep the shoulders relaxed away from the ears.

Standing Triceps Stretch
Stand tall or sit upright (not pictured). Place your left elbow in your right hand. Reach your left arm overhead, placing palm on the center of your back and supporting the elbow in your right hand. Reach your fingertips down your spine. Keep the shoulders relaxed away from the ears. Repeat with opposite arm.

Shoulder Stretch
Stand tall or sit upright (not pictured). Bring your left arm across your chest, holding it below the elbow with your opposite. Keep the shoulders relaxed away from the ears. Breathe deeply and hold. Repeat on opposite side.
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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
Nicole was named "America's Top Personal Trainer to Watch" in 2011. A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, she loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Her DVDs "Total Body Sculpting" and "28 Day Boot Camp" (a best seller) are available online and in stores nationwide. Read Nicole's full bio and blog posts.

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Member Comments

  • I do many of these stretches as soon as I get to my desk each day. It helps relieve tension before it starts. - 8/13/2013 8:15:40 AM






















  • These are the stretches I do every day, They really help







    - 8/13/2013 7:18:56 AM
  • Love it. Thanks - 6/2/2013 9:18:41 PM
  • I'll have to try these out! They'll be great before running! - 10/24/2012 9:57:53 AM
  • When is it best to stretch? Before or after a workout?
    - 8/28/2012 10:08:58 AM
  • I agree with Slimstrong. Video would be nice. Plus most of these seem really simple and doable at anytime, anywhere. Thanks - 7/1/2012 1:22:58 PM
  • THISTIMEMYWAY
    It would be great if sp had a video of this. I could just follow it after I run! - 11/5/2011 11:45:34 AM
  • This is article is totally effective and a good reminder to stretch after your workout the illustrations are helpful too and will be used until the technique is is mastered especially for the triangle pose. I would like to make notes about which exercise I will stretch after because I suspect that if I stretch the muscle group that has been worked directly or shortly after working them, the discomfort should be elimited or not as sever. An example- toro twist after or before standing towel bends or hip and gluteal stretch after airplanes, runner's lunges and swimming. Or I can continue with the exercises three days a week and Stretch one day of the week, on the day of rest. Duh Duh Duh-I will save this article - 3/5/2011 9:12:25 PM
  • I'm going to add these to my fitness routine. I already have some my PT prescribed for me. - 11/16/2010 12:24:48 AM
  • CMSCRAPLADY
    How do I add stretching exercises to the My Fitness page? It wouldn't be a cardiovascular exercise or strength training.
    Something that would be helpful is and "ADD IT" button that we can press to add the exercise to our Fitness page after we do an exercise video that is featured on SparkPeople. - 10/6/2010 1:49:46 AM
  • oh god, i LOVE Rodney Yee!

    i have many many of his videos... but it is nice to find a more simple stretching routine to do daily.... - 5/21/2009 1:27:39 PM
  • This is right on time! Thanks! - 4/17/2009 11:44:52 AM
  • This is great! I just saved it to my favorites so I can go back to it over & over again until I have them all committed to memory. I have been doing more upper body & core exercises of late & have had stiffness in my neck & shoulders. I am sure this will help. Thanks! - 4/17/2009 10:43:42 AM
  • Thanks, this is great. I love using RODNEY YEE'S Yoga videos, but this is a good change. - 1/31/2009 10:34:40 PM
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