6 Best Stretches That Help You Stay Limber As You Age

What’s the point of having all the strength when you don’t have the mobility to perform daily tasks? Staying limber is just as important as improving your strength and endurance. And the more you train, the more that you should never forego stretches that can keep your joints’ range of motion in best shape. 

Also, the more you age, the more that you should continue stretching. Even some of the most comprehensive studies on flexibility done across different ages show a significant decline in flexibility as people get older. 

Just how effective is stretching? Stretching has been discovered to be just as effective in drastically improving chronic neck pain as strengthening exercises or manual therapy. If you wish to stay limber, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best stretches that can come in handy for people across ages. 

Quad Stretches

A lot of times, tight quads and knee pain can go hand in hand. Tight quads can put pressure over the patella which could cause it to rub on the joint. In most cases, there are instances when tight quads come from the lack of stretching after a workout. Overuse is also a culprit considering that some people push themselves beyond their limit. 

A quick fix is by doing different types of quad stretches. If you are on your own and you don’t have access to some yoga mats, you can always just do a standing quad stretch where your right hand will grab the left instep as you bend your knee. Hold the position for 30seconds and do this on the other side using the other hand. 

Now, if you have a partner and you have access to some yoga mats, you can take the prone position and let your partner stretch your quads by folding your knee. Be sure that the right heel will go towards the left hamstring and the left heel goes to the right hamstring.

Hamstring Stretches

If you live an active life and you are often stopped by lower back pain and hip pain, then perhaps, you might want to do some hamstring stretches throughout the day. 

Since hamstrings run through the back of each thigh attached from the hip down to the knee, tight hamstrings contribute to both hip discomforts and lower back pain. 

The good news is that there are many ways how you can stretch your hamstring whether standing or if you have access to some yoga mats. 

If you’re standing, you can stretch your hamstring by standing straight and pointing your toes up into the sky. Make sure that you also don’t bend your knee. Get a deeper stretch on your hamstring by getting your chest forward.  

Lying down, you can stretch your hamstring by getting your leg in a 90-degree position. Be sure that both legs are straight and you don’t bend the knee. For those who aren’t that limber, don’t be surprised if you only get your leg up by around 45 degrees. If you want a deeper stretch, you can make use of either a towel or a resistance band that you can get your foot to step on as you pull your leg and hold a 90-degree position. 

Pigeon Pose

The pigeon pose is considered the king of hip openers for a reason. Some of the benefits that it can give you include lengthening of the hip flexors, increasing the femur’s range of motion in the hip socket, and even lessen back pain. 

To get to the position, start on all fours with your hands in front of you. Get your knee in front of you as you get your other leg straight. If you’ve been doing yoga, you can even get your forehead into the mat. But for beginners, getting the upper body upright can still give your hip a good stretch. 

Piriformis Stretch

Apart from doing pigeon pose, another popular hip stretch is the piriformis stretch. The piriformis is done when you lay flat on your back. Place your right ankle on top of your left thigh creating a figure of four. Now, place your hand at the back of the left thigh and pull it towards you. Feel the stretch for 30 seconds to a minute. Then, do it on the other side. 

Neck Stretches

A lot of people end up getting a stiff neck after 8 hours of working in front of the computer. Neck stretches can be done whether you’re standing or sitting. To start, get the right hand to touch your left ear. Drop your left shoulder as your right hand pulls the head towards the right shoulder. 

Next, get your head to face your right toe. Now, instead of pulling to the side, the right hand will pull the head downward towards the toe. Imagine your forehead touching your toe. Do this stretch on both sides and you’ll feel relief on both shoulders and neck. 

Upper Back Stretch

A lot of people who work in front of the computer for hours tend to slouch. Upper back stretches are designed to decompress the upper back. Make it a habit to raise both hands and hold the position for 10 to 15 seconds. You’ll notice fewer incidences of upper back pain and even stiff neck. 

Final Thoughts

Staying limber through the years can be challenging. By staying conscious of your stretching routine, you’ll be surprised how you can still do activities that you enjoy during your younger years. However, don’t get frustrated if you feel that you can’t hold the stretches too long on your first try or if you are not yet too flexible. Just do it consistently and you’ll see improvements as you go along.