People who are flexible have fewer injuries and feel better overall than those who are tight. If you have ever watched a gymnast do a split all the way to the floor, you may wonder how he or she didn’t get hurt. You may also believe that it is genetic to be that flexible. But the truth is that your flexibility can be significantly improved if you just take some time to work on it every day. Those gymnasts that you may have watched on television work hard every day to gain that kind of flexibility. You too can greatly improve your flexibility if you are willing to work on it every day. Consistency is the key. I’ve written some simple tips here that you can do today and every day to improve your flexibility.
A static stretch is the most popular stretch that most people are familiar with. A static stretch is a stretch that you hold for about 20 to 30 seconds. This type of stretch is most beneficial after you have your muscles warmed up. Try standing with legs at hip length apart. Then put your right leg over your left leg and reach down as far as you can while aiming to touch your toes. Just go down as far as you can without straining. Hold that stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and then put your left leg over your right leg while doing the same thing. Then repeat. You will most likely find that you will keep going down lower at each stretch. Over time you will go down much lower than you had before you started stretching every day.
One of my favorite stretches to do every day is child’s pose. To me, it feels so relaxing and refreshing to do this pose. The name alone makes me feel younger and flexible like a child. Child’s pose opens up the hips and elongates the back. It’s a great stretch for people who sit at a desk for long periods at a time. I like that it is done on a floor. It just feels easier since I don’t have to work against gravity. To do the child’s pose, begin on your hands and knees. Spread your knees wide apart while keeping your big toes touching each other. Drop your torso between your thighs. Keep your arms stretched out like you are reaching out in front of you. Hold this position for about 30 seconds or longer if you’d like.
It may seem like gaining muscle mass would make you tighter, but the opposite is true. The more muscles you build, the more flexible you will become. If you have free weights, then do some arm curls, or if you have access to a bench press, take some time to do some lifts. Watch your flexibility improve right along with your strength.
Stand On A Board
Another of my favorite stretches involves standing on a board. It is a great stretch for the calf muscles. I like it because it only involves standing. Standing on a board is very simple. Find a board or a strong and long book to stand on. Place the slanted board on the floor right up against the wall. Put another book or weight on the side not against the wall. The elevated side should be opposite the wall side. Here’s the simple part: Stand on the board. Stand as long as you’d like. When I was training hard as a runner, I’d stand for about 20 minutes while watching television. This is a fantastic but straightforward calf stretch.
Water forms the majority of our muscle make up. For your muscles to respond to the flexibility training that you are doing, they need to be working at their best. Hydrated muscles will perform better than dehydrated muscles. Staying hydrated is one of the simplest things that you can do to stay flexible.
Warm Up Before Stretching
If you want to get the most out of your stretching routine, make sure to warm up properly first. It’s important that you get the blood flowing especially before doing static stretches. A simple warm-up could include jumping jacks, leg raises, or marching in place. An indicator of a proper warm-up should leave you in a light sweat before stretching.
Stretching is going to help your posture, range of motion, and feeling of well being. You will also have a less likely of a chance to become injured while exercising or going through any normal physical activity throughout the day if you are flexible. I’ve given you some tips here to improve your flexibility. Try to dedicate yourself to these stretching suggestions and do them every day. It won’t take long before you start to notice a big improvement in your level of flexibility. Remember, that flexibility will not just happen. You need to make an effort every day to see results. I hope that 2018 is the year where you finally see your flexibility improve!