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26 Flexibility Exercises for Beginners

Flexibility refers to the ability of our muscles and joints to move through a full range of motion. Having good flexibility offers a multitude of benefits, including improved posture, enhanced athletic performance, reduced risk of injuries, and increased joint mobility. 

If you’re an athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or someone simply looking to improve their quality of life, flexibility exercises should be an essential part of your fitness regimen.

For beginners, it’s important to start with exercises that gradually and safely improve flexibility. The following exercises are specifically designed with beginners in mind, allowing them to gently stretch and increase their flexibility over time. 


Beginner-friendly Stretches

Forward Lunge

Flexibility Exercises
  • Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a big step or lunge forward with your left leg, keeping your left foot flat on the floor.
  • Bend your left knee and lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the ground, and your left knee is directly above your ankle.
  • Your right knee can lightly touch the ground or hover above it.
  • Push through your left heel and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the same steps, this time lunge forward with your right leg.
  • Alternate between your left and right leg to complete a set.

Upper Body Chest Stretch

Stretches to “Un-desk” Your Body - Chest Opening Stretches
  • Stand tall with your feet wide apart.
  • Bring your arms behind you and interlock your fingers.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you straighten your arms and lift your chest.
  • Feel the stretch in your chest and shoulders.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds while breathing deeply.
  • Release the stretch and repeat as desired.

Side-Lying Quad Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Side-Lying Quad Stretch
  • Lie on your left side with your legs straight.
  • Bend your right knee and grab your right ankle or foot with your right hand.
  • Gently pull your foot towards your glutes, feeling the stretch in the front of your thigh (quad).
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds.
  • Release the stretch and repeat on the opposite leg.

Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

Stretches to “Un-desk” Your Body - Hip Flexor Stretches
  • Start by kneeling on the floor with your left knee and place your right foot flat on the ground in front of you.
  • Keep your torso straight and engage your core.
  • Shift your weight forward onto your right foot, allowing your left hip and thigh to stretch.
  • You should feel a stretch in the front of your left hip.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then switch to the opposite leg.

Side Lunges

Flexibility Exercises - side lunge
  • Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart and toes pointing forward.
  • Take a wide step to the right side with your right foot, bending your right knee and pushing your hips back.
  • Keep your left leg straight and both feet flat on the ground.
  • Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground.
  • Push or lunge forward through your right heel and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the same steps, stepping to the left side with your left foot.
  • Alternate between right and left side lunges to complete a set.

Standing Quad Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Standing Quad Stretch
  • To perform the standing quad stretch, stand straight with your feet wide apart.
  • Lift your left foot off the ground and bend your left knee, bringing your heel towards your glutes.
  • Reach back with your left hand and grab your left ankle or foot.
  • Slowly pull your foot towards your glutes, feeling the stretch in the front of your left thigh (quad).
  • Hold the standing quad stretch for 15-30 seconds and then switch to the opposite leg.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Standing Hamstring Stretch
  • Stand straight with your feet wide apart.
  • Take a slight step forward with your left foot.
  • Keep your left leg straight and hinge forward at the hips, reaching towards your toes or the ground.
  • Feel the stretch in the back of your left thigh (hamstring).
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then switch to the opposite leg.

Standing Calf Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Standing Calf Stretch
  • Stand facing a wall or sturdy object.
  • Place both hands against the wall at shoulder height for support.
  • Take a step back with your left foot flexed and keep your left heel flat on the ground.
  • Bend your right knee and lean forward, keeping your left leg straight.
  • Feel the stretch in your left calf muscle.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then switch to the opposite leg.

Overhead Triceps Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Overhead Triceps Stretch
  • Stand straight with your feet wide apart.
  • Raise your left arm straight overhead and bend it at the elbow, loosening muscles on the upper arms.
  • Place your left hand behind your head, between your shoulder blades.
  • With your right hand, reach behind your back and gently hold onto your elbow to the left.
  • Slowly pull your elbow towards your right side, feeling the stretch in your left triceps.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then switch to the right elbow or arms.

Standing Hip Circles

Flexibility Exercises - Standing Hip Circles
  • Stand with your feet wide apart and place your hands on your hips.
  • Begin by circling your hips clockwise in a smooth and controlled motion.
  • Make sure to engage your core and keep your torso stable.
  • After several rotations, switch to counterclockwise hip circles.
  • Perform the circles for about 30 seconds in each direction, gradually increasing the size of the circles.

Back Flexion Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Back Flexion Stretch
  • Start in a standing position with your feet wide apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Bend forward at the waist, allowing your upper body to hang loosely.
  • Let your arms dangle towards the floor and relax your neck.
  • Feel the stretch in your upper and lower back as you gently lean forward.
  • Hold the position for 15-30 seconds while breathing deeply.
  • Slowly return to an upright position.

Wall Pectoral Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Wall Pectoral Stretch
  • Stand facing a wall and extend your right arm out to the side at shoulder height.
  • Place your right palm flat against the wall with your fingers pointing backward.
  • Slowly rotate your body to the left, away from the wall, until you feel a stretch in your right pectoral muscle (chest).
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds while keeping your shoulders relaxed.
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side, extending your left arm and rotating your body to the right.

Single Heel Drop Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Single Heel Drop Stretch
  • Stand near a wall or sturdy support for balance.
  • Lift your right leg off the ground with your feet flexed.
  • Slowly lower your right heel towards the floor while keeping your leg straight.
  • Feel the stretch in your calf muscle.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then switch the right leg with the other leg.

Seated Spinal Twist

Flexibility Exercises - Seated Spinal Twist
  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  • Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the floor, near your left knee.
  • Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee or top leg and gently twist your upper body to the right.
  • Keep your right arm extended behind you for support.
  • Feel the stretch in your spine and torso.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite leg.

Butterfly Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Butterfly Stretch
  • Sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to bend open to the sides.
  • Hold onto your ankles or feet with your hands.
  • Sit up tall and gently press your knees towards the floor.
  • Feel the stretch in your inner thigh and groin.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds while maintaining an upright posture.

Seated Inner Thigh Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Seated Inner Thigh Stretch
  • Sit on the floor with your legs extended wide apart.
  • Keep your feet flexed and your toes pointing upward.
  • Lean forward from your hips, reaching towards your feet with your hands.
  • Feel the stretch in your inner thigh or until you feel the tension in the quad muscles.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds while maintaining a comfortable position.

Eagle Arm Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Eagle Arm Stretch
  • Start by standing tall with your feet wide apart.
  • Extend your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height.
  • Cross your right arm over your left arm at the elbow.
  • Bend your elbows and bring your palms together, if possible.
  • Lift your elbows while keeping your shoulders relaxed and your chest up.
  • Feel the stretch in your upper back and shoulders.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then switch to the right elbow or arm.

Seated Shoulder Squeeze

Flexibility Exercises - Seated Shoulder Squeeze
  • Sit on a chair or mat with your back straight.
  • Reach your arms behind you and interlock your fingers.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blade together while keeping your chest lifted.
  • Feel the stretch in your upper back and shoulders.
  • Hold the squeeze for 15-30 seconds while breathing deeply.

90/90 Stretch

Flexibility Exercises 
 - 90/90 Stretch
  • Sit on the floor with your right leg extended straight in front of you.
  • Bend your left leg at the knee and place your foot on the outside of your thigh.
  • Rotate your torso to the left and place your left hand on the floor behind you for support.
  • Gently twist your upper body to the left, reaching your right arm towards the outside of your left knee.
  • Feel the stretch in your spine, hips, outer thigh, and each leg.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite leg.

Reclining Bound Angle Pose

Flexibility Exercises - Reclining Bound Angle Pose
  • Lie down on your back on a mat or comfortable surface.
  • Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to fall open to the sides.
  • Gently press your knees towards the floor, feeling the stretch in your inner thighs and groin.
  • Keep your arms relaxed by your sides or rest your hands on your belly.
  • Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds while breathing deeply.

Bridge Pose

Flexibility Exercises - Bridge Pose
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, wide apart.
  • Place your arms alongside your body, palms on the floor.
  • Press through your feet and lift your hips off the floor, engaging your glutes and core muscles.
  • Keep your thighs parallel to each other and your knees directly above your ankles.
  • Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds, feeling the stretch in your hips and thighs.
  • Gently lower your hips back down to the floor.

Thoracic Spine Rotation

Flexibility Exercises - Thoracic Spine Rotation
  • Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you.
  • Bend your right knee and cross your right foot over your left leg, placing it on the floor outside your left thigh.
  • Place your left hand on the ground behind you for support.
  • Reach your right arm across your body and hook your elbow on the outside of your knee.
  • Gently twist your torso to the right, looking over your right shoulder.
  • Feel the stretch along your thoracic spine (mid-back).
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Knee to Chest Stretch

Flexibility Exercises - Knee to Chest Stretch
  • To perform the knee to chest, lie on your back on a mat or comfortable surface.
  • Bend both knees and bring them towards your chest.
  • Interlace your fingers or grasp your shins to hold your knees in position.
  • Carefully pull your knees closer to your chest, feeling the stretch in your lower back and glutes.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds while maintaining a relaxed breathing pattern.

Reclined Pigeon Pose

Flexibility Exercises - Reclined Pigeon Pose
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross your right ankle over your left thigh, just above the knee.
  • Reach your hands through the gap between your legs and interlace your fingers behind your left thigh.
  • Slowly pull your left thigh towards your chest, feeling the stretch in your right hip and glutes.
  • Keep your shoulder muscles relaxed and your head and neck resting on the ground.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then switch legs.

Cobra Pose

Flexibility Exercises - Cobra Pose
  • Lie face down on a yoga mat with your legs straight behind you.
  • Place your palms flat on the floor next to your shoulders, fingers pointing forward.
  • Press through your hands and slowly lift your chest off the ground, straightening your arms.
  • Keep your legs and hips on the floor, engaging your core muscles.
  • Feel the stretch in your chest, shoulders, and the front of your body.
  • Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds while keeping your shoulder muscles relaxed.

Child Pose

Flexibility Exercises - Child Pose
  • Kneel on the floor with your knees bend and your toes touching.
  • Sit back on your heels and lower your torso towards the floor, extending your arms in front of you.
  • Rest your forehead on the mat and allow your chest to sink towards your thighs.
  • Feel the stretch in your back, hips, and shoulders.
  • Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds while taking slow, deep breaths.

How Can a Beginner Improve Flexibility?

As a beginner, you can improve flexibility by incorporating a regular stretching routine into your daily or weekly exercise schedule. Start with static stretches, which involve holding a stretch for a certain period of time without bouncing. These stretches help increase the range of motion and target specific muscle groups such as the hip flexors, inner thighs, and quadriceps. These areas tend to be tight for many individuals.

You can also explore different dynamic stretches and poses that target various muscle groups and promote overall flexibility, such as the standing quad stretch, forward lunges, and chest lies.

Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your stretches over time to achieve a deeper stretch. However, it’s important to avoid pushing beyond your comfort zone to prevent joint pain or injury.

Remember that improving flexibility is a gradual process, so be patient and consistent in your efforts. With time and practice, you’ll notice improvements in your flexibility.


What Are 5 Activities for Flexibility?

The following activities have the ability to target multiple muscle groups, promote flexibility in key areas such as the hip joints, thighs, and spine, and provide a balanced approach to overall flexibility training: 

Standing Quad Stretch 

The standing quad stretch targets the quadriceps and hip flexors, which are commonly tight in many individuals. By stretching tight hips and quadriceps, you can improve flexibility and enhance overall lower body mobility.

Forward Lunge

This dynamic stretch not only stretches the hip flexors and quadriceps but also engages the hamstrings and calf muscles as you lunge forward. Forward lunge promotes a wider motion in the lower body and helps improve flexibility in multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

Seated Spinal Twist

The seated spinal twist stretches the muscles along the spine and promotes mobility in the thoracic spine. This exercise also helps alleviate back pains and promotes a healthy posture.

Static Stretches

Static stretching, such as the hamstring and quad stretch, allows for targeted stretching of specific muscle groups. These stretches promote deeper flexibility and motion in specific areas of the body.

Yoga Poses

Participating in yoga classes or incorporating yoga poses into your routine can greatly improve overall flexibility. Pose stretches such as the downward-facing dog, cobra pose, and seated forward bend provide a comprehensive stretch for the entire body, targeting multiple muscle groups and promoting flexibility from head to toe.


Final Note

Beginners should prioritize flexibility training or stretching exercises as they embark on their fitness journey, as it sets the stage for further progress in strength, endurance, and overall physical performance.

By improving flexibility, individuals can experience numerous advantages, such as better posture, increased range of motion, and reduced muscle tension. However, consistency is key. By committing to regular practice, beginners will gradually notice improvements in their flexibility and overall fitness levels.