Not all of us are inherently flexible. Although women tend to have greater range of motion than guys do, many of us who lift, run, bike, and enjoy other repetitive-motion activities are simply tight, especially in key areas like the hips, hamstrings, and shoulders. And that’s too bad, because being flexible not only helps improve performance but also improves daily function.

“We acquire tension throughout the day based on movement patterns, stress, exercise, and other factors,” notes Hakika DuBose, owner of Kika Stretch Studios in New York. “Over time, these tight, contracted muscles can lead to headaches, back pain, and imbalances in the body.”

It doesn’t take a lot to make you feel better. Just a few minutes of stretching a few times a week can be enough to improve your range of motion and reduce tightness. But what type works best for you? Consider this quick guide to see which flexibility exercises you might want to incorporate into your regular routine.