If this, then that, can get you in trouble as a practitioner. It closes your eyes to other possibilities. Recognizing patterns is very, very important, but always keep your mind open to what all can be happening with the body when evaluating a patient/athlete. So when someone asks me for "the best exercises" or "the best stretches" the answer does and always varies. The best exercise is the one that will strengthen the weak link. The best stretch is the muscle that will help fix the muscle causing YOUR dysfunction. But with that caveat, there are a few that can almost universally help.
Dr. Jeff Spencer DC, the chiropractor for Lance Armstrongs Tour de France wins thinks that one of the big keys to unlocking upper and lower body rigidity is to stretch the hip external rotatores and the pecs. There are numerous stretching techniques out there; PNF, contrax/relax, static, resisted(meridian), AIS (active isolated stretching) and plain static. When your by yourself, I like AIS, if you have a partner perhaps, resisted (Bob Cooley and Dana Tores made this famous) or PNF. There are some great youtube videos out there to pick and choose for these muscles, but give these two muscle groups a good working over for the next few weeks and see how you feel. If you feel freer, then keep them in your personal health and performance arsenal. Tomorrow I'll go over that arsenal and how to start one.