Probably you’re already thinking about yoga and you see yourself in one of those tight leggings.
Fortunately for you this isn’t necessary to become more flexible.
What are the benefits of being more flexible?
It becomes more and more important as you age. The older you get the more stiff you become, this’ll make it harder to complete basic tasks and slowly decreases your independence.
It will not protect you completely against injuries, you can still move in the wrong way and tear something but it’ll happen less.
Increasing flexibility isn’t hard but the downside is that it takes some time. You can’t become flexible overnight. You’ll have to train it on a daily base if you want to see real improvement. Your flexibility is partly genetically determined, some have to work really hard to become a bit more flexible others do a stretch once a week and they can wrench them self in almost every direction.
One of the easiest ways to improve your flexibility is by stretching.
3 things you should remember when you’re stretching :
Always warm up first.
don’t do stretches when your muscles are stone cold!
This will prevent injury and strain.
Do it especially after your workout.
This will ensure your muscles are warm and as loose as possible.
Do it dynamically.
This should be preferred before doing static stretches. Dynamic stretching includes motion and is mend to mime real movements.
Also it’s much safer and you’ll have less chance to tear something
Consider combining this with exercise and training to get maximum results (and to get fitter in the process).
Prioritize full range of motion when training.
What is this exactly? Well you can define it as the distance a lever can move while attached to a fixed point.
This’ll also help you to gain more size and strength.
If you apply this it’ll reap you amazing flexibility results.
Take time to relax!
When you’re stressed you’ll notice a difference in your body. Stress causes your body to tighten up.
Take some time off a few times a week to relax, do something you love without putting any stress on your body. (physically and mentally). It can be as simple as taking your dog on a walk. Whatever works for you.
Taking time to de-stress will help to relax your body and prevent muscles from tensing up and restricting movement.
Of course there is also the importance of sleep. With enough rest you’ll be less tired in the morning and your body will be better recovered.
We can distinguish 3 different types of stretching :
– Static stretching :
This is the traditional method that comes in mind when you think about stretching. It’s when you hold a joint in a stretched position for a period of time. For example when you bend forward to touch your toes and hold still for 10 sec.
– Dynamic stretching :
This is when you put your body through an increased range of motion. It’ll help your body to prepare for a hard workout. It’ll activate your muscles before your training.
For example knees to chest or jump squats.
– Ballistic stretching
This forces your body into a greater stretch. Most of the times it consists of explosive movements.
It’s the least effective method because the problem with this is that it’ll put excess stress on your muscles and it’ll leave you vulnerable for muscle injuries.
For example : when you suddenly bounce a leg or arm beyond its normal range of motion.
Or instead of holding your hands as close to your toes, you’ll bounce up and down to get as low possible.
4 things you want to avoid while stretching your muscles :
bouncing while your stretch
Stretching while you’re in the wrong position
Stretching an injured muscle
Stretching without warming up first
What’s your favorite stretching exercise?