Muscle stiffness is one of the most common problems affecting millions of people around the globe. Whether it hits you after a heavy workout or after a tiring day at work, muscle stiffness can leave you with persistent pain and discomfort. Incorporating stretching exercises to your daily routine may keep your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy.
Causes of Body Pain and Muscle Stiffness
Stiffness in the muscles is caused when the muscles in certain areas of your body contract and become tense. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as:
- Limited body movement
- Lack of exercise
- Exercise (overdoing)
- Body posture
- Medical conditions
Consult a doctor immediately if you are experiencing muscle stiffness with severe pain.
Easy Stretching and Flexibility Exercises
If you are a newbie to the world of the stretching routine, take it slow. Just like every other physical activity, your body probably requires a few days to get used to the stretches you are performing. Try following these easy stretching and flexibility exercises to relieve muscle stiffness and body pain.
1. Neck stretch
- Lateral Flexion: Ear to shoulder: Bend your neck gently to touch your left ear to your shoulder. Continue the stretch until you feel a stretch in the right side of your neck. Hold on to this position for a few seconds. Come back to your initial position. Repeat this stretch four more times. After that, do the same for the opposite side. This is one of the best exercises to relieve neck pain.
- Side to side rotation: Turn your head to the left side, looking towards your left shoulder. Continue the stretch until you feel a stretch in the right side of your neck. Hold on to this position for a few seconds and return to the initial position. Repeat the same on the opposite side.
2. Cobra stretch
Begin this by lying on your stomach facing the ground. Then, place your hands shoulder-width apart and slowly push them in. Let your upper body rise from the floor while keeping your hands straight shoulder-width apart. Gaze upwards and keep your abdominals engaged. Stay in this position for 15 seconds. Go back to your initial position. Repeat this stretch at least five times.
3. Shoulder stretch
- Cross arm stretch: To do this stretch, bring your left arm across your body at about chest height. Then support it with the elbow crease of the opposite arm (right). Stretch out your shoulder as much as you can and continue to face forward. Stay in this position for at least 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.
- Shoulder rolls: Begin this stretch by standing feet hip-width apart. Let your hands hang down at the sides. Inhale and lift your shoulders towards the ears. Move your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together as much as you can. Exhale and drop your shoulders back. After that, move your elbows forward and feel the stretch at the back of your shoulders. Repeat the stretch ten times.
4. Glutes stretch
- Seated figure: four stretch: To do this, sit straight in a sturdy chair. After that, you should place your right ankle on your left thigh, just above the knee. Then place your hands on your shins. Keep the spine straight and lean little forward to deepen the stretch. Stay in this position for 20 seconds. Relax.
- Seated glute stretch: First you have to sit down on the ground and extend your legs out. Sit straight and lift your left leg. Keep your left ankle over the right knee. After that, lean little forward so as to deepen the stretch. Stay in this position for 20 seconds. Go to your initial position and repeat it on the opposite side.
5. Hamstring stretch
To do this stretch, simply stand up out of your chair. You can step back about a foot or maybe two and lean forward. Place your forearms on a table. Keep you back flat as you straighten your knees and press the hip bones up. Now feel a deep stretch in your hamstring muscles. Try omitting the table if you are flexible enough.
Natural Muscle Relaxers that Ease Body Pain and Stiffness
Along with stretching, you can also use natural muscle relaxers to soothe your muscles and relieve stiffness as well as body pain. These include:
Stretching is a great stress reliever. When you are stressed, there is a high chance that your muscles are tense. This is due to the fact that your muscles tighten up in response to both physical and emotional stress.
When you do stretching, give more focus to areas where you tend to hold on your stress such as shoulders, neck, and upper back. It also helps in calming down your mind.
You can stretch at any time according to your convenience. Make it compulsory to do at least 3 to 10 minutes of stretching before you start exercising. Also, do 3-10 minutes of cool-down stretching cool-down stretching once you are done with the exercises.
Talk to a doctor or physiotherapist before you start doing the stretching exercises. A physiotherapist will be able to give you health tips and guide you on the best physiotherapy for lower back pain and exercises suitable for you. You can also consult doctor online sitting at the comfort of your home.