Flexible joints are not just an asset to gymnasts and athletes; they also help prevent discomfort and pain, ease movement, and preserve the ability to perform simple day-to-day activities. Therefore, keeping all of your muscles flexible at all times is key.
Not to worry though, becoming more flexible is not as hard as you may be imagining. Instead, try these three simple strategies to up your flexibility game.
Before you begin an intense exercise regimen, it’s important to warm up your muscles and body. This helps you to prevent injury, gets your body in the right mood for exercise, and improves endurance. Just make sure you shuffle between walking on your toes and walking on your heels.
Choose the Best Exercise
The NHS recommends flexibility-enhancing exercises such as yoga, stretching, tai chi, Pilates, etc. While Pilates and yoga are good for building strength and boosting flexibility, yoga concentrates on increasing the range of joint motion; and tai chi loosens muscles and stretches the whole body, which is particularly great for people with limited mobility, or who are recovering from an injury.
Stretch and hold still
Stretching is important for flexibility, but not holding it for a considerable time hampers its effectiveness. It’s common to see most people only holding a stretch for 5-10 seconds; but if you really want your stretches to have a great impact on the stiffness of your tissues, you’ll need to hold it for longer – around 30 seconds or more when your body is warm.
Lastly, if you sit work at a desk all day, you’ll probably need to set the alarm to remind you to get up and stretch your muscles every hour. Not only will it improve your overall flexibility, but it can also make you more productive.