To improve your flexibility, focus on large muscle groups and do different types of stretches. Consistent stretching will lead to increased flexibility.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2019. It’s been freshened up with new pictures and commentary on February 2, 2020.
Importance of flexibility
Flexibility is an important aspect of physical fitness that improves your mobility, posture, and muscle coordination.
Whether you do bodyweight workouts or run marathons, spend time each day improving your flexibility because it’ll help reduce the risk of injuries and muscle soreness (J. C. Andersen, PhD).
Related: Bodyweight workout for beginners
According to Health Guidance, the following are the benefits of increasing your flexibility:
- Prevent injuries.
- Reduce chronic pain.
- Have more energy.
- Better mobility.
- Better posture.
Before you begin stretching, warm-up with a short walk or jog in place. When you stretch, ease into it and focus on breathing.
According to the Journal of Human Kinetics, the best way to improve your flexibility and range of motion is to hold a stretch for a few seconds, relax, then hold it again. This method of stretching allows your body to go deeper each time.
Yoga a great way to improve your flexibility and balance (Source: International Journal of Yoga). The best part is that you can do yoga at home so you can implement it in your daily routine.
The following are the benefits of yoga, according to the American Osteopathic Association:
- Increased flexibility.
- Stronger and more toned muscles.
- More energy.
- Great for weight loss.
- Prevent injuries.
3. Dynamic warm-up
Incorporating dynamic stretches into your warm-up routine can prevent injuries and stiffness. This will help you perform at your highest level (Source: International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy).
Dynamic stretches are active movements where your joints and muscles go through a full range of motion. It’s great for warming-up because you get your blood flowing through your body and prevent injuries (Source: Health Guidance).
4. Full range of motion
Regardless of the type of exercise you’re doing, use the full range of motion. It’s better to lower the weight while using your full range of motion than to lift heavy weights without good form.
The variety of movements in dancing helps increase flexibility and overall health. It’s a great form of exercise that benefits your strength and flexibility (Source: HHS).
With time and consistent effort, you’ll become more flexible. Many forms of exercise and stretching will increase your flexibility which helps you maintain muscle health and overall wellness.
Additional fitness resources
Want to learn more about fitness, or exercises that you can do at home? The following are a few more resources:
Featured photo by Unsplash.