Tight shoulders lead to tight backs and necks, and make you look like you’re carrying the weight of the world around, which—in case you’re in any doubt—isn’t attractive.
These three shoulder stretches deliver a lot of bang for buck, especially when done together. We won’t sugar coat this, if you’ve been ignoring flexibility in your shoulders these stretches will hurt. They’re the feel-good-after-you-stop kind of stretches. But, hey, if it didn’t hurt, everyone would stretch all the time and you wouldn’t need to read this. The trick is to hold these stretches for as long as you can, without forcing them, and do them regularly. If you stretch it, flexibility will come.
Here’s a little known fact (judging from the number of people we see trying to stretch their hamstrings by reaching, in vain, for their toes): unless you’re already flexible enough to grab your toes and pull yourself down, a forward bend isn’t going to do that much for you and your hamstrings.
What will help is a progressive, three-part hamstring stretch. Luckily for you, we’ve got one of those right here. It’s designed to isolate your hamstrings, so you can get to them, stretch them, and deepen that stretch. Tight hamstrings can lead to all kinds of problems, including lower back problems, and they can limit your form and performance in other sports—and that sucks. Don’t let your hamstrings limit you. Lengthen them instead.