How Can I Make Myself More Flexible?
After activities such as running, cycling or lifting weights it would be a good idea to add some flexibility training.
Or during a day at the office with plenty of inactive time, our muscles and joints get stiff and would not mind to get moved
Why Does Flexibility Help Me?
Flexibility is defined as the ability to move a joint through its complete ROM (range of motion). It is not only important for athletic performance, but for carrying out activities of daily living as well. There is evidence that maintaining flexibility may prevent injuries and tissue damage.
How To Optimize Your Time
Finish your workouts with 5-10 min of stretching. During your days, try to add exercises which you can do while brushing your teeth, sitting at your desk or waiting at the check out.
What Exercises Improve Flexibility?
Dynamic stretching exercises are strongly recommended before high intense or long workouts. Static stretching exercises can be done either post-workout or squeezed in during your day. Both types will address the joint and involved structure such as ligaments, tendons and surrounding muscles.
How About Foam Rolling?
Between your stretching exercises, add some myofascial release by rolling over your foam roller for 8-10x each muscle group. It increases the blood flow to the tissue and helps to loosen the tightness. Science could show that foam rolling can reduce some symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage and may help you to increase your range of motion.
Which One Is the Best Exercise?
Flexibility is joint specific, which means no single flexibility exercise will improve total body flexibility. Instead, use a variety of exercises for overall flexibility. Post-exercise, be specific to the joints/ muscle groups involved during your workout eg. stretch your hips, lower back and shoulders after a bike ride.
What Exercises Should I Avoid?
If your muscles are very sore, be gentle with the stretching and stay away from a hard foam roller. Alternate holding the stretching position for just a few seconds, then loosen up the muscle by shaking it lightly. Repeat the sequence for 3-5 times. No jerky moves and avoid holding very painful positions for too long.
In my next blog I will post some exercises you can do during your day.
Flexibility Exercises During The Day – Part 1+2