How to Get a Flexible Body
How to Get a Flexible Body
Getting flexible is one of the best things you can do for your health. Flexibility helps to relieve joint pain, improves blood flow and allows you to perform a variety of movements with less energy.
There is no magic formula to get flexible but there are a few steps you can take to start improving your flexibility and achieving more mobility in your body. You should make a commitment to work on your flexibility at least three times per week.
The American Council on Exercise recommends that you target each muscle group to increase your flexibility. You can also add weight training into your flexibility routine to further boost your results.
When you first wake up in the morning, make it a habit to spend a few minutes stretching before you get ready for the day. This will help your joints and muscles to align properly for the day ahead.
Do not overstretch yourself: Only stretch as far as your body will allow you to without causing damage or injury. Overstretching your joints can cause injuries and muscle tears that will leave you feeling extra stiff in the days to come.
Don’t bounce while holding stretches: Many people will attempt to hold a deep stretch for multiple minutes and then they will quickly jump up and down, bounce or just get bored and stop. This is an easy way to injure yourself while you are trying to improve your flexibility and can actually hinder your progress.
Hold it for 30 seconds to 60 seconds: Once you feel that your range of motion has increased, try to hold the stretch for a longer period of time. Young people should only hold stretches for up to 10 seconds, while adults can hold it for about 30-60 seconds.
Stay on your nutrition: The foods you eat directly affect the flexibility of your connective tissue, muscles and tendons. Your diet should include healthy sources of protein, calcium, fatty acids and other nutrients that will help your body grow stronger and move better.
Keeping your muscles, fascia and tendons well nourished will improve your flexibility and prevent muscle tightness. This will also keep you from overstretching your muscles and tendons which can lead to painful aches or injuries.
Don’t force your body into movement it isn’t prepared to do: It takes time for the body to adjust to new workout routines, so it’s important to take your time and listen to your body.
Use a brick: For those who are just starting out with their flexibility routine, it can be helpful to use a block in some poses. This will shorten the length of the pose and help you avoid putting your joints through the strain of a full reach.
Focus on your goal: Whether you want to touch your toes or bend into a split, your goals should guide your progress and keep you motivated. The more you work toward your goals, the quicker you will achieve them.
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