Having good flexibility can improve your sports performance and reduce your risk of injury (it also applies to life in general, not just sport). For example, who do you think will be the better soccer player: the person who can kick head-height, or the one who can kick hip-height? Who do you think is more likely to be injured: the rugby player who stretched his whole body, or the one who has tight hamstrings? If you can see the benefits of a whole body stretching routine, then read on for a printable sheet of 25 exercises covering the whole body.
Recommended Length and Frequency
As was found in our previous article, 30 seconds per muscle is optimal and frequency of 3-7 times per week is recommended.
Upper Body (~15 minutes)
Follow stretches 1 through 14 in the image above.
- Neck Flexion/Extension Stretch
- Neck Lateral Flexion Stretch
- Latissimus Dorsi and Posterior Deltoid Stretch
- Triceps Stretch
- Shoulder Rotator Stretch
- Pectoral Stretch at 90 and 120 Degrees
- Bicep Stretch
- Supraspinatus Stretch
- Wrist Extensor Stretch
- Thoracic Extension Stretch
- Lateral Flexion Stretch
- Lumbar Extension and Abdominal Stretch
- Lumbar Flexion Stretch
- Lumbar Rotation Stretch
Lower Body (~10 minutes)
Follow stretches 15 through 25 in the image above.
- Lying Hamstring Stretch
- Seated Hamstring Stretch
- Seated Adductor Stretch
- Gluteal Stretch
- Gluteal and Lumbar Rotation Stretch
- Lying Quadriceps Stretch
- Standing Quadriceps Stretch
- Standing Adductor Stretch
- Hip Flexor Stretch
- Tensor Fascia Stretch
- Gastrocnemius Stretch
It’s good to be thorough, as you could get overconfident if you stretch only some muscles and then pull one that you didn’t stretch. Luckily 30 seconds is the optimal stretching time, so it doesn’t take very long to stretch either your upper body, or your lower body, or your whole body.
My personal improvement from this stretching time and frequency was an 8cm improvement in toe-touch reach in 1 month of calf and hamstring stretching. So you can have significant improvements in 1 month, or even greater improvements in 3+ months.
A good yoga mat is recommended to avoid pain from the floor while stretching. Being comfortable will help you to relax into the stretch for maximum improvements.