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Snaps, crackles, and pops are the last thing you want to hear; especially when you bend over to grab the morning paper. But, before you rush over to the nearest chiropractor consider giving yourself some TLC with a DIY massage.

It’s an unfortunate fact, that as time goes on our body’s muscles begin to tighten and restrict motion in the joints causing stiff necks and sore backs. Lucky for you this article will be covering the three best stretches for reducing muscle soreness and increasing flexibility according to the British Journal of Sports medicine.

1. Seated Neck Stretch

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Because the muscles in the neck are almost constantly in motion it is often the most common area of the body to experience stiffness, soreness and sharp pain. Neck pain can lead to other problems such as frequent headaches and sore backs.

Flexibility training is the best way to both alleviate and prevent neck pain. To perform the seated neck stretch simply find a comfortable chair to sit on, then relax the body as much as possible, Place right hand on top of head and gently pull your head to the right lowering ear toward your shoulder, repeat on the left side.

It should be noted that a popping sound is completely normal. However, if you feel any sharp pain at any point stop this stretch and speak with your doctor.

2. Hip Flexor Stretch

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If you are someone who loves to run, or is constantly on their feet throughout the day this stretch is for you. The hip flexors are a bunching of muscles and tendons that can become extremely tight if not properly stretched. Using flexibility training is a great way to keep your hip flexors lose and pain free.

To perform this stretch you will need a chair about knee height or higher.  Stand two feet away from the chair, place your dominant foot on the seat of the chair, place your hands on your hip for balance and stability, Shift weight forward to feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Repeat with other leg in elevated position.

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It should be noted that this stretch should be performed with a chair that is not easily moved as to avoid injury.

3. Chest Opener Stretch

Your chest might not seem like an area that needs to be stretch, but, as the largest cluster of muscle in the upper portion of the human body the chest can experience pain, cramping and stiffness. (Especial after a long exercise period.)

To perform this stretch you will need and open doorway about 8-12 inches wider than your shoulders. Stand facing a doorway and stretch arms out to sides, elbows bent, forearms and palms pressing into wall. Walk forward to feel a stretch in chest and arms. Hold for a count of 15 seconds and release, repeat this stretch throughout the day as needed.

According to the British journal of sports medicine by repeating these three exercises over a 10 minute period you can reduce stiffness, soreness and pain by almost 50 percent.

Visit Prevention for more tips and information on flexibility training today.

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