Total Shape is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

Does Stretching Burn Fat? 10 Tips and Hacks to Lose Weight

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: July 13, 2022

Stretching and yoga help with metabolic activities, blood flow, and muscle growth. It can also be a simple first step towards a more intense fitness regimen.

Having been doing yoga stretches as part of my 8-year fitness journey, I consulted a doctor friend to find out if stretching burns fats.

In this article, I will share my findings on how stretching burns fat and give you the best 6  stretches to help you burn visceral fat and lose weight quickly.

Let's dive into it.

Quick Summary

  • When stretches are done correctly and for a more extended period, they burn more fats and calories.
  • You can build muscles with stretching since it targets specific muscle groups.
  • Stretching can be added to any flexibility training and weight loss regimen and does not require gym equipment.

How Stretching Helps To Burn Fat?

Stretching upwards

Stretching helps to burn fat like any other activity of motion such as exercise, intensive interval training or jogging.

You may burn more calories every time you actively stretch or hold a particular stretching pose for longer.

Stretching boosts muscle blood circulation which nourishes and heats them before any exercise. Warmed-up muscles enable you to work out more [1].

Longer workouts translate to shedding more calories and belly fat in the long run.

Apart from burning fats and calories, stretching also:

  • Boosts metabolism: The different postures when stretching will rev up your entire digestive process.
  • Relieves pain: When you experience back pain, sore joints, or a stiff neck, stretching has a soothing effect on relaxing those muscles and relieving pain [2].
  • Builds muscles: Stretching also increases muscles since specific stretches target specific muscle areas of the body.
youtube

When To Stretch To Burn Fats?

Stretching on a yoga matt

Stretching exercises should be an essential component of any fitness weight loss procedure. It can be done as a pre-workout, between sets, or post-workout.

Stretching as a warm-up session before you start exercising gives you an advantage in muscle reconstruction and flexibility.

This increases your joint mobility, allowing you to stretch even further and engage more muscles at a maximum concentration for extended periods throughout your subsequent exercises.

Stretching in between sets is ideal for sprint intervals. It helps to provide an adequate range of motion for those who exercise great movements.

Stretching after your exercise routine is a cool-down to ease muscle tension and enhance your mobility. As a result, you'll feel better in terms of flexibility and general body physique.

"Stretching means less workout but more results as the muscle response is better after stretching."

-Ruchika Rai, women's fitness and health coach

4 Tips For Stretching To Burn Fats

Below are some great pointers to help you get the most of your stretching workout:

  • Start slow: Start with short and simple stretching exercises. As you advance in your weight loss program and adjust to the pain of the stretches, it'll become simpler to go to a higher range of motion and hold poses for a longer time.
  • Hold your pose: If you're looking to reduce visceral fat with stretching, it's best to hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds each. You can hold certain poses for 60 seconds or more if you want that extra burn on your problem areas. Always remember to breathe through the hold.
  • Rest: If you're doing stretches as a pre-workout thing, take at least 5 - 10 minutes of rest after stretching. This gives you enough time to breathe and relax your muscles before you begin your next intense workout session.
  • Be consistent: As far as losing weight and burning fats is concerned, consistency is key. Stick to your stretching routine to get the most out of every workout session.

6 Best Stretches To Lose Weight

Performing two stretches

Here are 6  best flexibility exercises and yoga stretches that you should do to get rid of belly fat and lose weight.

1. Downward Dog Stretch

This downward facing dog stretch focuses on your hamstrings, back, arms, and shoulders.

The key to this stretch is the time you can hold in this posture.

You will burn more calories when you hold the pose for a more extended period.

To do this stretch:

  • Get down on all fours, and let your body form an inverted V.
  • Let your heels press the floor as your head presses into your feet.
  • You should hold this pose for about 15 deep breaths before moving on to the next stretch or next set.

2. Thigh Butterfly Stretches

It can be daunting to get rid of the inner thigh fats.

However, performing this inner thigh stretch on a regular basis stimulates your inner thigh muscles and can also reduce cellulite.

To do this stretch:

  • Sit with your back straight, with your legs crossed.
  • Like butterfly wings, lower your knees slightly and flail them.
  • Pose for at least one minute, and do the stretch at least five times.

3. Overhead Tricep Stretches

Doing a tricep stretch by a health professional to a patient

It would help if you did triceps stretching to get rid of flabby arms.

This stretch also helps relax your upper body muscles and tone your traps and shoulders.

To do this:

  • First, raise your arms.
  • Using your left hand, gently pull up your right elbow to your head.
  • Hold this pose for at least 25 seconds before repeating it a few times.
  • Do both sides.

4. Lateral Lunge

If nothing has ever worked despite your efforts to tone your legs, you should try side lunge stretches

. This stretch works out the whole leg, including the calves, glutes, quads, and inner thighs.

Here's how to do the stretch:

  • Stand and put your legs apart.
  • Lean towards your right leg forming a 90° angle while extending your left leg as far as possible.
  • Hold the pose for at least 20 seconds before repeating it on the opposite side.
  • For best results, do a minimum of 20 on both sides.

5. Seated Side Stretch

Doing seated side stretch indoors

This pose stretches and relaxes your sides and back muscles that tense up after sitting for long hours, causing back aches.

To do this stretch:

  • Sit down and cross your legs on a mat.
  • Raise your left hand and bend over to the right side.
  • Hold the pose for at least 15 seconds, and repeat on the other side.
  • Do it at least 20 times.

6. Virabhadrasana Warrior Pose

To do this warrior pose:

  • Start with a little forward lunge with your arms above you.
  • Clasp your hands together and keep your back straight.
  • Hold this pose for at least 15 seconds on both sides.
  • Do it at least 20 times.

FAQs

Can Stretching Slim Legs?

Stretching can slim legs. When you lose weight from stretching, you get leaner legs.

Does Stretching Burn Calories?

Yes, stretching burns calories. It increases the range of motion, which plays an important role in burning calories and weight loss.

Can Stretching Change Your Body Shape?

Yes, stretching can help you change the shape of your body. Different simple stretches tone different body parts such as waist and thighs to give you that perfect shape.

How Many Calories Does Stretching Burn?

Stretching alone can burn up to 27 calories every ten minutes [3].

Do I Need Special Gear To Lose Fat Through Stretching?

No, you do not need special gear to lose fat through stretching exercises.

Is Stretching Considered An Exercise?

Yes, stretching is a considered an exercise because you are moving your body.

Does Stretching Burn Fat

One thing I love about yoga stretches is that they can be added as a pre or post-workout for any high or low-intensity training regimen and it does not require special equipment.

You can burn body fat through regular stretching with the correct posture and the right routine. Because stretching aerobic exercise is less intensive, sweating isn't easy.

That's why you should try stimulating your sweat glands using these top 10 fat-burning creams that will enable you to sweat easily and burn extra calories efficiently.


References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045517%
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/six-tips-for-safe-stretches
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/does-stretching-burn-calories#

Was this article helpful?

About The Author