If you'd like to drop a few pounds, stretching for weight loss is an excellent way to get started!
Believe it or not, stretching isn't just about getting your muscles and body ready for exercise.
Stretching for weight loss is a genuine concept that can boost fat-burning, improve balance, and prevent injuries.
Below are some great stretches that you should incorporate into your fitness regime!
Here are 10 stretches that you should be doing every day!
Stretching For Weight Loss: 10 Great Stretches You Need to Be Doing!
Standing Quadriceps Stretches
Standing stretches tend to burn a significant number of calories, as well as improve balance and flexibility.
Add standing quadriceps stretches to your stretching for weight loss routine to get slim and trim in addition to reducing the risk of injuries.
To complete the exercise, stand up straight, bend one of your knees, and lift the bent leg up behind your body.
Pull your foot upward behind you until you feel a slight stretch in your quadriceps muscles.
If needed, place the other arm out in front of your body to help you balance.
Hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds and repeat with the opposite leg.
Alternate legs again to complete another 1-2 sets of standing quadriceps stretching for weight loss.
Alternating Standing Side Lunges
To do standing side lunges as part of a stretching for weight loss program, begin in a standing position.
Keep one leg straight and bend the other leg to lunge down and to the side until you feel the tension in your straight leg.
Your toes should face forward.
Hold this side lunge stretch for at least 20 seconds and repeat by straightening your other leg and lunging to the opposite side.
Complete at least 2-3 sets of each stretch.
You might also choose dynamic standing lunges by lunging from side to side, slowly and continuously, at least 10 times per side.
Repeat this series of stretches 1-2 more times.
Front, Side, and Back Kicks
Front, side, and back kicks burn extra calories in addition to improving balance and flexibility.
Begin in a standing position and keep your legs straight.
Kick out in front of your body as far as you can and back down.
If you'd like, freeze the kick position for a second or two using your arms to hold your leg in place.
Repeat a front kick with your opposite leg and alternate continuously.
Next, do a similar exercise but lift your leg (keep it straight) out to the side of your body and back down, one leg at a time, in an alternating fashion.
Finally, kick backward by lifting your leg up and behind your body (keep your leg as straight as you can) and back down.
Alternate right and left back kicks, continuously, at least 10 times.
Squeeze your glutes each time you lift up to tone your lower body in addition to improving balance and flexibility.
Squat to Stretch
This next flexibly exercise combines a squat with a stretch.
It improves your flexibility and tightens and tones the glutes and thighs.
Simply stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
Squat down until your fingers touch the ground (or nearly touch the ground) and your thighs are about parallel with the floor.
Stand up and reach up and to the right with your arms extended as far as they'll go.
Squat back down, stand up, and reach up toward the left this time.
Repeat alternating squat-to-stretch motions at least 10 times, rest, and repeat.
To complete knee hugs, stand up straight.
Bend your right knee and bring it up toward your chest.
Hug your bent knee.
Hold the position for a few seconds and lower your leg back down to the starting position.
Complete the same stretch with your left knee and alternate between right and left knee hugs until you do at least 10 repetitions.
Complete this stretch at least 1-2 more times.
To complete stretching for weight loss using superman stretches, lie down on your stomach with your arms extended out in front of your body and your legs straight behind you.
While remaining in a face-down position, lift your legs, arms, shoulders, and head (keep your arms and leg straight) as high as you can off of the floor.
Hold the position for a few seconds, lower your arms and legs back down to the ground, and repeat superman stretches at least 10 times.
Open-and-Close Leg Raises
If you're familiar with leg raises, this exercise works on your flexibility in addition to toning your abdominal muscles.
Begin by lying down on your back with your legs straight.
Raise your legs off of the floor slightly and spread them apart as far as you can and back together, continuously, at least 10 times.
If you'd like to, place your hands on your inner thighs and hold to create a deeper stretch each time you spread your legs apart.
Repeat the stretch at least 1-2 more times.
T-Planks work your core and are excellent exercises for increasing flexibility in addition to strength.
Begin in a plank position with your arms fully extended.
Turn your body and lift one of your arms, aiming it straight up to the ceiling, until it's perpendicular to the floor and forms a “T-shape” with the rest of your body.
Hold the position for a second or two and return to a plank position.
Repeat the stretch with your other arm and alternate between raising your right and left arms continuously at least 10 times.
Take a break and complete another set or two.
Standing Hamstring Stretches
There are several ways to complete standing hamstring stretches.
You might stand up with your legs straight and bend at your waist until your hands (or fingers) touch the floor.
Hold this position for at least 20 seconds, stand up straight, and repeat the stretch at least 1-2 more times.
You might also complete hamstring stretches, one leg at a time, while in a standing position.
Place one leg out in front of your body (keep it straight).
Bend the other leg to lower your body down until you feel the tension in your hamstring.
Hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds and repeat.
Standing Straddle Stretch
To complete a standing straddle stretch for weight loss, keep your body in an upright position and lower yourself into a straddle position, as close to the ground as you can get.
You might even be able to do the splits, especially after stretching on a regular basis.
If you can't do the splits, simply lower your body as far as you can with your hands touching the floor.
Your legs should form a V-shape with each other (unless you're able to do the splits).
Hold this stretch for at least 20 seconds, take a rest, and repeat straddle stretches at least 1-2 more times.
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on stretching for weight loss.