Total Body Stretches


Proper total body stretches are essential for any workout routine, and promote overall strength and flexibility. In this article, you'll learn total body stretches: how to stretch safely and effectively for each key group of muscles, from the abdominals to the quadriceps.

This page will begin with stretches for the lower back. Lower back stretches ease tension in this high-stress spot, while also gently exercising your muscles. The movement involves bringing the knees in toward the center of the body.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by laying on your back, hands comfortably at your sides.

Step 2

Use hands to gently pull knees into body and up towards your chest.

Step 3

Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

How to Do Lower Back and Hamstring Stretches

Lower back and hamstring stretches target multiple key parts of the body, and proper form will help to avoid injury. The exercise requires extending the legs upward, away from the rest of the body.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by lying on your back, hands behind your knees.

Step 2

Slowly extend your legs up to the ceiling to straighten them out.

Step 3

Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do Back and Hamstring Stretches

The back and hamstring muscles are important for many physical activities, including running, cycling, and aerobics. The exercise below stretches these muscles in a modified sitting position.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by sitting up straight, legs out in front of you.

Step 2

Exhale as you slowly reach forward towards your feet and tuck your head in gently.

Step 3

Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

How to Do Inner Thigh and Hamstring Stretches

Work two major leg muscles with this exercise, which combines inner thigh and hamstring stretches. The movement requires bringing the upper half of the body towards the floor.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by sitting up straight, legs out to sides.

Step 2

Exhale as you slowly reach forward and tuck your head in gently.

Step 3

Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do Hamstring Stretches

The hamstring stretch is a vigorous warmup, useful preparation for an aerobics, running, or cycling session. The movement requires reaching the hands towards the feet.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown.

Step 2

Stretch both hands to your left.

Step 3

Stretch both hands to your right.

Step 4

Hold both sides for 10 to 15 seconds.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do Quadriceps Stretches

This quadriceps stretch works the upper leg and helps build strength and flexibility before a workout. The movement requires holding the leg behind the back while lying on the floor.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by laying face down on the floor.

Step 2

Bend at the knee and gently hold the top of your foot to stretch the front of your thigh.

Step 3

Repeat both sides and hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do Abdominal Stretches and Lower Back Strengtheners

Warm up before a workout with this abdominal stretch and lower back strengthener. The movement requires stretching the body in a cobra position.

Step 1

Assume start position as shown by laying face down on the floor, hands directly under your shoulders.

Step 2

Use your hands to push yourself up into a cobra position.

Step 3

Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

How to Do Full Body Stretches

The full body stretch makes use of an exercise ball to help achieve full extension from head to toe. This exercise strengthens the back.

Step 1

Start by sitting on appropriate sized ball.

Step 2

Walk your legs forward and stretch your hands up overhead as you support your body on the ball.

Step 3

Hold stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lottie Olson is a nationally certified personal trainer with 10 years of experience in fitness and personal training. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh with a B.S. in Exercise Science and Fitness Management.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.