Home Stretching Routine: Less Soreness, More Flexibility

Enhanced flexibility and reduced pain:

Here are a few key reasons why every athlete – from the bodybuilder to the CrossFitter – should adopt a comprehensive stretching program.

Increases Flexibility

Stretching is a well-documented method to increase flexibility. One study found that when an athlete’s hamstrings were warmed up and stretched, they maintained that length for up to twenty-four hours.

Static stretching, in particular, is the preferred method to increase flexibility while dynamic stretching is ideal for performance. [1]

Reduce Soreness

Post-workout soreness, also known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be problematic for even the most experienced lifters. Thankfully, if you spend time stretching before and after a workout session, you can reduce your soreness.

While results can vary based on the intensity of the workout and the amount of time spent exercising, studies show that static stretching can decrease post-workout soreness. [2]

Might Prevent Injury

This benefit can stir up some controversy. Not everyone is on board with that idea of stretching can prevent injury. Admittedly, studies are conflicting.

With that said, there are studies out there that suggest stretching might prevent injury. However, what is accepted is the fact that stretching will NOT increase your risk of injury. [3]

Equipment for Stretching

Before we jump into the stretching at home routine, let’s review some of the equipment you might need to maximize your results.

Floor Mat: Avoid laying on tile or wood flooring and support your back with a floor mat. This makes hamstring and abdominal stretches more comfortable.

Resistance Bands: Although it might seem counter-intuitive, resistance bands are an excellent tool to use to accentuate a stretch. What’s more, having a pair of bands around the house provides you with a form of resistance for home workouts or when you’re training while traveling. 

Rings: One of the most effective ways to stretch is to hold on to a set of gymnastic rings, letting your own bodyweight enhance the stretch. Just like with resistance bands, you’ll find that gymnastic rings will also come in handy during training, especially if you are performing CrossFit workouts you can do at home.

Knee Sleeves: If you tend to have issues with your knees, a pair of knee sleeves can help. The compression material with knee sleeves improves blood flow, allowing you to get through a stretching session without soreness.

Calf Stretcher: Calves are tricky to stretch. It’s a task to find that angle to hit the calf muscle just right. A calf stretcher is specially designed to maximize a proper calf stretch.

Home Stretching Routine

You know the benefits of stretching and you’re stocked up on the gear you need. Let’s jump into a home stretching routine that you can start today.

Chest: Wall Stretch

  • Face a wall or doorway. Place your right hand against the edge of the wall or doorway and begin to turn away while keeping your right hand there.
  • Continue turning away until you feel the stretch across your chest.
  • Hold this stretch for up to 60 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Back: Child’s Pose

  • Kneel on a comfortable surface such as a floor mat.
  • Walk your hands in front of you until your chest touches the top of your legs.
  • Extend the fingertips out.
  • Hold the stretch for up to 60 seconds.

Shoulders: Across the Body

  • Bring the right arm up and across your body to the left side.
  • Using your left arm, gently pull on the right arm to increase the stretch.
  • Hold for up to 60 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Quadriceps: Standing Quadricep Stretch

  • Holding a wall, doorway, or chair for balance, stand tall and lift the left leg behind you.
  • Grab the left foot with the left hand.
  • Keeping the knee down, gently pull and engage the stretch in the top of the leg.
  • Hold for up to 60 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Abdominals: Cobra Stretch

  • Kneel on a comfortable surface such as a floor mat.
  • Move your legs straight back and bring your hands to your sides.
  • Your hands should be at your ribs.
  • Push the upper body towards the ceiling.
  • Leave the lower body on the ground.
  • Feel the stretch across your abdominals.
  • Hold for up to 60 seconds.

Triceps: Behind-the-Head

  • Extend your right hand in the air.
  • Drop your right hand behind your head.
  • Using the left hand, gently pull the right elbow towards the left side.
  • Hold for Up to 60 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Biceps: Fingers Down Biceps Stretch

  • Extend your right arm in front of you.
  • With the fingers down, bring the left hand on top of the right hand.
  • Gently push down on the right fingers and feel the stretch that begins in the forearm and moves up through the bicep.
  • Hold for up to 60 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Do You Have Your Own Home Stretching Routine?

Have a video of yourself going through our stretching routine? Or do you have your own? Tag us on Instagram so we can check it out.



  1. Heisey CF, Kingsley JD. Effects of Static Stretching on Squat Performance in Division I Female Athletes. International Journal of Exercise Science. 2016;9(3):359-367.
  2. Andersen JC. Stretching Before and After Exercise: Effect on Muscle Soreness and Injury Risk. Journal of Athletic Training. 2005;40(3):218-220.
  3. Witvrouw E, Mahieu N, Danneels L, McNair P. Stretching and injury prevention: an obscure relationship. Sports Med. 2004;34(7):443-9.