Full Body Stretches for Beginners
Full Body Stretches for Beginners
Hello, everyone. Maximo Pascual here, and before we get started, I just really wanted to thank Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for their amazing commitment in promoting health education, and also for allowing me this opportunity to share these valuable fitness tips with you.
Now, today, I just wanted to go over some simple stretching exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home.
The good thing about these stretching exercises is that it’s going to give you a lot more range of motion.
It’s also going to make you a lot more flexible, and it’s also going to improve your posture.
And for some of you out there that might have some back pain, these stretching exercises might help fade away those aches.
All right, guys. Let’s get started with the first exercise. Before we do the stretches, we’re going to do a little bit of mobility and loosen up the upper body a little bit, so you’re going to feel this a little bit in your chest and in your shoulder area.
So we’re going to do this all together. We’re going to put our arms right in front of us, just like this, and we’re slowly going to go over and under.
Let’s do this about 10 times, feeling in your chest, and now you’re going to swing your arms back, let’s do this also about 10 times.
We want to swing it almost like you want to clap behind your back. Obviously you won’t be able to, but you should feel the stretch in your shoulders and also in your chest area.
Now, we’re going to do the same thing, but we’re going to flip the hands over, again, over and under, about 10 times. And then let’s swing the arms back. All the way back, about 10 times.
Now, another shoulder exercise we’re going to do is, you’re going to have your arms completely straight.
And this is almost like when you’re chopping down something with a machete, right? We’re going to swing one arm back and one arm up at the same time.
Right there for the shoulder. Let’s do this also about 10 times on each side.
Now we’re going to do something similar, but at an angle. So instead of going straight up, we’re going to do it at an angle.
So my right arm and my left arm away from each other, and then I’m going to switch to the other side.
Again, we want to do about 10 on each side, show you from the back here. Might take a little bit of coordination. But eventually if you do this enough you’ll be able to get it.
Okay, now we’ve loosened up a little bit, we have some blood flow in the upper body, now we want to get into some stretching from the upper body.
This is going to be a shoulder stretch. It’s a little bit complicated, some details, but we’ll be able to do it.
You want to put, let’s say your right arm in front of you, and you’re going to take your left hand, and you’re going to put the back part of your hand on the side of your shoulder.
Okay? So right arm in front, completely straight. I’m taking my left hand, I’m putting the back of it on the side here, touching my shoulder tricep area.
Now I’m going to twist using my left arm, my upper body to the left. And I’m going to put my hand on my ear, if possible. If you don’t have the flexibility, just, just try it.
As long as you’re trying it, you’re going to feel it. If you’re able to touch your ear, go for it. So I’m twisting my shoulder all the way to the left.
You should feel the stretch right here on the side part of your shoulder. And we want to hold the stretch for about 15 seconds.
Now with the other side, with your left arm straight, I’m going to take my right hand, the back of the hand, and I’m going to put it on my shoulder triceps area, and I’m going to now try to put my hand on my ear.
This is already going to start shifting my arm to the right now. And I’m already going to start feeling on this side of my shoulder. Again, we want to hold this for about 15 seconds.
For this next stretch, you should feel it in the back of your arm, the triceps here. So in order to feel it, we’re going to lift up our arms and we’re going to put our forearm behind our head.
We’re going to use the other hand to push our elbow all the way down. You should feel it on the side here.
Now, from the back view, I just want to push my arm completely down. I don’t want to put it to the side, cause then I’m not really feeling it in my triceps.
I’m going to feel it more in my back. So just straight now, nothing too hard, and we’re just holding that position there for about 15 seconds.
And then we’re going to switch over and we’re going to do the same thing on the other side, just gently pushing the elbow down, and right away you should feel that stretch in your triceps.
For this stretch, it’s called a chest stretch, because you will feel stretching your chest, but also because of the position, and you will feel it a little bit in your bicep, and also in the triceps and shoulders as well.
So what we’re going to do is, we’re going to clasp our hands behind us, and we’re going to lock out our arms. And you’re simply going to try to pull it - let’s say your pinkies, towards the back of your head.
Obviously you won’t be able to do it, but that’s where the stretch is. So depending on your mobility and your flexibility, you might be able to go all the way up, or you might be like me, not too flexible, in this position.
But you’re still feeling it. So you want to lock out your arms, clasp your hands, and just lift up your arms, and just move forward slightly.
Right away you’re going to feel it in the triceps, in your chest, in your shoulders, and a little bit there in your biceps.
You want to get a little bit more of a stretch. Don’t bend your back - make sure you’re sticking your hip out, so lean forward, and tuck in your head a little bit - you’ll feel it there a little bit more as well.
For this exercise, we should feel it here in the side of the back on the lats here, and in order to do the stretch we’re going to put our feet almost together, make sure you have a nice good base, pressure on the heels.
And now we’re going to lift up one arm - in this case I’m lifting up my left arm as straight as possible, and I’m going to take my right hand and grab my left wrist.
Now I’m going to bring my left arm towards my ear, and I’m going to pull my left arm using my right hand over, kind of like in a rainbow motion.
Then again, I want to put my fingertips towards the floor. So I’m pulling it over, and I’m already feeling that stretch here.
So we’re going to hold this for about 15 seconds, and then we’re going to switch over.
Right hand up, use the left hand to grab the right wrist, bring the bicep close to the ear, and then in a rainbow motion I’m pulling all the way over to the side.
Now, something to keep in mind is, you want to go directly over to the side, like I said, in a rainbow motion.
You don’t want to pull it at an angle, because now even though you might feel the stretch, you might feel a little strain in your lower back.
So make sure it’s as much as a rainbow as possible, so you can feel it here on the side of the back.
For this next stretch, we’re going to feel it in the back as well. So now we’re going to kneel down on the floor.
I’m going to sit back on my heels, and now I’m simply going to stretch out my arms, and I’m going to crawl with my fingers as far out as I can.
And I’m just going to keep on crawling until I can’t go more. I’m already feeling the stretch here in my back muscles. And let’s just hold this position for the next 15 seconds.
Once you do 15 seconds there, now we’re going to do the same crawling, but at an angle to the right, and you’re going to feel it more on the left side of your back, so you go with both hands, all the way, we’re crawling, we’re crawling, and I’m already feeling it there on the left side of my back.
We’ll hold that for 15 seconds, and then we’re going to do the same thing now, going to the left – so I can feel it on the right side.
We’re crawling, crawling. And if you can crawl no more with the fingertips, you hold that for 15 seconds.
For our next stretch, we’re going to do a hip stretch. We should feel it right here on the side. This is a very important stretch, especially for many of us that might have tight back muscles.
Sometimes the hips go in conjunction with the back, and they might overwork a little bit about where back muscles are weak.
So you should definitely do these and you will feel it, and they might loosen up your lower back as well.
So in order to do this, we’re going to start by putting the front leg, in this case this is my left leg, in front of me, and I’m putting it in the shape of the letter L kind of here.
Now my right leg, I’m putting it behind me, trying to make like another L. What’s important here is that I have my right knee right behind and touching my left heel, okay?
So this leg like this, and the back leg like this, and this knee is going to touch my left heel here.
Now I’m going to grab my foot with both hands. And I’m going to try to put my forehead on my toes.
I probably won’t be able to do it, but as long as you try it, you’re going to feel the stretch right here on your left hip.
You grab the toes and just keep trying to put your head down, and we’ll hold this position for 15 seconds.
And then we’re going to switch over now. So now the right leg is going to be in front of me, shaped like an L.
The left leg is behind me, and I’m going to put the left knee touching my right heel. And again, I’m going to grab my foot with both hands, and I’m going to attempt to put my forehead towards my toe.
And now I’m feeling the stretch on my right hip. We’re going to hold this for about 15 seconds.
For our next exercise, I’m going to lift up my left knee, and with my right hand I’m going to cup the side of my left knee, and I’m going to twist my lower body to the right.
And my upper body’s going to face the left, so it’s like I’m twisting my upper and lower body in opposite directions.
You should definitely feel the stretching in lower back, in your glutes and in your hip area, if you’re doing it correctly. But you want to try and bring your knee as close to the floor as possible.
Now, depending on your fitness level, maybe you will be stuck right here, which is fine for you for right now.
Eventually you’ll get lower and lower. If you can make it all the way down, then try to make it all the way down.
Now, let me show you guys from the front view, completely straight on the floor, I’m going to lift up my left knee.
I’m going to take my right hand, I’m going to cup it over my left knee, and now my lower body is going towards the right, and my upper body is going towards the left.
Now, we want to hold this stretch for about 15 seconds or so. Same thing with the other side, I raise up my right knee, cup it with my left hand, turn down my right knee to the left, and my upper body towards the right. And we’re going to hold this for about 15 seconds.
For our next stretch, we’re going to feel it in the inner thigh groin area here. It’s a very good stretch. We’re basically going to do a split on the floor using our knees only.
So we’re going to get on the floor; we’re going to place our forearms here on the floor; and now slowly, I’m going to start opening up my thighs, trying to do a split. Okay?
And I’m going to go as wide as I possibly can so I can really feel that stretch in the inner thigh, groin area.
Now, you really want to feel stretched, now what you want to do is you want to bring your glutes down towards your heel. That’s really going to emphasize on the stretch there.
Now, after we hold this position for about 15 seconds, only the upper body, you’re going to shift it to the side.
So in this case I’m shifting it to the right side, and this is opening up my left hip groin area here. I’m really feeling it on the left side here.
We hold this for about 15 seconds, and then we’re going to switch over to the left side to open up the right hip right groin area, and really feel it on that side. We’re also going to hold this for about 15 seconds.
Now, for our next stretch, this is going to be for our hamstrings here at the back of the leg. In order to do that, we’re going to sit down on the floor with our legs straight in front of us, feet together.
Now notice how I can move my feet up and down, kind of like I’m pressing a pedal. You want to make sure your toes are towards you, so kind of towards your knee, okay?
And you want to have your legs completely straight and lock them out - so straight that it’s almost like if your knee is coming out the other side, trying to touch the floor.
And you want to sit up with a very nice tall posture, chest out, shoulders back.
Now, with my hands I’m going to do like this to show my wrist - almost like Spiderman, if you guys have ever seen Spiderman when he’s doing the web, you’re going to put the arms down like this.
And you’re going to try to reach for your toes using this part of your wrist. You probably won’t be able to unless you’re super, super flexible.
But what this is going to do is, it’s going to keep you from hunching your back. Some people stretch or they try to grab their toes, but then your back is getting hunched over.
So this is going to prevent that. So with the wrist you try to reach for the toes. Right away I’m already feeling it in my hamstrings, and we’re going to hold this for about 15 seconds.
For our next stretch, we should feel it on our quads, and also here on our ankles. So what we’re going to do is, we’re going to put our feet like this flat, and I’m just simply going to sit down on my heels.
Right away I should feel a stretch here in my quadriceps, and also here in my ankle. Now, what’s important here is, you have to make sure that you keep your foot completely straight and don’t let them curl in like this.
You don’t want them to curl in like this. Put them as straight as possible. And now just sit down. If your ankles are really, really tight, it might hurt a lot - you might not be able to do it on the first day.
So just see where you can, and then little by little, if you can get down lower, or eventually if you keep on doing this more consistently, you should be able to get all the way down.
Okay, if you want to feel a little bit more in your quads, you can simply start leaning back a little bit more. You’ll feel it right here in the front of the leg as well as in the ankle.
For our next stretch, we should feel it in the front of the leg, the quadriceps. So in order to do that, it might require some balance.
So if you want to lean against a wall, you definitely can with the other hand. We’re going to grab our ankle, and we’re going to try to put our heel against our glute.
Be a very, Be in a very tall posture and lean back a little bit. You’re going to feel it in the front of the leg.
From the back view, as you can see, I have both legs together. So you don’t want to have a separation like this.
You want to have both legs together, make sure your heel is coming as high up as it can towards the glute, and lean back a little bit.
Let me show you a front view here, with no wall. You have to have good balance for this. You’re going to lean back.
For this stretch, we’re going to feel it here in the back of the leg, in the calf muscle here. In order to do that, we’re going to stand straight.
We’re going to put one foot in front of us with the toes pointing up, and then you’re simply going to stick out your hip and reach for your toe.
You might feel it in your hamstrings a little bit, but you’re also going to feel it in your calf muscle. Just get as low as you can. Try not to hunch over.
Start off by being chest out, shoulders back, heel in front, point those toes up. And then just stick out your hip and lean forward.
Once you feel it then, you’re going to hold it for about 15 seconds, and then we’re going to switch over to the next side - again, chest out, shoulders back - stick out your hips.
Do not bend your back, and just lean forward until you feel it in the calf muscle. And let’s hold that for about 15 seconds.
We just went over each and every exercise of this routine, and I’m pretty sure you’re feeling a lot more confident about doing this routine alone at home.
Now, one big tip I can give you is, remember, you are a beginner, so you might not be able to master each and every exercise on Day 1.
But I promise you, if you’re consistent enough, eventually you will get stronger, more mobile, more agile, more flexible, and you will be able to master each one of these exercises.
All right, guys. Till next time.