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The Best Flexibility Exercises to Lengthen, Align, and Relax the Body

Below you'll find the best flexibility exercises for people of all levels and a great yoga workout video to help you get started. Perform flexibility workouts after any cardio or strength workouts.

Hold each stretch for 60 minutes on each side. Focus on your breathing to relax the body and release tension.

If you find any stretch too difficult then modify to something that works for your body's range of motion. Contracting opposing muscles while holding a stretch often works to deepen any stretch quickly and more easily.

Taking short shallow breaths while focusing on tight areas can also take your mind away from any discomfort long enough to allow your body to go deeper.

Standing quad stretch
1. Standing with a shoulder width stance and hang onto an object for support.
2. Bring one foot up and grab with your hand.
3. Pull your foot up until you feel a stretch on the front of your thigh.
4. Hold for the prescribed time and repeat with the other leg.

Best Flexibility Exercises 411:
Lengthens quads and ankles that are tight from demanding leg work. Allows you to get into the more advanced hip flexor stretches that realign the body.
Sets RepsWeight/
Hip Flexor Quad Stretch
1. Step out 1-2 feet with one foot.
2. Slowly push pelvis downward and forward until stretch is felt in front of back thigh.
3. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat as prescribed.
4. Remember to keep the low back straight.

Best Flexibility Exercises 411:
Lengthens hip flexors and inner thigh muscles that are often the cause of low back, hip, and shoulder problems. Most upper body dysfunction originates in the hips so this stretch is critical for fullbody alignment and good posture. Can be progressed to a deeper stretch by placing back knee and top of back foot on floor.
Sets RepsWeight/
Downward Facing Dog
1. Place the feet hip width apart and toes facing forward. Place the hands shoulder width apart and spread the fingers. Keep the tailbone lifted towards the sky and gently push down through the heels. Open the upper back by rotating the shoulder blades away from one another.
2. Keep the shoulders away from the ears and press down firmly through all fingers and thumbs. Spread the fingers push down through index and thumbs. Place more weight onto the feet than the hands.
3. Pull the navel towards the spine and lift the pelvic floor muscles. Drop the ribcage down towards the spine. Lift the kneecaps up and contract the quadricep muscles.
4. Maintain in this pose for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Best Flexibility Exercises 411:
Lengthens the entire back side of the body including calves, hamstrings, hips, glutes, and low back. Also forces the upper back to align and work properly so the chest and ribcage can expand. This boosts oxygen intake and relaxes the body after a hard workout.
Sets RepsWeight/
Wide Leg Upward Dog
1. Begin by lying on the stomach on the floor. Place the hands behind the shoulders and bring the legs out to the side slightly wider than hip-width.
2. Relax the buttocks and the legs. Inhale and push evenly down through the hands and lift the chest up towards the sky, gently arching the spine. Roll the shoulders back and down and away from the ears, look up towards the sky.
3. Do not allow the lower back to collapse down towards the floor. Stay connected to the core musculature by pulling the navel in towards the spine and lifting the pelvic floor muscles.
4. Keep the fingers and thumbs spread evenly pushing down through all four corners of the palms. Relax the buttocks and the legs. Lift the thighs off the floor pushing down evenly through hands and through the tops of the feet.
5. Do not allow the lower back to collapse and keep connected to the core. Stay here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Best Flexibility Exercises 411:
Lengthens the hip flexors, abs, and ribcage allowing your chest to expand. Reinforces the s curve of your spine and releases tension in the neck and upper back.
Sets RepsWeight/
1. Place the right knee forward and extend the left leg back. Make sure that the right toes are facing in on an angle and the left toes are pointed and facing down. Place the hands on either sides of the knee and shift the weight over to the left while lengthening the spine.
2. Square the hips and the shoulders. Move the right foot away from the groin working towards a 90-degree angle with the right calf. The right hip may or may not be connected the floor. The left hip is facing down towards the floor. If there is too much pressure in the knee, readjust the calf.
3. Replace this posture with the modified pigeon. Inhale and lengthen the spine, exhale and lower down onto the elbows maintaining the weight shift over to the left hip. Rock from side to side to help to increase the circulation in the hip joint.
4. Only if you are incredibly flexible in the hip, start to work your chest down to the floor extending your arms out in front of you. The left hip, thigh, calf and top of foot is facing towards the floor. Relax the head, neck, shoulders and face. Breathe into the hip and back body. Relax in this pose for 5 to 15 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Best Flexibility Exercises 411:
Lengthens hips, glutes, and inner thighs and allows the low back to expand. Releases tension in the upper back, and neck.
Sets RepsWeight/
Seated Single Leg Side Bend
1. Begin by extending the right leg to the side and bend the left knee. Place the right elbow on top of the right knee or to the right side of the knee. Now place the strap to the insole of the right foot, holding on with the right hand.
2. Push the back of the right knee into the floor and raise the right toes towards the sky. Inhale and lengthen the spine, lift the left arm up towards the sky. Visualize the spine being against the wall and maintaining a lone, straight spine keeping the left shoulder open to the sky.
3. Keep opening the chest towards the sky and do not allow the back to round. As this posture opens start to extend the arm to the side to create a side angle stretch.
4. Look up, push the sitting bones down and allow the left hip to open. Soften the face, neck and shoulders and take 5 to 15 deep breaths.

Best Flexibility Exercises 411:
Lengthens deep postural muscles of the low back while expanding the ribcage and chest. Also lengthens the hamstrings and inner thighs releasing tension in the glutes and lats.
Sets RepsWeight/

Want faster results from the best flexibility exercises? Not everybody is born with amazing flexibility but everybody can improve in a big way and become very flexible in a short amount of time.

Get started with the best flexibility exercises featured in Relax into Stretch: Instant Flexibility Through Mastering Muscle Tension

This killer book is quick and easy to follow and shows you all the best tricks for improving flexibility for fatloss, performance, and health.