Stretching may not be the most exciting part of working out, but doing flexibility work is just as important for a well-rounded fitness routine as strength and cardio work. Incorporating some stretching exercises into your workout schedule will help you improve flexibility, reduce tightness, and ultimately, make your workouts more efficient and safe. It's true that stretching is neither glamorous nor hardcore, and it probably won't give you the same rush that a run or HIIT class will. Luckily, improving your flexibility and mobility isn't hard. It just takes a little time. Try adding the stretches for flexibility your workout routine to help relieve muscle tension and increase mobility—so that you can move through both the gym and life more freely. Stretching is essential for improving flexibility, which is an important component of overall fitness, along with mobility, strength, power, and endurance. If they’re not already a part of your workout regimen, read on to learn which stretching exercises are best for warming up, cooling down, and improving overall fitness. Stretching is an important part of fitness: It can improve your range of motion, increase circulation, and calm your mind—which may help fend off injuries and illness, as well as bring on a better night’s sleep. Stretches for back pain relief: When you're dealing with the aches and oftentimes debilitating soreness of lower-back pain, there's a good chance all you want to do is stay in bed. Yet research found that any kind of exercise—whether it's core strengthening, aerobic exercise, or stretching—is the best way to ease pain and reduce the risk of another back pain attack. The nice thing about gentle stretching is that it's feasible to do when you're in pain—and often provides the fastest relief.