Experiencing any sort of aching or stiffness in the body is never a pleasant experience. It’s why stretching is so important, because it helps keep us flexible and mobile. While a massage gun can be great to relieve muscle tightness, if you don’t have one then stretching won't cost you a penny. The only problem is we struggle to find the time (*cough* make up excuses) as to why we can't do it, but now you can, as these exercises aren’t complicated and all you need is a wall (so you can even do them in the office).
Using the wall to assist with these stretches allows you to move into them more. It’s also ideal if you’re someone who struggles with balance, as we know some stretches can definitely test this. Whether it’s your back that’s feeling stiff, you’ve got super tight hips, achy glutes or tense shoulders, there’s a stretch in the list that will help.
Here’s what they are:
- Hands elevated spine segmentation — it sounds scarier than it is, simply stand facing the wall and bend down as far as you can so that you’re parallel to the floor. Place your hands on the wall, then inhale and curl your back (so you’re trying to create a hunched back), then exhale as you push your stomach down towards the floor.
- Thoracic rotations — face the wall placing your hands on it and bend down as far as you can, so that you’re parallel to the floor. Take your right hand and grab hold of your left ankle. If you can, turn your head over your left shoulder to look up to the ceiling. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
- Chest to wall extension — face the wall and take a couple of steps backwards. Place your hands on the wall in front of you, then push your hands as far up the wall as you can, pushing your chest towards it too. Slowly bring your hands back to starting position and repeat. Half kneeling chest stretch
- Couch stretch — with you back to the wall, kneel, then take a step forward with your right leg so that you come into a lunge position. Then, instead of leaving your left leg flat on the ground, lean your foot up against the wall with your toes pointing upwards. Hold, then repeat on the other side.
- Half kneeling chest stretch — kneel to the side of the wall then, with your arm closest to the wall, bend it at a 90 degree angle with your hand pointing upwards, bring it behind you and lean it against the wall. You can place your other hand on the wall in front of you for balance. Repeat on the other side.
- Legs up the wall hold — lie with your legs flat up against the wall. Flex your feet, then point them and continue doing this.
- Butterfly — come close to the wall and bring your legs into a 90 degree angle, with your feet against the wall. Take your hands, place them on the inside of your knees and then push them outwards as far as is comfortable and hold.
- Pigeon — come close to the wall and bring your legs into a 90 degree angle, with your feet against the wall. Take your right foot and place it across the top of your left knee. Hold, then repeat on the other side.
If you’re keen to give some other stretches a go, then we’ve got a brilliant 30 second hip mobility stretch or these two bodyweight exercises that help to relieve back pain in as little as two minutes.