While we aspire to sustain a decent living standard by putting in numerous hours at work, a little attention to our health and wellness can go a long way. As our routines keep us seated at our workstations for a long time, taking short breaks to stretch out the muscles can ease both the body and mind. This is where knowing about some of the best flexibility exercises comes in, which has several benefits such as keeping weight in check, reducing the likelihood of ailments and enhancing the ability to perform daily chores.

However, before taking up these workouts, you should consult a professional trainer, especially if you are a beginner. This will not only help you choose those best suited for you but also maintain the right posture while doing them, which is essential.

Why is flexibility so important?

According to Healthline, flexibility has many benefits both physical and mental. It reduces muscle imbalances which in turn diminishes body aches and muscle cramps when doing locomotive movements, like jogging, walking, skipping or leaping, or any other exercises.

Additionally, with the focus on building muscular flexibility, your posture improves and there is an increase in endurance.

Here are some stretching exercises for flexibility to try

Standing hamstring stretch

One of the best ways to stretch your hamstring, it not only eases back pain, but it also prevents it. The exercise stretches the back, calves, glutes, hamstrings and neck. It helps relax sore muscles after an intense workout as well.

How to perform

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and inhale. The hips should be above the feet and not behind them, with your thighs, calves and ankles in a straight line.
  • Now, slowly exhale while bending forward at the hips and keeping your neck, shoulders and head relaxed. Keep lowering your head towards the ground without bending your knees. Make sure you don’t put pressure on your joints.
  • Further, place your arms on the backs of your legs and hold the stretch as long as you can. An ideal time is between 45 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Come up by slightly bending your knees and stand straight.

90/90 stretch

According to Healthline, “The 90/90 stretch targets many of the muscles surrounding the hip capsule, including your glutes, piriformis, psoas, hip flexors, hip abductors, and adductors.” Basically, this is a variation of the pigeon stance that helps increase hip mobility.

How to perform

  • Sit comfortably on a yoga mat and bend one leg to form a 90-degree angle at the knee. Do so by rotating your hit outward. Make sure the lower part of the leg is plastered to the mat, and the foot is pointed straight.
  • Now, rotate the other hip inward so that your shin and ankle are on the mat. Place the leg next to you and bend the knee at a 90-degree angle so that your knee is in line with your hip.
  • Inhale deeply to help you relax into the stretch and hold the position for a maximum of 60 seconds.

Lunge with spinal twist

One of the best stretching exercises for flexibility, it is performed by lengthening the back and quads and is a great hip opener to increase thoracic suppleness.

How to perform

  • Take your left foot forward and lower yourself into a lunge. Make sure your ankle and knees are in one line. Now, bend forward from your hips and place the opposite hand on the ground such that it is parallel to your foot. Keep the leg behind you and straight, without touching the ground.
  • Go lower and place your left elbow on the floor, on the inside of your left foot. Keep your back as flat as you can while squaring your hips to feel the stretch on both sides.
  • Now, lift yourself by putting pressure on your right hand. Turn from your hips, reach out to the sky with your left hand and look at the raised hand. Make sure both your arms form a straight line. Push into your toes and stretch your calves and quads. Hold the position for about 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Then, bring your hand down to the ground, go back into a lunge and stand straight with your hands on your hips. Repeat the same on your right. You can do 2-3 repetitions on each side.

Figure four stretch

This stretch typically focuses on the piriformis and iliopsoas muscles that help in alleviating knee and sciatica pains. It is suitable for people of all degrees of mobility, is an amazing pre-workout hip flexor and can also be simply incorporated into your everyday routine to help your body recover from a stressful day.

How to perform

  • Lay flat on the floor or mat with your legs slightly apart. Bend your knees and bring them close to your hips; keep your feet on the floor. Then, bring your left ankle and place it right behind your right knee.
  • Through the gap between your thighs, pass your left hand and hold the back of the right thigh (close to the knee). Bring your other hand around and hold the back of the right knee.
  • Hold the pose and slowly pull the right leg towards you and feel the stretch in your glutes and the side of your hip. Be in this position for about 7 to 10 breaths and do not lift your hips while at it.
  • Do the same on the opposite side.

Butterfly stretch

One of the most well-known stretches works the adductor muscles in the inner thighs. This helps in releasing hip tightness and improving flexibility. Athletes, people with desk jobs and those with a history of groin problems can benefit from this stretch.

flexibility exercises
Image Credit: Budgeron Bach/Pexels

How to perform

  • Put your feet together so the soles are pressed against each other and place them on the ground. Inhale deeply and draw your feet inside towards your hips as you exhale. With every exhalation, bring your feet closer and loosen up your hips.
  • Sit straight and draw your chin inwards to your chest. Bend towards the floor and stretch out your arms. Remember to not arch your back or bounce while going down and keep inhaling and exhaling.
  • Lay in that position for two minutes or until you can.

Triceps stretch

Flexibility Exercises
Image credit: Burst/Pexels

A fantastic flexibility stretch to perform following a chest and shoulders workout, the triceps stretch is for the upper body and relaxes the muscles of your upper arms. This improves flexibility and can prevent injuries.

How to perform

  • You can do this stretch by either sitting or standing. With your feet roughly hip-width apart and your arms raised above your shoulders, sit with your knees bent under you or simply keep standing.
  • Now, bring your arms behind you and join your palms in the middle of your back, with your fingers facing down. The back of your hands should touch your back in the middle of your back.
  • Remember to keep your back straight and chest open, with your shoulders dropped.
  • Turn your hands towards your back to point the fingers to your neck and hold the pose for 30 seconds.

Here’s another way to stretch your triceps:

Side-bend stretch

This stretch tones and strengthens the intercostal muscles that are within the ribs, and works on stretching obliques and the ab wall. This exercise can be performed in both seated and standing positions.

How to perform

  • Stand with your legs apart; keep your spine straight and core engaged.
  • Bend your torso towards your right. Take your right hand down and place it on the side of the right leg. Stretch out your left arm above your head, in line with your ear.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. And come back to the centre and repeat the same on the other side.

Extended puppy pose

A combination of child’s pose and downward-facing dog pose, known to be Uttana Shishosana asana in yoga, the extended puppy pose relaxes the mind and elongates the spine. It stretches the arms, upper back and shoulders while relaxing the shoulders and lengthening the spine. One of the best stretching exercises for flexibility, it can relieve insomnia, stress, chronic tension and anxiety.

How to perform

  • Get down on all fours to a tabletop position, with your shoulders over your wrists and hips over your knees. Now align your toes and place them on the floor. Keep some distance between your hips, and your shins should be parallel to each other.
  • Push your hips back towards your heels and extend your fingers ahead of you while lifting your tailbone to the sky. Then, carefully lower your forehead to the floor while allowing your chest to sink towards the floor.
  • Extend your arms further such that your triceps touch the floor and stretch through the shoulders.
  • Keep sinking to the floor and pushing into your hips with every exhalation and extend the spine.

Knee-to-chest stretch

This stretch amplifies the range of motion and enhances lower pelvic strength. The exercise proves to be very effective, as it increases blood flow and joint flexibility. This stretch can be done with both legs together or with one leg at a time.

How to perform

  • Lay on your back with your heels firmly placed on the floor. Now, carefully lift both knees and bring them towards your chest. Hug your knees.
  • Hold this position for at least 30 seconds to 2 minutes or till you can, relax your legs once done.
  • If you are performing this stretch one leg at a time, bring your right knee to your chest and keep the opposite leg outstretched on the floor. Hold for some time and stretch out the right leg. Do the same with the left one.

Sphinx pose

Known as the Salamba Bhujangasana in yoga, the Sphinx pose eases lower back pain and relieves the pressure on the spine. It also activates the abdominal muscles while strengthening the lower back, boosting blood circulation and relieving stress.

How to perform

  • Lay flat on your stomach with your forehead and toes on the floor. Place your forearms on the floor and elbows close to the sides of your body.
  • Inhale and gently lift your upper body off the floor by pressing into your palms. Do not drop your head back; look at the front at eye level. Keep your kneecaps and quadriceps engaged as you press into the pose.
  • Open up your chest and drop your shoulders. Maintain a neutral glance.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds to a minute while using your forearms to support you. Instead of concentrating on how farther your back can bend, pay attention to your alignment and breathing.

Here’s a variation of the Sphinx pose you can try as well.


Making efforts to increase your flexibility can be an amazing way to feel more connected with your body. So, start gradually to get better at the flexibility exercises, but do not force your body beyond a limit. Focus on your breathing, and remember to do the exercises regularly.

(Hero and featured image credit: Gustavo Fring/Pexels)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Which is the best exercise to improve flexibility?

Answer: One of the best exercises to improve your flexibility is lunge with spinal twist which gives a perfect stretch to you whole body at once.

Question: Can I do flexibility exercises at home?

Answer: Yes, you can do flexibility exercise at home but with a proper yoga mat and at a place where your body can move properly.

Question: What are the four types of flexibility training?

Answer: The four types of flexibility training are static stretching, ballistic stretching, contract-relax stretching, and passive stretching.

Question: Are there any flexibility exercises for golf?

Answer: Yes, there are many flexibility exercises for golf such as twisting stretch, hip press, tight hamstrings stretch, scarecrow twists and standing side stretch.

written by.

Priyanshi Agrawal

Travel, lifestyle, wellness, and finance writer Priyanshi is somebody who gorges on self-help and mythology reads, follows fitness trends, and stalks some famous travellers. She has two years of experience working with travel, hospitality, and tech companies. Travelling acts as a spark in her relationship with writing.
The Best Flexibility Exercises To Add To Your Workout Routine