Our Favorite 5 Stretches That You Can Do Anytime, Anywhere

April 05, 2022

“I heard on a podcast that stretching doesn’t work… Does stretching work?”

This is a question that I received from a patient just this past week. While being a staple modality for overall fitness, stretching has certainly become controversial over the last ten years.

Therefore, I am going to get right to the point that tells you that stretching does indeed work as long as abide by these two principles:

  1. Be consistent.
    You can’t claim that brushing your teeth doesn’t work in maintaining good oral health when you only brush every now and then. Stretching is no different. If you want to improve flexibility in a certain area – you need to be intentionally stretching most days of the week.
  2. Are you strong enough to stretch?
    Your brain will never increase the range of motion of a joint if it feels that it will expose a weakness and increase the likelihood of injury. Take your hamstrings for instance. A lot of professionals who sit for hours on end and have a sedentary lifestyle may not find much success with stretching because their brain is holding tension around a joint to keep it stable and protected. This might be fine and well until the professional decides one day to go for a run and ends up tearing their hamstring because the muscle was tight and not strong enough to handle the stress. Bottom line, if you want to lengthen a muscle, you also need to work on strengthening it or you  will never increase your flexibility over the long term.


Now that we go that out of the way – below are our Top 5 Stretches that you can do anytime, anywhere. Remember, these are only as good as the consistency behind them.


Stretch #1: Hip Hinge


Sets/ Reps: 2 x 10

Note: You should notice that your range of motion slightly increases with each rep. Keep focusing on feeling a deep stretch in your hamstrings. You may be sore in the hamstring the next day the first few times you do this drill. That’s ok! Remember, you have to incorporate strength if you want to improve length.


Stretch #2: Psoas Stretch


Sets/ Reps: 3 x 20-30 seconds

Note: Stay connected to your glute on the side you are stretching. If you can’t engage your glute as you draw your hip forward – you are bringing your hip too far.


Stretch #3: Hip Swivels

Sets/ Reps: 3 minutes

Notes: Go slower than you think you should. Every time you hinge forward over your leading thigh, take at least five breaths. From there, slowly separate your knees and pause for a few seconds when you’ve hit your end range.


Stretch #4: Pecs Stretch

Sets/ Reps: 3 x 20-30 seconds

Note: Keep your rib cage down and core strong the entire time. To accentuate the stretch, I commonly see athletes arch their lower back. This defeats the purpose of stretching and creates a false sense of improvement.


Stretch #5: Scalene Stretch 

Sets/ Reps: 2 x 10

Note: Focus on belly breaths throughout the day. One of the reasons why the front of our neck gets tight is because most of us are chest breathers. We take about 25,000 – 28,000 breaths per day, and when we breathe into our chest, our collar bones elevate and the muscles can become short and tight. Instead, focus on breathing three-dimensionally into the waistband of your pants as you inhale. Yes, your chest may rise a little at the end but it will be far less than when you were breathing before.


In Summary

In conclusion, stretching does work!  However, you have to be a faithful subscriber to the tenets above and not believe everything you hear. 🙂 We hope you have found this blog beneficial and ask that you have shared this information with a friend that is dealing with tightness or confusion around stretching.