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20 Static Stretches for a Better Body

Static stretches can change your life.

It’s true.

Hundreds of studies have shown that regularly performing static stretching exercises can help improve flexibility and mobility in joints, minimize chances of injury and boost overall performance.

They can help you build a better body.

Today I want to give you 20 static stretches that you can incorporate into your routine. I do these regularly as they continue to help me improve my flexibility and rid my body of built up tension and stress.

Let me show you…

20 Static Stretches for a Better Body:

Cobra Stretch
Areas Stretched: lower back

Cat Cow Stretch
Areas Stretched: lower and upper back

Kneeling Warrior Stretch
Areas Stretched: Hip Flexors

Warrior Pose Stretch
Areas Stretched: Hip Flexor, Calves, Lower Back

Knees Pulled In Stretch
Areas Stretched: Hips, Lower Back

Butterfly Stretch
Areas Stretched: Adductors

Lying Quad Stretch
Areas Stretched: Quadriceps

Star Stretch
Areas Stretched: Gluteus Medius, Lower Back

Sprinter Pose Stretch
Areas Stretched: Hip Extensors, Hamstrings

Resistance Band Stretch – Straight Up
Areas Stretched: Hamstrings

Resistance Band Stretch – Out to Side
Areas Stretched: Hamstrings

Front Leg Glute Stretch
Areas Stretched: Gluteus Maximus

Lying Glute Stretch
Areas Stretched: Gluteus Maximus

Downward Dog Stretch
Areas Stretched: Calves

Wall Pec Stretch
Areas Stretched: Pectorials Major

Forearm Stretches
Areas Stretched: Wrist Flexors, Wrist Extensors

Neck Stretches

These are just a few of the static stretching exercises that you can incorporate into your routine.

Just a small sample.

As you do them it’s important to make sure that you are always comfortable. These stretches should never be forced. There should never be pain. Just slight tension.

Remember that the purpose of these stretches is to re-lengthen the muscles. To bring them back to their original state. To improve their flexibility and pliability.

This is most effectively accomplished after a workout when you muscles are warm and loose – the perfect state for static stretching.

Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Be patient. Don’t rush through them. Take this time to relax and let your body rid itself of all the built up tension and stress. Take deep breaths. Avoid distractions.

You’ll be amazed at how great you’ll feel when you’re done.

So please don’t overlook the power of these stretches.

Take a few minutes after each workout and perform a few of them.

Your body will thank you for it.

What static stretches do you use for in your routine? Share in the comments below.

Hugo van der Walt - June 21, 2012

Hey SP

Thanks for this, this is one place i LACK…
Will definitely print this out and take it with me to Gym!
Ive been doing the cobra stretch, front glute stretch and a few other stretches before and after my exercise.

Thanks
Hugo

Sri - June 21, 2012

Thanks for posting. I’m so glad these were pictures and not a video. It would be even better if you could cut down a picture to 2 or 3 for an even precise posture. I realized how important stretching is to avoid injuries, before and after a game or an exercise routine, especially as you get older.

Sri from India

    Srdjan Popovic - June 21, 2012

    Sri – thanks for the idea. I’ll see what I can do about the pictures in another stretching post I have planned.

    I still stick to my dynamic stretching before any type of activity. But long static stretching sessions are a huge part of my post-workout routine. Without them my body would be suffering!

Betty Rocker - June 21, 2012

Hi Srdjan,
I am so stoked to see this post. From the perspective of a fitness junkie, I can say from experience that when I stretch post-workout, I’m about 30-50% less sore the following couple days than when I don’t stretch. And from a Neuromuscular/Sports Therapist perspective, when my clients don’t do the prescribed stretches I give them, their results are sub-par. You covered such a great spectrum of stretches – thanks for the resource, I’ll be sending people here to use it!
I do a variation on that neck stretch where I hold the skin down below the collarbone on either side and then stretch the neck in the opposite direction – which adds a level of depth to the stretch and really helps open up the front and side neck fascia. Let me know if you try it.
Great post.
-BR

    Srdjan Popovic - June 22, 2012

    Hey Betty! There’s definitely a noticeable difference when I stretch compared to when I don’t stretch. If I skip out on it, the level of soreness and tightness is on another level (this is becoming more noticeable each year lol). Fortunately, stretching has become so ingrained in my workout routine now that the workout feels incomplete if I haven’t finished off with some good stretches.

    Thanks for the tip on the neck stretch. I’ll give that a try and report back.

Beth Lockhart - June 21, 2012

Hi!
Hope you had a great trip! Glad to have you back!

You are definitely on a similar wave-length with me…….except that I have no patience for being still in the sauna. That’s where I do my stretching after a working out. The sauna at the gym where I go is too small to do some of your stretches if there are other people present, but I manage to get my stretch on and have a lot less soreness the next day.

Thanks for the update and all that you do!
Best wishes,
Beth

    Srdjan Popovic - June 22, 2012

    Thanks Beth! The trip was amazing (I’m still trying to finish up my trip summary post – hopefully out soon). So many things to see and experience.

    Hmm stretching in the sauna… I’ve never tried that. Sounds like a great idea though. I don’t remember the last time I went to the sauna but on my next visit I’ll make sure to try out a few stretches.

    (I can imagine it getting a little awkward with other people there lol)

J P - June 21, 2012

Srdjan,

Thanks so much for this post. I’ve been looking for a good stretching routine, and I’m going to try this one out. I travel frequently on business, and this is something I can do in my hotel rooms.

    Srdjan Popovic - June 22, 2012

    Hey JP, the beautiful thing about these stretches is that you can do them anywhere. I’ve even done some of them in the bathroom at work (after long bouts of sitting and pounding on the keyboard).

    Let me know how you find them!

dalia - June 21, 2012

It’s like you’re in my head. I love stretching, and I do about 15 min of it at the end of my workouts. And a little before. I was just saying how I wanted to find some more stretches.

My Detailed Workout Routine – How I Plan on Gaining More Muscle Mass - June 27, 2012

[…] a little bit of static stretching and a cup of water, I can put my headphones on and start weight training. I choose two routines […]

George Super BootCamps - July 12, 2012

Hey Srdjan,

Great set of images.

I would add that there are a couple of very useful additions to this set of instructions, I just hope I’ve not added them before you go and put them in the next post!.

One that I learned from the evil Russian Pavel was to wait out the tension. This means holding the stretch for up to and over 5 minutes! I can say from very personal experience that when I use this technique I notice a huge difference in the effectiveness of the stretches. It’s not really applicable for every stretch, as you’d be there doing the damn things for hours, but for really tight muscles (and I’m thinking hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors) it really works a treat. I think I got that one from one of his books, but it could also have been his stretching DVD, which is superb.

The other series of techniques I learned came from Pete Egoscue (don’t ask me how to pronounce his name, I always get it wrong!) and I’ve found that the order in which you do your stretches can hugely influence how they work for you. The book these came from is called ‘The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion’ and is not only a really easy read, but also highly effective. I thought I knew about how to get a body more flexible before I read this, and indeed I would say that I was more proficient as an instructor of flexibility than any other I’d worked with, but my eyes were really opened by this book. There’s too much to go into in one blog post, never mind a comment on a post, but the book is an easy read and can be digested in an hour or two and is available for pennies on amazon…

I might put a post together for my blog about how I’ve adapted some of his methods for myself, as I tend to be a bit more flexible and functional than the majority of the people he’s writing for.

Either way,
Keep up the good work,
George

    Srdjan Popovic - July 13, 2012

    George – thanks so much for sharing that. Really interesting stuff! I’ve read a lot of Pavel’s work but never came across the 5 minute stretches. Sounds like an interesting concept. I’ll have to try to dig up that material and give it a try. I’m also going to grab the book you mentioned by Pete. I’ve always wondered if the ORDER of the stretches plays a part, but it seems like it does. I’m looking forward to digging into that as well.

    Thanks again for sharing! Let me know when your post is up, I’d love to read it.

Static Stretching vs Dynamic Stretching – Minimize Injury Risk - July 12, 2012

[…] over at Bloom to Fit recently wrote an article detailing the 20 static stretches he likes to do. Here’s a link to that article. Since I have a very tight lower back and upper body, my favorite two stretches out of his list are […]

Fathin Shaikh Naeemmuddin - July 15, 2012

Some of them are already in my stretches routines after my workouts. But after reading this list, I know more that I can include in my stretches and targeted areas, yay!

Even though I always do neck stretches, especially after sitting too long, I hate it as it make me dizzy.

LesCRNI - July 26, 2012

Hi Srjdan, I woul like to know if you can post a similar list with dynamic stretches to do before the workouts. I read that dynamic stretches prepare the muscles better for the workout than static stretches, therefore it would be helpful to know some good dynamic stretches for major body parts. Thanks for your time and very informative posts.

Eric - October 17, 2012

Just wanted to let you know that these stretches are saving my body. I am in soccer season right now and have had a problem in the past with recovering and staying fresh all season long, but I do these after practice and every night before or after meditating, and I am feeling loose and relaxed! Thanks Srdjan, Bloom to Fit is helping me dramatically towards my dream of going pro!

    Srdjan Popovic - October 17, 2012

    Thanks for the kind words Eric! I’m happy you found the article useful. The hip flexor stretches are particularly important for sports such as soccer.

    PS – When you get to the pro level, I want tickets to a game 🙂

Josephine - December 4, 2013

Thanks again for a super workout. watched you doing it & I was tired & excited at the same time. You are really fit & strong & have so much influence on all of us that follow you. Love the static stretches. Keep us informed so we all can do & feel better. I love to exercise too 🙂

Thanks a bunch

Josephine

Gutemberg - February 14, 2016

Boa tarde
Gostei muito

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