There are lots of online resources out there for beginners who would like to improve their flexibility. You can probably find a new flexibility routine to follow for each day. The key is to stay consistent and make sure you stretch for at least 15 minutes every single day.
I decided to work on my flexibility as a beginner in January 2021. Now I can do the front splits, my wheel looks pretty good and I am working on my king pigeon. If you are just getting started and would like a full-body beginner flexibility routine, this post is for you. The video routine below includes my favorite multipurpose stretches.
If you would like a step-by-step program that will take you from stiff to bendy in a matter of months, then, I recommend you check out my 3-phase program, Moving With Intention.
How to Improve Your Flexibitily for Beginners
Here’s a quick overview of some of my favorite stretches you will find in my full-body beginner routine. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds.
Sit on the mat and bring your feet together. Keep your spine straight and you move your upper body forward to feel the stretch in your inner hips. The soles of your feet don’t have to stay glued together. You can let them open up towards the ceiling.
Chest and Shoulder Stretch
Stretching your chest and shoulders is an important component of any full-body flexibility routine. You can do the chest and shoulder stretch either standing or sitting. Extend one arm up and bend at the elbow. Take the other arm and place your hand on the bent elbow to press your bent arm back and feel the stretch at the tricep and shoulder.
The pigeon pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) is one of the most multipurpose stretches I know. it will stretch your inner hips, your hip flexors, your quads, and your back.
Bring one leg forward as if going into a deep lunge (with both hands on the mat) but take your knee down on the outside of the same hand. As you bend your knee, the straight leg will be lowered down on the mat. Your bent leg may be at a 90-degree angle with your shin parallel to the top of your mat or you may bring your foot closer to the hip with the straight leg.
Keep your hips square, and lift your upper body up through your chest. You will likely feel the stretch int your lower back as well as in your legs.
The forward fold, whether wide-legged or not, is an effective stretch that is accessible for beginners. Beginners may use yoga blocks to rest their hands on if they cannot reach the floor. The standing forward fold stretches your hamstrings, but the wide-legged forward fold (about 3 feet apart) stretches your inner hips.
The cobra pose is an excellent back flexibility exercise that works well for beginners who want to improve their flexibility because it can easily be adapted to suit your level. Lie prone on the mat and bring your arms in front of you at a 90-degree angle. If you feel the stretch, stay there. If you want more, straighten your arms to lift your upper body higher. Your legs, hips, and feet are staying flat on the mat.
Half Side Splits
My full-body beginner flexibility routine includes many great stretches and I found it difficult to narrow it down to my six favorites. The last one was particularly hard to pick. I ended up settling on the half side splits because it not only stretches your inner hips as well as the whole back of your legs but you can also use it to stretch your side body.
Kneel on the mat and straighten one leg to your side into a side splits. Stretch your straight leg as far as you can and feel your inner thigh stretch. Lift your upper body as you lower the right hand (if your right leg is the straight one) slowly down towards your right foot. Lift your left hand up and pull straight toward your right as you feel the stretch in your left side body.