After having a long workout and pushing yourself to the limits (breaking a lot of sweat is something you should be used to here), having a good stretching routine is all it takes for you to become flexible. Now, what is flexibility and why is it so important for not only those who workout regularly, but for all other people as well?
Flexibility is necessary for everyday life – whether it’s getting out of your bed, vacuuming your room, leaning, or even sweeping the floor, being flexible makes it all an easier task to handle. Due to a sedentary lifestyle, flexibility slowly deteriorates over the years, but of course, you can be sure that you can do something to improve it and help make your everyday chores easier to perform. One of the most basic methods that helps the most is simple stretching, and the best part about regular stretching is the fact that it will reduce the chances of having chronical back pains.
The most important thing is to include flexibility training as a key part of a workout or fitness routine, as stretching can always boost your performance in any sport, or even the gym. So, long story short, stretching is an active form of relaxation, which vastly improves mental and physical recovery as well.
If you’re wondering how often you should perform flexibility training, the answer is as often as you can, but consider 4 times per week as your minimum, as it’s recommended by many professional fitness guides. When it comes to the intensity, every stretching routine should only help get your muscles you’re focusing on to a slight tension (it’s like feeling pain, but you know it helps the muscles stretch and relax). Don’t forget to breathe properly while you stretch, as a good breathing form can help a lot.
How to improve your flexibility
If it’s hard for you to touch your toes while standing, then stretching is a must! Not just because your flexibility levels are low, but also because it’s important to be able to at least touch your toes, which leads to having fewer injuries while performing workouts (even cardio). First of all, remember that your flexibility can be impacted by your lifestyle, the food that you eat, and your hydration as well. Flexibility training is a very important aspect of gaining strength (size too), and it’s not something you should avoid (in fact, you shouldn’t avoid anything that’s good for you). One of the mistakes many people make is going home after a workout and skipping the stretching session. Other than preventing injuries, flexibility gives you a better posture, meaning that you can show off your muscles better than ever before. And here’s how to improve your flexibility:
Do dynamic warm-ups before you workout: As those long holding stretches are a thing of the past, researchers have found out that nothing helps better than a simple dynamic warm up routine. So, before you start your workout, make sure to do some simple body movements, such as squats, lunges, jumping jacks, and push ups. These exercises will surely help you get ready for the workout routine ahead of you.
Leave the static stretching for after the workout: If you love doing those good-old stretching positions, leave them for the end of your workout or day at the gym. These stretches help you lengthen the muscles that were used during the workout, while helping you maintain a decent posture.
Get a massage: There’s not much to say here other than the fact that massages help break up knots in your muscles which make your movements restricted.
Don’t forget to breathe properly.