11 Stretching Exercises to Loosen Up Your Body

Increase your flexibility, get rid of pain, and banish stress with these simple stretches.

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As we go about our busy days, our bodies inevitably get tighter and tighter. Then when you add in stress and sitting at a desk all day long, we tense up even more. Now, if only there was an easy solution to dull the aches and pains of everyday life...

Stretching is definitely something we take for granted. It was protocol before high school gym classes and after-school sports practices, but somewhere along the way, we lost it. Not only does stretching increase flexibility, but it also improves blood flow all across the body and decreases the risk of activity-based injuries, says the Mayo Clinic.

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Ready to make time for stretching again? Follow along with these exercises and you'll feel good as new.

1. Pre- and Post-Workout Stretches

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Need to warm up or cool down after a workout? Perfect for beginners, this simple stretching routine will help you avoid injuries — and make sure you're not ridiculously sore afterward.

2. Wake-Up Stretches to Start Your Day

This five-minute workout will get you energized and ready to start your day before you even head out the door.

3. Medicine Ball Stretch

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This stretch is so easy anyone can do it. Grab a medicine ball and Daron Stegall, DC, chiropractor at Express Keller Chiropractic in Keller, TX, will help you experience a deep stretch your chest, back, and neck will thank you for.

4. Stretches for Stiff Muscles and Stress Relief

Feeling a little tight? This video will loosen up your muscles and lower your stress levels in under six minutes.

5. Stretches for Hip and Lower Back Pain

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If you're experiencing discomfort in your hips or lower back, this series of gentle yoga-based stretches are the perfect solution.

6. 10-Minute Stretching Routine for Flexibility

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Anyone who wants to increase their flexibility will love these easy-to-follow exercises. Just be sure to set aside at least 10 minutes a day for the workout, and remember — practice makes perfect. Unfortunately no one's going to be able to whip out the splits on their first day.

7. Stretches for Your Upper Body

Show your arms, shoulders, chest, and back some love with this active stretching workout.

8. Top Three Stretches to Do in Bed

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Robert Schrupp, PT, MA, lead physical therapist at Sauer Rehab in Winona, MN, has some moves you should do before you even get out of bed in the morning.

9. Stretches You Can Do at Your Desk

If you're one of the many people chained to their desks all day long, these simple exercises are for you. In fact, you don't even have to leave your desk to do them.

10. Stretches for a Stiff Neck

Don't let neck pain get you down. After doing these quick stretches, you'll be feeling better in no time.

11. Feel-Good Stretches

Because sometimes we want to stretch for no other reason besides the fact that it feels amazing.

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