The Benefits of Stretching: How Back Stretches Can Boost Women’s Health

Athlete doing stretching exercises on running track. Woman runner stretching leg muscles by touching his shoes and looking away.

Key Points

  • There's a long list of benefits for stretching for women.

  • Stretching helps improve flexibility, prevents injuries, and reduces discomfort, among other advantages.

  • It's never too early or too late to start a stretching habit.

What did you do today? Get up, get ready, and sit at the computer at work all day? That's typical for many people these days. Competitive fitness magazine BoxRox journalist Robert Born says, "Sitting for too long in front of a computer is preventing you from moving around and being more active. This can have serious consequences on your health and longevity."

To combat those consequences, consider stretching. There are tons of benefits of stretching for women.

Woman begins her day with a stretching routine

There's a reason for everything. You get up in the morning because you have to work, get the kids to school, or want to work out. You wear certain outfits because you like the color, enjoy the fit, or need a certain style for your office or day. What are some reasons you might stretch? Here are a few that may resonate with you:

  • You got eight hours of sleep, but you did it wrong and woke up sore.

  • You're going to work out or just finished exercising.

  • Your back is sore after a long day of sitting.

  • You're aging and no longer have the mobility you previously had.

  • You want to enhance your flexibility and strength.

  • You're tired and need a refresher.

  • It feels good!

The list goes on and on. Whatever your reason, there are sound benefits to stretching. If you haven't stretched regularly before, these advantages are enough to talk you into starting.

Improves Flexibility

Start the day, end the day — or both — with stretching. Regular stretches increase the range of motion and flexibility. Moving around is easier, and exercising is more comfortable, making it feel attainable for you no matter your current fitness level.

Women's Flexibility Exercises

Stretching aids in a variety of movements, but if you want specific women's flexibility exercises, try the cat-cow stretch or the airplane stretch. For the cat-cow stretch, get on all fours and arch and flex your back. To attempt the airplane stretch, lay face down on the floor and bring your legs and arms up, arching your back as far as possible.

Woman stretches arms overhead before a morning workout

Reduces Stress and Tension

Do you have any stress in your life? Did you just laugh because that's a horrible question? Of course, every woman has stress! One of the benefits of stretching for women is stress reduction. As your muscles tense up throughout the day, a good stretch in the right direction helps alleviate that tension, improving your mood and promoting relaxation.

Stretches To Reduce Stress

Reducing stress through stretching is as simple as getting into a child's pose and breathing deeply. Fold your knees beneath you and reach your arms out as far in front of you as possible.

The good morning stretch is another great option. Lay flat on your back and stretch your arms and legs as far apart as possible, lengthening your body and releasing tension.

Woman bends over to stretch legs before a run

Prevents Injury

Injury prevention for women gets harder as you age. Bones aren't as strong, and muscles tense up easily. Prevent many injuries with a few simple stretches. Before you work out, warm up your muscles, and injuries are less likely.

Stretches for Injury Prevention for Women

Stretch muscles in the area you plan to use, depending on the activity you plan to encounter. For runners, stand on one leg and bring the other leg up behind you by the ankle to stretch your quad muscles. If you plan to lift weights, cross one arm over your body and pull it to you with the other.

Bend the arm at the elbow and place it behind your head to stretch your triceps. Reducing stress through stretching helps for every muscle group addressed.

Woman performs yoga stretch outside

Enhances Athletic Performance

Women's athletic performance tips include stretching if you're a natural athlete. Regular stretching routines improve performance because of increased blood flow, flexibility, range of motion, and posture. If you want to be in the best possible physical shape, stretching for women only helps.

Add Women's Stretching Routines

If you have a regular workout already, add women's stretching routines to the to-do list. With a few extra stretches before and after your exercises, expect results in your performance.

Improves Posture

The correct posture alleviates back pain and neck pain, but women's posture improvement is hard. Bad habits are hard to break. Stretching health helps loosen the tight muscles that become tense from poor posture. It feels good and allows you to straighten up.

Woman does a yoga stretch during a workout

Stretches for Women's Posture Improvement

After a long day at the computer, bring your posture back around and ease the pain from improper positions. Open your chest and draw your shoulder blades together for a chest opener stretch. Move your neck from side to side to work out those muscles.

Women's blood flow exercises also help to restore posture and alleviate soreness. Try a high plank and then move to a side plank. These stretches engage your core and are great women's blood flow exercises when you are overly stiff.

Promotes Blood Flow

Stretching improves body circulation, promoting health and wellness. If you sat on an airplane or had a long car ride, getting blood to flow and circulate again is in your best interest. With proper blood flow, your body operates and feels better.

Stretches To Get Blood Circulating

One of the best stretches is the downward-facing dog. Your heart is above your head, allowing blood to flow in different directions than usual. Bend over and walk your hands out until you reach a 45-degree angle. Press your hips up and your chest toward your legs.

The legs-up-wall pose helps restore feeling to your legs after sitting at the computer all day. Lay against the wall and raise your legs against it at a 90-degree angle. Push your arms out to your sides to deepen the stretch.

Woman does a butterfly stretch while sitting on yoga mat

Get Started Today and Make Stretching a Habit

Just as it's hard to break bad habits, it's a challenge to be regular about new habits. If you want to stretch regularly, choose a few simple stretches for starters and pick times to put those stretches into practice. Make notes on your calendar, place alerts on your phone, or put Post-its on the mirror to remind yourself to stretch. Eventually, it becomes a habit you won't want to break.

After the simple stretches are down, add more complicated stretches to reach specific muscles and parts of your body. One of the women's athletic performance tips is to stretch the muscles you work on before and after a workout.

Challenge yourself and surprise your body by adding in new stretches and mixing things up. Even the same stretches, when taken further each time, benefit your body in new ways each time.

So, what are you waiting for? It doesn't matter your age or fitness level; stretching for your health is in your best interest. Plus, it feels great!

Stretch your arms at the stoplights on your way to work, stretch your legs before a run, stretch your back on computer breaks, etc. Make stretching a habit, and your body thanks you for it.

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