Top 5 Best Stretching Exercises of all Time

We have not done one of these in awhile so I thought I would get your opinion on what the best stretching exercises of all time are. The list to chose from is enormous so narrowing it down will most likely come down to simply personal favorites. I am going to try and stay as unbiased as I can and just choose those that I feel will be the most beneficial to the body. This is not going to be easy but should provide for some good conversation if nothing else. 

As usual these will not be in a specific order, just 5 of what I feel are the best for you. 

3450346959_b8eeca1cb1_s1. Cats and Dogs – This one has to be on the list in my opinion. It has so many benefits it is hard to name them all in3450347013_239090b918_s this post but since we are talking about stretching I am putting it here for the ability to enhance the flexion and extension of the spine. The ability to maintain this for your life would make for a much higher quality of life as you age.

3451159258_a85d20a6c1_s2. Lower Spinal Floor Twist – just as important as flexion and extension of the spine is the ability to maintain rotation throughout the back and spine. Lower spinal is a passive way to allow the body to maintain or create new motion in the back. 


3451164466_796ce9dcd7_s3. Extended Lateral – this one made the list for me since it encompasses so many great stretching components. First is the ability to again get some rotation in the back . Also with this move is the hip flexor, hamstring, and adductor lengthening that happens with the back leg. Finally the ability to stretch out the sides of the back has many benefits as well.

3450346845_d01afcb717_s4. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch – The name gives it away but keeping your hip flexors lengthened is vital to maintaining a neutral pelvis. This will help out tremendously with lower back health. Flexible hip flexors also are an important part of knee health. With the amount of sitting we do the hip flexors get tight, combating this is a vital component to maintaining your muscular efficiency.

3450348035_6b4db540a7_s5. Downward Facing Dog – a classic in the yoga world. Hamstring just like the hip flexors suffer from the amount of sitting we do as a society. Exercises like this one are a great way to combat the tightness that we develop in our hamstrings, glutes, calves, and lower back. I also like the ability to load vertically into your shoulders, I feel this is an important component to maintaining proper shoulder alignment.

3 Comments on this post


  1. coach S. said:

    1) childs pose
    2) QLO stretch
    3) IT band stretch
    4) runners stretch
    5) spreadfoot forward bend

    June 11th, 2009 at 6:16 pm
  2. Josh Platt said:

    I like your top five, they’re pretty solid, but coach s has a good point with childs pose and QLO stretch, they definitely deserve to be somewhere up there if not in the top five.

    June 11th, 2009 at 6:21 pm
  3. Scott said:

    QLO stretch for those of you who do not know it is a stretch for the side of your back. Quadratus lumborum to be more precise. It also stretches out your muscles of the lower back and hamstrings. It is a great move I agree. Child’s pose I would not even put in the top twenty. To many factors can limit someone getting much of a stretch at all. I enjoy it but in my opinion it is not on the same level of impact as the others.

    June 11th, 2009 at 6:45 pm


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