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Article: 7 Daily Stretches You Need for Better Flexibility

7 Daily Stretches You Need for Better Flexibility

7 Daily Stretches You Need for Better Flexibility

Most of us know we should perform regular stretches for flexibility. We hear it’s good for us. But then… it’s kind of boring, if you know what I mean.

Holding the same position for an extended period of time isn’t that exciting. It’s slow, and it doesn’t feel like you’re doing a whole lot. Or perhaps, for some, it’s painful (even more of a reason you should perform flexibility stretches!).

Well, I hear you. I get it. And here’s another “but” coming your way…

Stretching is good for you and your body. When it comes down to it, taking care of yourself is a priority. The last thing we want is to get to 80 years old and realize that if we’d put a little more time and care when it comes to our physical being, we’d be in a much better place and potentially enjoy many more years to come.

So, let’s do this - together - for our future selves.

I’ve got seven daily stretches that you want to consider doing (I’m already starting them!). Before we get to that, I want to dive into the importance of flexibility.

The Importance of Flexibility

You know when you get up out of a chair, and you’re like, “ugh, I’m stiff!”? That’s your body telling you that you aren’t as loose and limber as you used to be.

Stretches that focus on flexibility can help that.

Not convinced? Here are a few other reasons why flexibility is so essential:

  • You’ll face fewer injuries and pain.
  • Your mood and mindset will improve.
  • You’ll have better posture.
  • You’ll feel more balanced (literally and figuratively).
  • You’ll be able to get stronger.
  • It increases blood flow, which comes with a handful of its own benefits like improved energy, better healing, and more.

With these benefits in mind, are you ready? I am! Let’s get to it.

7 Daily Stretches You Need for Better Flexibility

1. Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is my all-time favorite stretch. It’s not awkward (especially in that it doesn’t have that “is my muscle tearing?” kind of feel), and it’s so easy. It also targets multiple parts of the body, all in one shot.

It’s got your back, hips, thighs, and ankles covered.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Begin on all fours.
  • Keeping your hands in the same spot, gently bring your buttocks back to rest on your heels (if you can).
  • Extend your arms straight out in front of you or gently rest them at your sides (do whatever feels good here!).
  • Rest your forehead on the ground.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and up to 2 minutes.

2. The Piriformis Stretch

The piriformis is this tiny muscle in your buttocks. And while it’s tiny, it’s also mighty.

It can take you out - I mean that.

When this muscle spasms or becomes tight, it tends to press on your sciatic nerve. This nerve extends down your leg. And when it’s aggravated, it isn’t fun. You end up with tingling, pain, and numbness in your butt and your leg - not ideal.

Plus, it’s rare that you’re ever in any position to stretch this muscle properly. So, here’s how you can do this daily flexibility stretch:

  • Lay on your back on a comfortable surface.
  • Bend your knees and plant your feet flat.
  • Cross your right ankle over your left thigh.
  • For some, you might already feel enough of a stretch in your buttocks here. If so, hold for 30 seconds or longer if you prefer.
  • If you don’t feel a thing, wrap both hands around your left leg and pull it toward you. Pull until you feel a gentle stretch in your buttocks, then hold.
  • Don’t forget to switch legs!

Check out this article next: 5 Crucial Exercises for Too-Tight Hamstrings

3. Full-Body Stretch

Now, let’s really get all those muscle knots and kinks out. We’re talking a full-body stretch.

While this doesn’t exactly fall in line with “how to be more flexible” (especially if you’re talking about achieving the splits - which by the way, takes a ton of work if it doesn’t come naturally), it does feel oh-so-good.

And again, you probably don’t really move this way in your day-to-day.

Here’s how to do this one:

  • While taking a deep breath in, clasp your hands together.
  • Bring your hands straight up to the sky.
  • Hold while extending your body as straight as possible (you can also do this one lying face up if you prefer).
  • Exhale and drop your arms.
  • Repeat this 3-5 times.

4. Side Bends

Another thing we humans rarely do? We don’t move too much when it comes to the side-to-side action.

When it comes to flexibility, most of us aren’t great with this either. So, this evidently had to have a place in our flexibility stretches list. You’ll feel this one in your ribs.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand tall.
  • Bring your right foot behind your left foot and rest it on the left side of your right foot.
  • Place your left hand on your left hip.
  • Bring your right hand up and over your head, leaning toward the left side.
  • You should feel a gentle stretch through your left side.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Repeat this on your opposite side.

5. The Chest Stretch

As far as stretches for flexibility go, this is one you don’t want to miss. It’s important for your posture, and it feels really, really good. It can also prevent shoulder pain from becoming a problem, which is very common at a later age.

So, let’s tackle this issue before it becomes an issue, shall we?

Here’s how you do it:

  • Stand in a corner or a doorway.
  • Place your forearms on each wall or the doorframe.
  • Your elbows should be at shoulder height.
  • Gently lean in until you feel a stretch through your chest.
  • Hold here for 30 seconds.

You might also really enjoy: 7 Daily Core Moves to Eliminate Lower Back Pain

6. Neck Stretch

Your poor neck!

We arch and hunch forward at our computers, leaving the top of our spine often in disarray. Neck pain is common, and it is for obvious reasons. This is also considered one of the best beginners’ stretches for flexibility. The last thing you want is a pain in the neck.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Sit up tall and sit on your right hand.
  • Grab the right side of your head with your left hand.
  • Then, pull your head to your left side.
  • You should feel a gentle stretch on your right side.
  • Hold here for 30 seconds.
  • Then, switch sides!

7. The Hamstring Stretch

We weren’t going to leave here without some more leg stretches for flexibility. The legs take on a lot. They hold your body up and get you from point A to B. And the hamstrings can become very tight from sitting or from exercise. Stretching is a must for these muscles!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Grab a towel and lay face up on a comfortable surface.
  • Wrap the towel under your right foot.
  • Hold each end of the towel in each hand.
  • Slowly bring your leg straight up into the air and slightly pull back on the towel. You should feel a stretch in the back of your thigh.
  • Hold here for 30 seconds, then switch to your other leg.

Do These Daily Flexibility Stretches!

Your body will thank you. And realistically, these only take a few minutes of your time.

Most of us have at least a few minutes to spare, and most of us can benefit from these seven flexibility stretches. Grab that yoga mat or find a comfortable surface and get stretchy!

Related article: Tackle Anxiety With This Yoga Flow

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