Five moves to improve flexibility

Osteopath and recovery specialist James Davies gives us the lowdown on easy yet effective moves to boost muscle strength and flexibility

"Consistent practice of these simple exercises can lead to improved mobility, reduced pain, and enhanced overall well-being," insists James Davies.

Exercise 1: Deep Squat Hold
: Loosens hip joints, enhances flexibility, strengthens legs, aids digestion, and promotes posture.
How-to: Stand shoulder-width apart, lower hips and knees, maintain chest up. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute.

Exercise 2: Doorway Stretch
: Relieves rounded shoulder posture, eases chest tension post upper body exercises.
How-to: Stand in doorway, arms at 90 degrees, lean forward for chest stretch. Hold 20-30 seconds, repeat 3-5 times.

Exercise 3: Back Decompression
Purpose: Eases lower back pressure, reduces pain, enhances spine health.
How-to: Lie down, hips and knees at 90 degrees, relax legs apart for spine decompression. Hold 1-2 minutes.

Exercise 4: Spot Marching
: Low-impact cardio, strengthens lower body, improves balance.
How-to: Lift knees towards chest while standing, brisk pace for 1-2 minutes.

Exercise 5: Lateral Leg Stretch
Purpose: Improves circulation, stretches hips, calms nerves, relieves lower back pain.
How-to: Lay on your back with legs extended up against a wall, forming an "L" shape with your body. Gently slide your feet apart down the wall to feel a stretch in your hips, inner thighs, and lower back. Hold, breathe deeply, and bring feet together to release.

“Over time, these exercises improve overall body strength and resilience, conditioning the body to better handle stressors,” says James. “This not only prevents potential health issues but also leads to improved physical performance and endurance.”

Discover more advice on health and wellness in James’ book ‘Body: Simple Techniques and Strategies to Heal, Reset and Restore’  

Find out more at his website and connect on Instagram | Twitter