I like to keep things simple so I will suggest a beginner mat pilates class or beginner yoga (assuming you’ve never done either). Off the top of my head I suggest Swan I, double knee to chest, single knee to chest, spine stretch forward, downward dog, arm raise and neck rolls. All of these can be found in the suggested class formats. A class is better to ensure proper flow and that your body is warmed up prior to jumping into the stretches. Definetly NO ballistic stretches allowed. Good luck!
There is no one “best” stretch. It’s best to enjoy a well-rounded program of stretches for all of the major muscle groups of the body. People need to remember that stretching is a NEURO-muscular activity, so stretching frequently (every day or multiple days per week, 15-30 seconds, 2-3 sets) can have more impact than stretching less often and holding stretches for a longer period of time (1 minute or more). When you stretch, it’s a great chance to also practice deep breathing and cultivating your mind-body connection.
Stretching, whether static or dynamic is only one component of improving flexibility/mobility. Trigger points (aka muscle knots) are also an important factor in soft tissue flexibility. Stretching isn’t very good at removing trigger points so you need to do some sort of trigger point/myofascial release work to get rid of those.
also, frequency is more important than duration. I’d rather have someone do 10-15 min. of flexibility work every day than only one yoga class every week. If you have particularly tight areas, doing some work on these spots (even a couple of minutes) multiple times per day will get you the best results.
Self-myofascial release and TRX Suspension Training. I have rehabbed my shoulder using these modalities and have seen marked improvements in many clients with respect to range of motion, functional strength, stability, mobility, core strength and flexibility using the TRX with minimal impact on the joints. A great and effective tool!
Muscle Activation Techniques looks at muscle tightness as a form of protection in the body.
Weak or inhibited muscles can create the need for other muscles to tighten up in order to help stabilize the joints. M.A.T gets to the root of pain or injury by addressing muscle weakness rather than muscle tightness. This helps to restore normal body alignment, thereby, decreasing pain and reducing the risk of injury.