10 Unique Stretch Routines to Make You As Flexible As a Cat in 3 Short Weeks

Stretching

Looking to get flexible?

You’re absolutely in the right place.

Stretching comes down to consistency and determination. With the right routine and mindset, you’ll be flexible as a cat in no time!

Check out our top 10 stretching exercises below.

1. Cat-cow stretch

To warm up your spine and begin working on the flexibility of your back, neck, and shoulders, the Cat-Cow stretch is a great place to begin.

The ability to extend and stretch your spine is required for the release of tension over time.

To begin:

  • Get on your hands with your shoulders, wrists, and elbows in line and onto your knees.
  • Arch your back with your stomach dropping to the floor as you raise your head up towards the sky making the cow position.
  • Pause and hold this position for a few seconds
  • Slowly bring your stomach inward and round your back up into the cat position. 
  • Repeat at least 10 times leaning deeper into the stretch each time. 

2. Back extension stretch

Sometimes called the “cobra” stretch as you look like a snake when raised, the back extension stretch is able to release stress in both your back and hips simultaneously. 

  • Begin by lying down flat on your stomach.
  • Keeping your stomach on the ground, come up to your elbows and then to your hands with your hips still on the ground. (You should look like a cobra snake coming up into a defense position.)
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Allow yourself to come back to the ground to rest for a moment.
  • Repeat 3 times. 

3. Bridge stretch 

To stretch your neck, spine, thighs, hips, and core all at the same time, do the bridge stretch by:

  • Lying on your back with your knees bent upward and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Raise your hips up towards the sky keeping your shoulders on the floor. 
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Allow yourself to come back to the ground to rest for a moment.
  • Repeat 3 times.

4. Side angle stretch 

Our sides and obliques are often neglected when stretching. To stretch multiple muscles in your core, along the spine, in your hamstrings, abs, and obliques, do the side angel stretch. 

  • Start with your feet spread wider than hip-width apart, about 5 feet between. 
  • Stand with your arms out, parallel to the ground.
  • Begin bending at the knee while leaning to your side, resting your elbow on your knee. 
  • Bring your opposite arm towards the sky creating a straight line with your arms.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds. 
  • To increase the stretch, lower your hand to the floor behind your foot.
  • Return to center, standing.
  • Repeat on the other side.

5. Extended puppy stretch

To stretch your entire upper body simultaneously including your back, shoulder, and arms, do the extended puppy stretch. 

  • Begin on all fours with your shoulders above your hands and your hips directly above your knees. 
  • Bring your hands forward slowly as you lower your chest to the floor.
  • Lower your body to the floor and extend your shoulders while keeping your arms off the floor. 
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds. 
  • Return to your starting position. 
  • Repeat 3 times. 

6. Side lunge stretch 

As basic as your side lunge stretch may be, you’re able to open up your groin, hips, and leg muscles by:

  • Standing straight with your feet spread wider than shoulder-width, about 5 feet.
  • Begin to transfer the weight of your body to one side while bending the same knee.
  • Lunge down into a bent knee position on one side while maintaining your balance.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Switch to the other side for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 2 more times. 

7. Seated hamstring stretch 

Your hamstrings are important to your range of motion within your legs. To stretch out your hamstrings:

  • Sit on the floor with your feet straight out in front of you with your back up straight.
  • Raise your arms above your head and begin to lean forward reaching as far as you can while still keeping your legs straight.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds with your toes pointed.
  • Raise your arms back up as you rise back into your starting position.
  • Repeat 3 times. 

8. Hurdler hamstring stretch 

Continuing to work your hamstrings, do the hurdler hamstring stretch by:

  • Sitting on the floor with one leg bent and brought in with your foot near the opposite inner thigh and the other straight out.
  • Raise your arms above your head and begin to lean forward towards your straightened leg.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds pulling back on the top of your foot if possible.
  • Repeat on the opposite leg. 

9. Seated straddle stretch 

A simple yet effective stretch for the inner and outer sides of your legs to increase in flexibility is the seated straddle stretch, and it may be the one you’re most familiar with. 

  • Begin by sitting on the floor in a seated position.
  • With one leg bent, straighten the other as far as you can.
  • Extend your arms out in front of you as far as you can, reaching further out as you grab your extended foot and pull up. 
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds. 

10. Seated spinal twist 

To increase the flexibility in your spine, do the seated spinal twist to also increase the flexibility in your shoulders and chest by: 

  • Sitting on the floor with one foot out in front of you and the other one bent with your foot flat on the floor. 
  • Take the opposite hand of the leg that is flat and place it behind you for support flat on the floor. 
  • With the knee that is bent, place it over your straight leg.
  • Take the opposite arm and elbow (the one not on the ground) across your bent knee while twisting your core.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this same position on the opposite side. 

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