You eat the right foods, drink the right drinks, and exercise regularly. In
other words, you’re strong and healthy. There is only one hole in your
overall good health. You’re as flexible as a piece of plywood. But there’s
good news! You don’t have to stay inflexible your entire life. With the
right steps, you can improve your flexibility, which will make life that
Ready to get started building a more flexible you? Here’s how.
For many years, it was common practice to stretch before working out. In
recent years, folks have ditched that advice for something better: lightly
performing whatever you plan to do. Going to run? Walk and then jog before
getting into a run. For those who want to take their routines to the
stretchy limit, it’s time to use a foam roller.
With a foam roller, you work to gently stretch your muscles before working
them out, and better yet, you stretch them out safely. Essentially a massage
for your muscles, foam rolling helps your muscles relax and stretch. This,
in turn, allows your entire muscle to be worked out in the gym afterward and
prevents an already tight muscle from growing tighter through your exercise
routine. Once you knock out a little foam rolling, the time is right for a
round of body-weight exercises or light activity before going full force.
Go All the Way
As you exercise, you can help your flexibility by working throughout your
entire range of motion. Initially, you may have a harder time squatting your
full range of motion, but sticking with it will allow your muscles to work
all the way and will lead to their being more flexible.
To get to where you can squat or perform other exercises as deep as your
body allows, you will probably want to reduce the amount of weight you use.
As your body grows accustomed to going through a fuller range of motion, you
can increase the weight and enjoy improved flexibility.
Your routine winds down, and your muscles feel tight and want to stay that
way. Folks who are new to working out often enjoy the feeling. It lets them
know their body has worked hard, and so they allow the tightness to remain
as they leave the gym and return to their daily routines.
However, this is when your stretches become most important. By taking 10
minutes to stretch slowly, you can take a huge step toward your overall
flexibility. A good post-workout stretch will focus on the areas worked
during your routine, but will provide a little stretching for the entire
body. You can also finish your stretching with more foam rolling if you have
time, as this will help further your flexibility goals.
Take It Slow
When stretching for increased flexibility, you may be tempted to push it as
far as you can. But don’t give in. Instead, you should relax and take the
slow and easy-going path to flexibility. Going too far too fast will
actually have the opposite result that you want, as your body will have to
repair itself from small injuries that occur from stretching and won’t want
to stretch further in the future. Instead, take your time and allow your
body to ease into stretches.
Feel an uncomfortable burning sensation that actually hurts? That is not
your body’s way of thanking you. Back off and stretch to the point of slight
discomfort. Accept that you can’t increase your flexibility overnight, and
you will make better headway than beating your muscles into flexible
Call or email me today to get started on a challenging and consistent
exercise plan to increase flexibility as well as reduce your body fat and
increase your energy levels. Let’s do this!