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Last Updated on April 15, 2021

12 Best at Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

12 Best at Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

Covid-19 has certainly made getting to the gym more difficult, but if we’re honest, it was difficult before, as well. Between tiring days at work, helping the kids with their homework, and maintaining a social life, where do you find time to squeeze in an hour or two at the gym? Sometimes, the only solution to maintaining your health and fitness rests on the best at home workout.

The good news is that it’s possible to train from home without any equipment and get fantastic results. As long as you’re pushing the body hard enough, you’re going to be fine. The bad news is that you may not know where to start.

There are a plethora of different training regimens out there, and it’s difficult to know which one is best for you, especially if you’re used to live classes or in-person workout programs.

This article will cover the 12 best at-home workouts that you can use for strength, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and mobility. There will be an exact breakdown of all the exercises, sets, reps, rest periods, and instructions required to stay fit, healthy, and happy while on lockdown.

The following sessions are broken down into beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts to accommodate any experience level. They are all bodyweight exercises that can be combined into a full body workout to build strength while working out at home.

A thorough warm-up is also included to ensure that you don’t get injured. Please check each workout before you perform it to make sure that the exercises and movements don’t cause you any pain from previous or pre-existing injuries.

If you need help getting into the habit of working out at home, you can try Lifehack’s free 30-Day Resistance Band Workout Challenge.

Read on to find the 12 best at-home workouts you can use to upgrade your strength, burn some calories, and improve your flexibility while training at home.

Warm-Up

Complete the warm-ups below for 5-6 minutes before each of the best at home workouts you’ll find below. Complete each exercise for a total of 15 seconds at a slow to moderate pace, and your body will be ready to jump into more intense exercises.

Repeat for 3-4 rounds, as this will help lubricate your joints, slowly elevate your heart rate, and get your body ready for exercise[1].

  • Exercise 1: Squats[2]

    • Exercise 2: Lunge[3]

      • Exercise 3: Leg Swings[4]

        • Exercise 4: Star Jumps[5]

          • Exercise 5: Push-ups[6]

            • Exercise 6: Squat Thrusts[7]

              Dynamic Stretches

              Complete the relevant dynamic stretches after your warm-up. For strength workouts, complete the stretches relevant to the session you’re about to partake in (e.g. upper body stretches before an upper-body workout).

              For HIIT workouts, complete both the lower body and upper body dynamic stretches. For mobility workouts, you don’t need to do these.

              Aim to do 15-20 reps on each side for 1 round.

              Upper Body Dynamic Stretches:

              • Exercise 1: Arm Swings

                • Exercise 2: Arm Circles[8]

                  • Exercise 3: External Shoulder Rotations[9]

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                    • Exercise 4: Torso Twists[10]

                      Lower Body Dynamic Stretches:

                      • Exercise 1: Step Throughs[11]

                        • Exercise 2: Lying Side Leg Swings[12]

                          • Exercise 3: Quadruped Kickbacks/Hip Circles[13]

                            • Exercise 4: Leg Swings (Front & Side)

                              Strength Workouts

                              1. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Beginner)

                              This is one of the best at home workouts if you’re a beginner looking to build upper-body strength. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

                              For exercises 2-6, use two water bottles to mimic weights. For exercise 7, you can use the couch or a chair to support yourself.

                              • Exercise 1: Push-Ups — 2 sets, 5-10 reps

                                • Exercise 2: Bent-Over Row — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[14]

                                  • Exercise 3: Shoulder Press — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[15]

                                    • Exercise 4: Floor Chest Press — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[16]

                                      • Exercise 5: Lateral Raises — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[17]

                                        • Exercise 6: Bicep Curls — 2 sets, 12-15 reps[18]

                                          • Exercise 7: Triceps Dips — 2 sets, 12-15 reps[19]

                                            2. Abs Strength Workout (Beginner)

                                            This bodyweight workout is great for building muscle tone in your abs. Complete all exercises with 30 seconds rest between sets, and use a yoga mat if you have one.

                                            • Exercise 1: Air Bike — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[20]

                                              • Exercise 2: Crunches — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[21]

                                                • Exercise 3: Russian Twists — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[22]
                                                  • Exercise 4: Bridges — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[23]
                                                    • Exercise 5: Plank Shoulder Taps — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[24]

                                                      • Exercise 6: Flutter Kicks — 2 sets, 8-10 reps (each leg)[25]

                                                        3. Leg Strength Workout (Beginner)

                                                        If you’re looking to add some strength to your legs, this is the best at home workout for that purpose. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. For exercises 3-4, you can use the sofa or a chair to support yourself.

                                                        • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[26]

                                                          • Exercise 2: Forward Standing Lunges — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[27]

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                                                            • Exercise 3: Bulgarian Split Squat — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[28]

                                                              • Exercise 4: Hip Thrusts — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[29]

                                                                • Exercise 5: Romanian Deadlift (Use two water bottles) — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[30]

                                                                  • Exercise 6: Standing Calf Raises — 2 sets, 12-15 reps[31]

                                                                    4. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                    For exercises 6-7, use two heavy water bottles if you don’t have weights available.

                                                                    • Exercise 1: Vertical Wall Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[32]

                                                                      • Exercise 2: Pike Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit
                                                                      • Exercise 3: Towel Row — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[33]

                                                                        • Exercise 4: Plyometric Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[34]

                                                                          • Exercise 5: Triceps Extensions (from plank position) — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[35]

                                                                            • Exercise 6: Bicep Hammer Curls — 3-4 sets, until limit[36]

                                                                              • Exercise 7: Triceps Kickbacks — 3-4 sets, until limit[37]

                                                                                5. Abs Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                If you need more core support and strength, this is the best at home workout for those who are already comfortable working out. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

                                                                                With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                                • Exercise 1: Jack Knife Sit ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[38]

                                                                                  • Exercise 2: Lying Leg Raises — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[39]

                                                                                    • Exercise 3: Plank Hand-to-Toe Touches — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[40]

                                                                                      • Exercise 4: Cocoon Crunches — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[41]

                                                                                        • Exercise 5: Plank Knee-to-Elbow — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[42]

                                                                                          • Exercise 6: Side Plank Reach Through — 3-4 sets, until limit[43]

                                                                                            6. Leg Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                            Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                                            For exercises 4-6, use heavy water bottles if you don’t have weights available.

                                                                                            • Exercise 1: Pistol Squat — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[44]

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                                                                                              • Exercise 2: Bulgarian Jump Squat (use sofa) — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[45]

                                                                                                • Exercise 3: Jumping Lunges — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[46]

                                                                                                  • Exercise 4: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[47]
                                                                                                    • Exercise 5: Single-Leg Hip Thrusts — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[48]
                                                                                                      • Exercise 6: Single-Leg Calf Raises — 3-4 sets, until limit[49]

                                                                                                        7. HIIT Workout (Beginner)

                                                                                                        This is the best at home workout for those who are new to HIIT training. Complete all exercises for 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest. Complete 4 rounds.

                                                                                                        • Exercise 1: Squat

                                                                                                          • Exercise 2: Toe Touches[50]

                                                                                                            • Exercise 3: Walk-Outs[51]

                                                                                                              • Exercise 4: Heel Flicks
                                                                                                              • Exercise 5: Plank[52]

                                                                                                                • Exercise 6: Jumping Jacks[53]
                                                                                                                  • Exercise 7: Mountain Climbers[54]

                                                                                                                    8. HIIT Workout (Intermediate)

                                                                                                                    Complete all exercises for 35 seconds of work with 25 seconds of rest. Complete 5-6 rounds.

                                                                                                                    • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks

                                                                                                                      • Exercise 2: Burpees[55]

                                                                                                                        • Exercise 3: Push-ups

                                                                                                                          • Exercise 4: High Knees[56]

                                                                                                                            • Exercise 5: Plank Ups[57]

                                                                                                                              • Exercise 6: Star-Jumps

                                                                                                                                • Exercise 7: Cross-Body Mountain Climbers[58]))

                                                                                                                                  9. HIIT Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                                                                  If you’ve already been doing HIIT training for a while, this is one of the best at home workouts to keep you going. Complete all exercises for 45 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest. Complete 7-8 rounds.

                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 1: Jump Squats[59]

                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 2: Hand Release Burpees[60]

                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 3: Lateral Shoot Throughs[61]

                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 4: Tuck Jumps[62]

                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 5: Plank Toe Touches

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                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 6: Spiderman Push-Ups[63]

                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 7: Sprawls

                                                                                                                                                Mobility Workouts

                                                                                                                                                10. Upper Body Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total, and do 2-3 sets. Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

                                                                                                                                                This workout will help improve flexibility in your upper body.

                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 1: Cat-Cow[64]

                                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 2: Upward Dog[65]
                                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 3: Chest Release[66]

                                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 4: Child’s Pose[67]

                                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 5: Reach Through (15-20 seconds each side)[68]

                                                                                                                                                          11. Lower Body Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                          If you need more flexibility in your hips and legs, this is the best at home workout for you. Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total, and do 2-3 sets. Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

                                                                                                                                                          This workout will help improve flexibility in your lower body.

                                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 1: Scorpion Kicks (15-20 seconds each side)[69]

                                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 2: Seated Glute Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)[70]

                                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 3: Lying Quad Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)[71]

                                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 4: Lumbar Twist (15-20 seconds each side)[72]

                                                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 5: Standing Hamstring Stretch[73]

                                                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 6: Seated Hip Flexor Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)[74]

                                                                                                                                                                      12. Spinal Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                                      Complete each exercise for 10 reps total, and do 2-3 sets. This workout will help improve your posture, alleviate lower back pain, and increase your flexibility.

                                                                                                                                                                      It’s highly recommended if you’re an office worker that spends most of the day sitting.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 1: Prone Back Extension[75]

                                                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 2: Tail Wag[76]

                                                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 3: Quadruped Side Bend[77]

                                                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 4: Seated Forward Fold[78]

                                                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 5: A-Frame to Squat[79]

                                                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 6: Side-Lying Rotations[80]

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Final Thoughts

                                                                                                                                                                                  These are the 12 best at home workouts that you can use to level up your body, torch some calories, and enhance your flexibility while at home. Give these a go, and you’ll be well on your way feeling fitter, healthier, and more productive after lockdown is over!

                                                                                                                                                                                  More Workouts You Can Do at Home

                                                                                                                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

                                                                                                                                                                                  Reference

                                                                                                                                                                                  [1] Fit: 5 REASONS WHY WARM UP EXERCISES ARE IMPORTANT
                                                                                                                                                                                  [2] Pars Health Clinic: Lower Back Pain From Squats: Why this Happens and How to Avoid it
                                                                                                                                                                                  [3] 200 Lunges: What is a Lunge?
                                                                                                                                                                                  [4] Anytime Fitness: Lower Body Wedding Workout 1
                                                                                                                                                                                  [5] The Frugal Exerciser: STAR JUMPS WORKOUT
                                                                                                                                                                                  [6] Australian Fitness Academy: HOW TO PUSH UP: PROPER BODYWEIGHT PUSH UP TECHNIQUE
                                                                                                                                                                                  [7] Popsugar Fitness: If You Hate Burpees, This Move Is Here to Save You
                                                                                                                                                                                  [8] Popsugar Fitness: This Is Your 10-Minute Cut Arms and Cut Abs Workout
                                                                                                                                                                                  [9] Athletics Weekly: Stretch: External rotation
                                                                                                                                                                                  [10] Flipping Heck: 5 Yoga Poses For Office Workers
                                                                                                                                                                                  [11] Men’s Health: Chris Hemsworth’s Functional Fitness Workout
                                                                                                                                                                                  [12] Pilates Can: Side Lying Single Leg Swings
                                                                                                                                                                                  [13] Julie Lohre’s Fitbody: Donkey Kickbacks
                                                                                                                                                                                  [14] Popsugar Fitness: The Beginner-Friendly Workout That Will Increase Your Fat Burn
                                                                                                                                                                                  [15] Man of Many: 10 Best Shoulder Exercises for Men
                                                                                                                                                                                  [16] Adam Kemp Fitness: Dumbbell Floor Press Benefits & How to Do the DB Floor Press
                                                                                                                                                                                  [17] Popsugar Fitness: Get Gorgeous Shoulders With These 14 Essential Exercises
                                                                                                                                                                                  [18] Cathe: Why You Should Vary Your Hand and Arm Position When You Do Bicep Curls
                                                                                                                                                                                  [19] Central Mass Physical Therapy & Wellness: Technique Tuesday: no more triceps dips!
                                                                                                                                                                                  [20] Women’s Health: How To Do Bicycle Crunches Without Killing Your Neck
                                                                                                                                                                                  [21] Get Healthy U: How To Do A Basic Crunch
                                                                                                                                                                                  [22] Women’s Health: How To Do A Russian Twist The Right Way
                                                                                                                                                                                  [23] Very Well Health: Hip Bridge Exercises for All Fitness Levels
                                                                                                                                                                                  [24] Popsugar Fitness: 35 Plank Variations That Will Strengthen and Tone Every Inch of Your Body
                                                                                                                                                                                  [25] Abdominales Verdaderos: Guía de Ejercicios 101: Las Flutter Kicks
                                                                                                                                                                                  [26] Shape: The Best Outer-Thigh Exercises and Cardio Workouts
                                                                                                                                                                                  [27] My Fitness Pal: The Difference Between Forward and Reverse Lunges
                                                                                                                                                                                  [28] Openfit: How to Do the Bulgarian Split Squat
                                                                                                                                                                                  [29] Glamour: Hip thrust: the MASTER exercise to shape the glutes
                                                                                                                                                                                  [30] Outlift: THE ROMANIAN DEADLIFT GUIDE
                                                                                                                                                                                  [31] Popsugar Fitness: 7 Important Exercises You’re Probably Neglecting
                                                                                                                                                                                  [32] The Health Science Journal: Wall Push Ups
                                                                                                                                                                                  [33] Strong Fitness Magazine: A Full-Body Workout You Can Do With a Towel
                                                                                                                                                                                  [34] NASM: THE SMALL-GROUP CIRCUIT WORKOUT
                                                                                                                                                                                  [35] Popsugar Fitness: Grab Your Dumbbells — These Exercises Will Tone, Shape, and Strengthen Your Arms
                                                                                                                                                                                  [36] Gym Junkies: Hammer Curls 101
                                                                                                                                                                                  [37] Julie Lohre’s Fitbody: Triceps Kick Backs
                                                                                                                                                                                  [38] Da God’s Fitness: Jackknife Sit-Up
                                                                                                                                                                                  [39] Coach: How To Do Leg Raises
                                                                                                                                                                                  [40] GymBeam: 47 THE BEST AND MADLY ENTERTAINING PLANK VARIATIONS
                                                                                                                                                                                  [41] Bodybuilding: Cocoons
                                                                                                                                                                                  [42] Self: 11 Plank Exercises That Double as Cardio Moves
                                                                                                                                                                                  [43] Openfit: 6 Side Plank Variations That Will Clobber Your Core
                                                                                                                                                                                  [44] The Gymosaur: My favourite exercise #2: the pistol squat
                                                                                                                                                                                  [45] Get Strong: All About Bulgarian Split Squat Jumps Exercise
                                                                                                                                                                                  [46] Ideal Me: Jumping Alternating Lunges
                                                                                                                                                                                  [47] Openfit: How to Do the Single-Leg Deadlift
                                                                                                                                                                                  [48] Wynn Fitness: BEST GLUTE EXERCISES THAT AREN’T THE SQUAT: HIP THRUSTERS
                                                                                                                                                                                  [49] exer-pedia: ACTIVITY: CALF RAISE OFF STEP – SINGLE LEG ECCENTRIC
                                                                                                                                                                                  [50] Popsugar Fitness: Chisel Your Abs and Get a Strong Core With These 13 Moves Trainers Swear By
                                                                                                                                                                                  [51] Women’s Health Mag: How To Do a Walkout: There’s a Reason PTs Love Including Inchworm Exercises in Workouts
                                                                                                                                                                                  [52] SELF: How to Do a Plank With Proper Form
                                                                                                                                                                                  [53] Physical Culture Study: THE HISTORY OF THE JUMPING JACK
                                                                                                                                                                                  [54] Well + Good: To Nail Mountain Climbers, Repeat After Me: Planks but Make ’Em Cardio
                                                                                                                                                                                  [55] Experience Life: How to Do a Burpee
                                                                                                                                                                                  [56] Workout Trends: How to do High Knees ???
                                                                                                                                                                                  [57] Popsugar Fitness: The Best Cardio Exercises You Can Do Right in Your Living Room
                                                                                                                                                                                  [58] Milligan Movement: 5 MINUTE ABS
                                                                                                                                                                                  [59] Ideal Me: Jump Squats
                                                                                                                                                                                  [60] 24 Life: MASTER THIS MOVE: BURPEE
                                                                                                                                                                                  [61] Shape: The Advanced Bosu Ball HIIT Workout That’ll Make You Feel Like an Athlete
                                                                                                                                                                                  [62] Julie Lohre’s Fitbody: Tuck Jump
                                                                                                                                                                                  [63] Popsugar Fitness: The Intense Push-Up Variation That’ll Change the Way Your Abs Look
                                                                                                                                                                                  [64] Workout Trends: Yoga Poses: Cow Cat Back Stretch Pose
                                                                                                                                                                                  [65] Alo: PERFECT THE POSE: UPWARD FACING DOG
                                                                                                                                                                                  [66] VeryWell Fit: How to Do the Towel Chest Stretch
                                                                                                                                                                                  [67] Verywell Fit: How to Do Child’s Pose (Balasana) in Yoga
                                                                                                                                                                                  [68] Kinfolk Wellness: FOAM ROLLER EXERCISES FOR SWIMMERS
                                                                                                                                                                                  [69] Sea Lark Chiropractic: Scorpion Stretch – Day 15 Movement Challenge 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                  [70] MapMyRun: 6 Stretches Every Cyclist Should Do
                                                                                                                                                                                  [71] VeryWell Fit: Quadricep Stretches
                                                                                                                                                                                  [72] VeryWell Health: Yoga Spinal Twist for Back Pain
                                                                                                                                                                                  [73] VeryWell Fit: How to Do Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) in Yoga
                                                                                                                                                                                  [74] Experience Life: Chair Yoga
                                                                                                                                                                                  [75] Well + Good: 3 Back Extension Exercises That Whisk Away the Effects of Sitting at a Desk All Day
                                                                                                                                                                                  [76] GMB: Back Stretches – Daily Routine to Improve Spinal Mobility
                                                                                                                                                                                  [77] GMB: Back Stretches – Daily Routine to Improve Spinal Mobility
                                                                                                                                                                                  [78] VeryWell Fit: How to Do Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) in Yoga
                                                                                                                                                                                  [79] GMB: Back Stretches – Daily Routine to Improve Spinal Mobility
                                                                                                                                                                                  [80] VeryWell Health: Yoga Spinal Twist for Back Pain

                                                                                                                                                                                  More by this author

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oliver Anwar

                                                                                                                                                                                  Fitness Entrepreneur, Health Consultant & Qualified Nutrition Coach

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Last Updated on April 19, 2021

                                                                                                                                                                                  15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

                                                                                                                                                                                  15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

                                                                                                                                                                                  Stretching is one of those aspects of fitness that many people conveniently forget about. Perhaps you’re one of those who consider stretching nothing but a mere chore meant for ballerinas and gymnasts. While they are great for both, static stretches can offer a boost to any workout routine for people of all fitness levels.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Irrespective of your reasons for working out, be it for sports or personal fitness, one thing is certain: stretching can help you. Static stretches come with myriads of benefits, such as improvement in flexibility and reduction in muscle tightness, which ultimately allow you to go through your workout routines with greater efficiency.

                                                                                                                                                                                  For the purpose of this article, we’ll zero in on several great static stretches and take a look at the benefits and when they should be done.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Benefits of Static Stretches

                                                                                                                                                                                  Static stretches come with tons of benefits that can help you make the most of your workout routine. Some of them include:

                                                                                                                                                                                  Improved Flexibility

                                                                                                                                                                                  If you want to perform better, flexibility is of tremendous importance, irrespective of the specific workouts you do. Luckily enough, static stretches are all you need to get all the flexibility you desire.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Flexibility, also known as the range of motion (ROM) around a joint, has been shown by several studies to be improved by static stretching.[1]

                                                                                                                                                                                  Although the specific mechanism through which this occurs is still unclear, static stretches have been shown to greatly increase muscle and joint flexibility[2] and tissue length[3], which work in tandem to make your workout more effective.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Prevent Injuries

                                                                                                                                                                                  If you’re looking to push yourself to your training limits without coming down with injuries, then stretching will do you a great service. Research has shown time and again that performing the right stretches pre- and post-workout greatly helps with injury prevention.[4]

                                                                                                                                                                                  Think of it this way:

                                                                                                                                                                                  When you stretch, you literally push your joints and muscle fibers to their limit. This increases the stretch tolerance in these muscles and joints over time, and the increased tolerance allows you to perform more rigorous exercises without negatively impacting your body or risking an injury.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Increased Blood Flow to the Joints

                                                                                                                                                                                  Another benefit of stretching is increased blood flow – and by extension, nutrient supply – to the joints and muscles of the target areas. This, in turn, improves the performance of these muscles and joints due to the availability of more nutrients, improved oxygenation, and removal of metabolites.

                                                                                                                                                                                  For static stretching, though, the mechanism of action isn’t as straightforward. When stretching statically, blood flow (capillary oxygenation) temporarily reduces due to vascular compression.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  However, immediately after releasing the stretch, the blood flow to these areas nearly doubles the pre-stretching levels.[5]

                                                                                                                                                                                  Improvement in Recovery

                                                                                                                                                                                  If you’ve been working out for some time, then you’ve probably discovered that a rigorous workout session can leave you battling sore muscles for days.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Recovery essentially means getting rid of this soreness and returning your muscle fibers back to their tip-top condition.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Research has shown that practicing static stretches after your workout session helps to reduce muscle soreness. And while some may argue that this effect is minimal, the fact still remains that stretching does help shorten your recovery time.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Stretching allows tissues to be better hydrated after the induced tension is released, and this encourages reduced inflammation and faster repair of such tissues.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Other reasons why you really should incorporate stretching into your workout include:

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Improved relaxation
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Increased movement efficiency
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Reduction in the risk of lower back pain
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Reduction in muscle tension
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Improvement in neuromuscular coordination
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Improvement in balance and postural awareness
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Relief from cramping

                                                                                                                                                                                  15 Static Stretches to Enhance Your Workouts

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here are some amazing exercises that will keep your body in tip-top condition and take your workout routine to the next level.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Neck Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                    While sitting tall or standing, place your right arm gently on the right side of your head, and place the other arm out to your side. Slowly pull your head towards your right shoulder until you can feel the stretch on the left side of your neck. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing, and repeat for the opposite side.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Many people tend to hold stress and tension in their neck and shoulders. If you find this is the case, this is one of the best static stretches to use for a muscle release in this area.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Chest Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                      Stand upright, with your fingers interlocked behind your back, near your buttocks. While keeping your shoulder blades together and your back straight, push your arms up behind you until you feel the stretch in your chest. Hold for about 20-30 seconds before releasing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                      Shoulder Cross-Arm Stretch « CASS FITNESS

                                                                                                                                                                                        Stand upright or sit up tall on a chair or mat, and extend one arm out in front to shoulder height. Grab the extended arm with your other arm, and pull it towards your chest while keeping the extended arm straight. Continue the pull until you feel the stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Triceps Static Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                          Lift your arms overhead, with both arms slightly behind your head and bent at the elbow. Use your right hand to pull your left elbow until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Hold for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Many know this stretch from gym class, but it really is one of the best static stretches for the arms.

                                                                                                                                                                                          5. Biceps Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                          Arm Exercises | Seated Bent-Knee Biceps Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                            Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With your fingers pointing away from your body, place your two palms flat on the floor behind you. While your hands are steadily in place, slowly slide your butt downward toward your feet until you can feel the stretch in your biceps, shoulders, and chest. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                                                                                                                                                                                            6. Wrist Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                            11 Best Tennis Elbow Exercises For Pain Free Mobility [PDF]

                                                                                                                                                                                              While standing up straight or sitting tall, extend your right arm forward to shoulder height with your fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Grab your right fingers with your left hand, and pull your right hand to bend the wrist until you can feel the stretch. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite arm.

                                                                                                                                                                                              7. Side Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                                Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take your right arm and reach over your head towards your left side while bending your side. Keep bending your side slowly until you can feel a stretch on your right side. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                The muscles down your side body are notoriously difficult to stretch out. This is one of the best static stretches to try on a consistent basis to get them loosened up.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                8. Abdominal Static Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lie down on your stomach with your face towards the ground and your palms facing the floor as though you’re about to do a push up. While keeping your pelvis firmly on the floor, gently push your upper body up from the ground. This should make your feel some stretch in your abs. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  9. Reclined Spinal Twist

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Supta Matsyendrasana - Supine Spinal Twist - Yogaasan
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lie down, with your arms extended to the sides and placed on the floor. While keeping the right leg straight, pull up your left knee towards your chest, tilt it toward your right side, and then drop it slowly over your extended right leg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Keep your shoulder blades flat on the ground, and you should feel the stretch around your back. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    10. Knees to Chest

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Knee-to-chest exercise from Physical Therapists' Advice to Manage Pain at Home - The Active Times

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lie on the ground facing the ceiling, with your knees bent. Hold your shins, and pull your knees toward your chest. This should make you feel some stretch in your lower back. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing. If you’re looking to loosen up your back muscles, this is one of the static stretches you can do daily.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      11. Hip Flexor Static Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                                      How to Do the Standing Lunge Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stand upright in a standard lunge position, and place your two hands on your hips. Step out on your right foot into mini-lunge position, without your knee going beyond your right toe. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        12. Figure 4 Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                                        How to Do a Figure 4 Stretch | Openfit

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sit tall on the ground with both knees bent and both feet on the floor. Lift your right leg and cross it over your left thigh, while your left knee remains bent. Pull both legs inwards toward your abdomen for a deep stretch of your glutes. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          13. Standing Quad Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stand tall while maintaining a straight posture. With your left hand, grab a pole, wall, or anything durable for balance. With your right hand, grab your right foot and pull up your heels until they touch your buttocks.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Keep your knees close together while doing this, push your hip forward, and you should feel the stretch in your quadriceps. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other side. This is one of the best static stretches for the quads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            14. Hamstring Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sit on the floor with your right leg extended straight in front of you and your left leg bent. Reach forward with your right hand, and touch your right toes. This should cause a stretch in your right hamstring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the left leg. If you’re unable to reach your toes, try holding your shin instead, but seek to go further every time you perform the stretch until you can touch your toes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              15. Calf Stretch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sit on the ground and extend your right foot straight in front of you. Gently pull your right toes backwards with your right hand. This should cause a noticeable stretch in your calf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left leg, if you’re unable to reach your toes, use a rope or towel to pull your toes inward.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bonus: Stretch With a Resistance Band

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Resistance bands offer a unique benefit from free weights and create tension throughout your movement. Get the free 30 Day Resistance Band Full Workout Challenge, and challenge yourself to stretch with a resistance band.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                When Should You Do Static Stretches?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Static stretching is great when done correctly and at the right time. Over the years, research has shown that static stretching produces best results when done after working out or on rest days,[6] but not as a part of warm up routines before an explosive workout session.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is because static stretches have a cool-down effect on each muscle group and are more effective when done after the muscles are already warm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                That doesn’t mean you must never ever perform static stretches before working out, but do it sparingly. Dynamic stretches, which involve more movement, are generally recommended for warming up as it helps the body prepare better for the work ahead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Bottom Line

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Carving out the body of your dreams isn’t only about lifting weights and running. You need to keep your body “elastic” if you’re going to make the most of your training, and that’s the whole point of static stretches.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Starting today, be sure to incorporate these static stretching exercises into your routine, and in no time, you’ll find yourself recovering faster and performing better than ever before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                More Tips on Stretching

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Reference

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