How to Improve Your Flexibility
Flexibility is key to fitness. It can stave off injury, help you maintain a healthy weight, and give your muscles the freedom they need to work at their peak efficiency. To achieve your fitness goals, you need to stretch out and limber up. And, if you're ready to take your physical prowess to the next level, the best way to do it is with some exercises.
Below are some of the most effective ways you can improve your flexibility and maintain good posture.
Stretching exercises are the holy grail of flexibility. They can help you increase your range of motion and fight stiffness. Fitness experts divide stretches into two types, dynamic and static.
· Static stretches
Static stretches are held poses that target specific muscle groups. Fitness gurus use them to improve both flexibility and strength. They're typically followed after an intense workout when your muscles are most pliable and receptive to change.
A figure four stretch is a basic example of a static stretch. To do it, lie on a big exercise mat on your back. First, bend your right leg and place the foot on your left inner thigh. Next, grab your left thigh with both hands and pull it towards you until you feel the stretch in your right thigh. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
· Dynamic stretches
Dynamic stretches propel the joints through a full range of motion. They're ideal for warmups since they boost blood flow and loosen up muscle tissues. Stretches like jumping jacks, squats, and arm circles are recommended to increase flexibility and prepare the body for more intense workouts.
Yoga promotes flexibility and coordination. It's one of the most popular ways to get in touch with your body, so it's no surprise many fitness enthusiasts use yoga to improve their flexibility. Yoga sessions start with gentle movements then progress into more complex poses that target various muscle groups.
Cobra pose is easy to try out. To do it, lie on your stomach on the square gym mat or a yoga mat and lift your head and chest off the ground while keeping your feet planted. Next, stretch your head towards the sky. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then rest.
Pilates targets the core muscles to build strength and endurance. It also helps you become more flexible by improving your body balance and coordination. Pilates is a good mixture of strength, yoga, and stretching exercises. Think of them as full-body exercises.
Some simple Pilates moves include the hundred, the roll-up, and the single-leg stretch. The hundred focuses on strengthening your abdominal muscles. To do it, lie flat on a large exercise mat with your arms at your sides. Next, raise both of your legs slightly above hip level, then lower them back down to starting position. It got its name because you're supposed to do 100 reps.
Improving your flexibility can have a significant impact on your physical health. As we described above, stretching exercises, regular yoga, and Pilates have some amazing workouts you can try out.
Now that you know how to improve your flexibility, it's time to go to the gym and get started.