Stretching might not be the most interesting part of working out and exercising, however, doing flexibility work is equally important for a well-rounded fitness routine as strength as well as cardio work. Including some stretching exercises into your exercise schedule will assist you with improving flexibility, reducing tightness and, eventually, make your workouts more efficient as well as safe.
Tight muscles may cause unnecessary strain on the neighbouring joints during normal day-to-day function, or they themselves can become injured. As we become older, our muscles become shorter and less elastic. Shortened muscles make it increasingly more difficult to move your joints through their full range of motion. This means that we need to take an active part in maintaining as well as improving the length of our muscles so we are able to continue to enjoy our abilities without pain.
The Benefits Of Being Flexible
Maintaining flexibility – which simply means how much and with how much ease you can move your joints—can assist with:
- Improving your balance and stability,
- Preventing aches and pains, and
- Reducing your risk of injuries such as sprained ankles and pulled muscles.
As loss of flexibility often takes place gradually, you may not notice it until it’s significant. However, one common sign of decreased flexibility is stiffness. This may be particularly noticeable in the morning:
- When changing position from sitting or lying down to standing, or
- While doing movements such as reaching for a glass on a very high shelf or turning your neck to look over your shoulder.
You could also experience a rise in minor injuries, such as pulled muscles, or feel less steady overall.
Luckily, improving your flexibility and mobility isn’t difficult. It just takes a little bit of time. Try adding the stretches for flexibility to assist with relieving muscle tension and increasing mobility so that you are able to move through both the gym and life with increasing ease.
Stretches To Help You Become More Flexible
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Stand up tall and have your feet hip-width apart, your knees slightly bent and your arms by your sides. Exhale deeply as you bend forward at the hips. Lower your head towards the floor while keeping your head, neck and as well as shoulders relaxed.
Wrapping your arms across the backs of your legs, hold somewhere from 45 seconds to two minutes. Bend your knees and then roll up when you’re done. The standing hamstring stretch stretches your neck, back, glutes, hamstrings as well as calves.
Sit in a high-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart. Bend over from your hips, attempting to bend as far forward as you can. As you do this, relax your neck and then slide your hands down your legs towards your ankles. Hold for at least half a minute. Straighten up to a sitting position. Repeat between three and five times.
Stretching your quads can assist with back pain, knee pain, all-round posture and not to mention improving your performance while working out. This stretch can be done while lying down or standing up, depending upon your preference as well as where you are.
Take hold of one of your ankles and bend your knee till you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Ensure you aren’t arching your back. It helps to hold your ab muscles in deliberately and push your hips forward as this will give you an additional hip flexor stretch as well. Maintain the stretch for between two and three seconds before releasing slightly and doing it again. Repeat between 10 and 12 times and then switch legs.
Keen on learning more about flexibility training? If you are then you need to become a personal trainer with us! Follow this link to find out how you can do this.