Looking for an Easy Stretching Routine? Try This

You'll improve your flexibility, loosen up and lengthen your muscles, and feel more limber after you try these moves.

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First: Overall Stretch

First: Overall StretchThinkstock
Standing up, reach your arms to the ceiling; hold for five to 10 seconds. Bend to one side; hold again. Straighten and bend to the other side. Tip: Reach for tightness, not pain, with any stretching routine. In other words, stretch until you feel resistance, but don't push so far that you hurt yourself.

Neck Stretch

Neck StretchGoodshoot RF/Thinkstock
Lower your chin to your chest and roll your head gently from side to side. Tip: Press, don't bounce. Move slowly into any stretch and hold it for five to 10 seconds. Never bounce into a stretch; you can tear muscle fibers.

Shoulder Stretch

Shoulder StretchThinkstock
Reach your right arm across your chest and over your shoulder, placing your hand on your shoulder blade if you can. Hold for five to 10 seconds, then switch. Tip: Be symmetrical: Whatever you stretch out on one side of your body, stretch out on the other.

Back Stretch

Back StretchRyan McVay/Thinkstock
Lie down on your back and bring both knees to your chest. Grasp your hands around your knees and gently pull your legs closer to your chest. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Tip: Stretch after exercise! That's when your muscles are warm, which is the best time to improve your flexibility.

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