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10 Stress-Relieving Stretches

Stress is no fun. It's not good for you either. Here are 10 stretches you can try right now to help alleviate stress and feel better. The great thing is, you can do these wherever, whenever, and as often as you like. They may not be stretches you are used to doing, but they will definitely help relieve some built-up tension from all the extra stressors in our daily lives right now.
 

1. Jaw Release

If you often clench your jaw, then this is one that will change your life! 

  • Make fists with both hands.
  • Place knuckles right under the cheekbones.
  • Press knuckles into and under the cheekbones until you feel mild tension. 
  • To advance the stretch, slightly open the jaw.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

2. Side Neck Release

These are great for reducing headaches.

  • Start by standing up tall, with shoulders down and back.
  • Tilt the head directly to the shoulders until you start to feel a stretch on the side that is extended. 
  • Hold that stretch for about 30 seconds then switch to the other side and hold about 30 seconds. 

3. Side Neck to Twist Stretch

You never knew you could love something so much. 

  • Start with the same stretch as the side neck release. 
  • From the end of that stretch, gently turn the chin toward your collar bone until you feel a shift in the stretch.
  • Hold that stretch for 30 seconds per side.  

4. Forward Drop Neck Stretch

Another one for the headaches.

  • Start with your head and shoulders are square while pressing the shoulders down. 
  • Tuck the chin in and descend straight down to the collar bone. 
  • Hold that stretch for 30 seconds. 
     

5. De-Stressed Hug

It’s like a hug and a stretch, but by yourself. 

  • In the seated position, cross your arms as if you’re giving yourself a hug.
  • Push your spine behind you and start to round your back like a roly-poly.
  • Keep your chin tucked in and dig into the stretch.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.  

6. Standing Calf Stretch

For those who sit all day, this is great!

  • Start with both hands on the wall with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • With one leg, take a large step back, keeping the front leg bent. 
  • The back leg should be straight while you are driving the heel into the ground. 
  • Do not slouch during this stretch.
  • Hold that stretch for 30 seconds. 

7. Standing Hamstring Stretch

Your knees will love it!

  • Start by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart. 
  • Soften your knees and keep your spine straight as you push your hips behind you. 
  • Keep going till you feel a stretch behind the legs. 
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. 

8. Standing Quadricep Stretch

More knee love!

  • Stand next to a wall for support.
  • With one hand, grab the top of your foot and gently point your knee to the ground. 
  • As you are pointing your knee, tuck your tail bone under and squeeze your butt cheeks. 
  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.

9. Figure Four Stretch

Great for lower back pain. 

  • Start with lying on your back and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross one ankle over your knee.
  • Grab behind the knee of the leg still on the floor.
  • Pull the knee toward you as far as you can tolerate.
  • Hold for about 30 seconds. 

10. Door Knob Lat Stretch

Perfect for lower back pain!

  • While facing a door, grab the doorknob with both hands.
  • While grabbing the doorknob, bend forward at the hips, pushing your chest down to the floor. 
  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. 

With all the different types of stretches, you may feel some tightness in other areas that are not listed. That’s ok. As long as there is no pinching, you are well on your way to becoming more DE-STRESSED from the struggles of today. 

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About the Author: Formally a Hawaiian Tropic Pageant Queen, Evina Del Pizzo moved to the fitness industry in 2009. She started competing as an amateur Bikini Competitor and eventually worked her way to an Overall NPC Bikini Champion. After finishing her studies at CSUN, Evina became a certified Master Trainer and now is a gym owner. Follow her on Instagram: @evinadelpizzo

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