Flexibility exercises play an integral role in our ability to perform movement and reach without becoming injured. It’s easy to take stretching for granted and simply go straight to weight lifting or cardio. If you want to learn more about why you should add stretching into your routine, then you’re at the right place.
This post is dedicated to stretching and all you wanted to know about the benefits. Without further ado, let’s get going.
Why Does Stretching and Flexibility Exercise Matter So Much?
As mentioned, flexibility training is vital to the muscles and being able to move without becoming injured or straining. In other words, flexibility keeps the muscles supple while still being strong and healthy.
To improve flexibility, you may want to add flexibility workouts to your regular program. It may take a while to get into the swing of stretching, let alone perfecting your posture. Still, learning and practicing stretching and flexibility will greatly help improve your flexibility, range and balance.
What is Flexibility Exercise?
Flexibility exercise are all those physical movements that target certain muscle groups in each different form. For example, lifting your foot back towards your rear will help stretch your quadricep muscles which is vital for leg extension and knee bending.
Doing a forward fold, for instance, as seen in yoga practice, will stretch the quadriceps, calves, glutes and hamstrings.
Safety First When Stretching
Warm-up before stretching – Before you start your stretches, do a warm-up first. Warming up can be walking on one spot, jumping jacks or light jogging.
- Relax – With any form of exercise, safety is always important. When stretching, start off by relaxing and to help yourself relax, take a few deep breaths.
- Remember to breathe – Flexibility exercise works well when you’re breathing throughout the various stretches. Breath normally through your stretches.
- Take it slowly – Never rush your flexibility workouts because jerky or bouncy movement will cause muscle contractions and result in injury.
- Hold for 30 seconds – It’s best to hold your stretch pose for at least 30 seconds or two minutes. In this way, you’ll get the most out of the stretch.
- Repeat – You should also try to repeat the stretch two to three times for efficiency.
- Bend joints slightly – Avoid straightening your joints all the way because this ends up looking it into place. Once the joints are locked in place, it limits motion and reach and can also cause injury, so bend them slightly.
Remember to take your time and not to force yourself to stretch to the point of discomfort and pain. Some people may take longer than others to get to certain stages of flexibility but everyone has the capability of enjoying a flexible
Easy Flexibility Exercises That You Can Do At Home
You can improve flexibility by implementing some of these easy stretches. What’s more, is, you can do stretches from the comfort of your home, without the addition of expensive equipment.
#1 Seat Straddle Lotus
Seat straddle lotus is a good form of stretch that targets the pelvic floor, improves spine health by increasing the blood circulation in this region. Flexibility training like the seat straddle lotus also helps to improve hip flexibility.
#2 Butterfly Stretch
The butterfly stretch is beneficial for stretching the groin, knees, inner thighs and hips. It is easy to perform and perfect as part of your routine.
- Sit on the floor
- Bring the bottoms of your feet together
- You can hold your ankles or your feet at this time and engage your abdominal muscles
- If your leg muscles feel too tight, you can simply push your knees closer to the floor
- You can hold the stretch for a minute or two
#3 Lunging Hip Flexor
Hip flexor stretches such as the lunging hip flexor version helps to create more flexibility in the hips. The stretch will aid in reducing back pain in the lumbar region and increasing stride length.
- Kneel on either the left or right knee, whichever you want to start with first
- Your opposite leg’s foot should be towards the back of you
- Lean forward as you stretch your hips toward the floor
- You can squeeze your bottoms, and this will increase the stretch
- You can switch your sides after one to two minutes
#4 Knee To Chest Stretch
The knee to chest stretch is beneficial for stretching your lower back, hamstrings and your hips. The knee to chest stretch can alleviate tension on the spinal nerves.
- Start by laying flat on your back
- Pull either your right or left knee to your chest, depending on which leg you choose first
- Hold the pose for one to two minutes before switching legs
#5 Side Reach and Stretch
Side reach and stretch is beneficial for stretching the muscles supporting the ribs like the abdominal obliques and the “intercostal muscles.”
- Start with your feet placed together while standing
- With one hand on your hip, reach with the opposite hand over to the other side
- You can switch sides after 30 seconds or hold for one to two minutes as with the previous
Not everyone’s routine for flexibility is the same. However, consistency helps and keeps you in a steady rhythm of fitness, stretching and flexibility.
Enjoy Flexibility Exercise In A Group Setting
If you enjoy exercising in groups and the guidance of a skilled instructor, then you could take up a few great classes. Since there are so many stretches that will help improve flexibility, your choices are plenty.
Take up tai chi
Tai chi (taijiquan) pronounced “ty chee cho-on” is an ancient martial arts technique developed in China by Taoist Monk Zhang San Feng. Tai chi is still a fighting art but is also used as an exercise. It promotes balance, energy flow, blood circulation, wellness and balance to name a few.
Try a yoga class
Yoga is another ancient practice started in South Asia by ancient yogis. The practice of yoga also benefits flexibility as well as the balance between the mind and body. The practice incorporates breathing techniques and various poses.
FAQ about Flexibility Exercise
Leg flexibility stretches include calf stretch, hamstring stretch, inner thigh stretch and supine stretch.
The 5 benefits of flexibility include better range, motion, balance, improved posture, and lower chances of injuries.
There are many exercises that can help improve flexibility. 3 Top ones include side lunges, standing quad stretch and knees to chest.
Flexibility exercises help improve range, mobility and prevent injury.
Conclusion About Flexibility Exercise For Good Health
Whether you’re a veteran or looking for flexibility exercises for beginners, these stretches will help you reach your goal of becoming more flexible one stretch at a time. With frequent stretching, you’ll improve your overall physical wellness as well as your posture.
Which of these flexibility workouts do you enjoy or would like to start with?