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You don't have to go to a gym or a yoga class to give your body a great stretch.

Your apartment provides ample room for simple stretches that you should be doing every day.  Stretching is a great way to de-stress after a long day, or can provide a refreshing start to your day and wake up your muscles.

Here are a few easy stretches you can do right in your living room.

 

Standing Forward Bend

Have tight hamstrings? This stretch will help, and willl also stretch your lower back.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hand at your hips.

Bend your torso forward as far as you can and bring your hands down towards your toes, grabbing your big toes if it's safe and comfortable to do so.

If you can't hold your toes, slide a yoga strap or a belt under your feet and pull yourself down as far as you can without creating strain or pain in your body.

 

Child's Pose

This is a great relaxation pose that helps to calm the body and mind. It also stretches the lower back, lats, and shoulders.  

Start on all fours, pushing your hips back so your buttocks moves toward your heels.

Keep your arms straight in front of you, or down to your sides.

Bring your chest as close to your knees as you can.

If needed, put a pillow under your stomach or between your hamstrings and calves for comfort.

 

Cat and Cow

If you have a sore back, shoulder, or neck, this is a fantastic stretch that targets your entire spine.

Start on all fours as before, making sure that your wrists are under your shoulders and your fingers are spread out. Your knees should be directly under your hips.

Inhale and lift your head up, bring your spine down towards the floor, and roll your shoulders back. This is cow pose. 

Exhale and bring your head down, round your back, bringing your abs upward. This is cat pose. 

Rotate between these two poses as you breathe to maximize the stretch in each direction. 

 

Reclining Figure-4 Pose

This is a fantastic stretch for your hip flexors. It can relieve back pain, sciatica, and knee pain, and is a great stretch for people that sit at a desk for long periods of time.

Lay on your back with your knees bent (feet flat on the floor).

Put your right foot on your left knee or quad.

Bring your left foot off the floor and grab your left leg, gently moving it towards you.

You can keep your left leg straight or bend at the knee, whichever feels best. Keep your feet flexed to avoid putting pressure on your knees.

Repeat on the other side.

 

Remember, these stretches should feel good on your body. Be gentle with yourself, don't pull on your muscles, and only move as far into the stretches as your body comfortably allows.