Stretching your body in order for you to become more supple and flexible offers a lot of physical benefits. Flexibility training allows for easier and deeper movements while building strength and stability. Stretching your muscles and joints also leads to greater range of motion, improved balance, and increased flexibility.
Flexibility is an incredibly important component of physical fitness. In addition, it has many positive effects on the body. For example, it improves mobility, posture, muscle coordination. Being flexible reduces the risk of injuries and muscle soreness. Being flexible even leads to a better overall “shape”.
Being flexible mainly increases your range of motion and makes it easier for you to perform certain exercises. Flexibility can occur not just through stretching but also through foam rolling or daily exercises.
Basically, stretching before working out increases blood flow in the muscles. If you don’t work on your flexibility regularly, muscles shorten with time: the best example is the hip flexor because we’re sitting too much. Limited flexibility feels like “stiffness”, restricts you in your daily life and when you’re exercising.
How Flexible Should You Be?
Not everyone requires the ability to do the splits, fold in half or twist their shoulders. Training for those accomplishments is a waste of time if you only need to go for a run, drop down into a squat or lift weights high above your head. Common exercises do necessitate flexibility but not to the same degree as the splits.
Your level of flexibility should be a reflection of your physical pursuits. Like all else in fitness, flexibility is fluid and can be altered over time in order to reflect new goals.
You can also view this from a day-to-day functionality point of view. Everyone should be flexible enough in order to complete activities of day-to-day living without pain. Putting on your socks, tying your shoes, putting dishes away on high shelves as well as getting into your car all need some level of flexibility. If you’re not flexible enough to be able do these things without feeling any pain, it’s definitely time to start stretching.
Why Are Some People More Flexible Than Other People?
When we compare how a gymnast moves how we move, it’s obvious some people are more flexible than others. This is down to two factors: native physical aspects and how a person trains. For instance, these physical aspects can influence your flexibility:
- Age – you tend to become less flexible as you get older
- Bone size and structure – the larger your bone diameter, the less flexible you’re likely to be
- Connective tissues – degree of elasticity of the tendons and ligaments
- Body bulk -the bigger your body, the harder it is to get into flexible positions
If you are struggling to touch your toes without bending your legs, while others can easily bend over backwards, don’t worry. The great thing is that it can be worked on.
Flexibility is indeed something that can be worked on in order to see improvements. Yoga is a discipline which will help you to improve your flexibility. If you want to learn more about this ancient exercise form then you need to do our Yoga Instructor Course. Follow this link for more information.