The time we spend outside the gym often involves plenty of sitting or standing in one (usually irregular) position. This hurts our flexibility and wide range of motions.
After a while the results of an overall improper stance of the body that burrows the joints, muscles and tendons, make you vulnerable to injury and prevents you from reaching the maximum of your physical activity.
The only way to improve this condition is to focus on your flexibility.
Even if you keep an eye on your posture, over the years, muscles naturally lose their flexibility. They become tighter and more susceptible to pain and limited movement, which also reduces the function of the joints.
Therefore, flexibility is an important part of fitness.
With good flexibility you will reduce the risk of injuries and you will be ready to perform exercises with a wide range of movements that you could not perform in good form so far.
Flexibility will also help you in the simplest daily activities – walking, running, bending, lifting heavy objects and reducing the pain that often appears in the lower back, knees, shoulders, and all the joints of the body.
How to get more flexibility?
I want to recommend 6 ways that you can improve flexibility and achieve the maximum of your physical abilities.
If you want to keep track of the progress, you can test your flexibility by simply bending upright and straighten your hands down to your toes.
You will immediately feel in which part of the body there is painful tightness. Repeat this test once a week and you will notice the extent to which you have improved.
1. Dynamic warm-up before training
Leave static stretching at the end of the workout, and start with dynamic warm up. Make several exercises with your own weight that involve larger movements and activation of multiple muscle groups – jerking, stepping, side-stepping, and push-ups.
Try to perform 2 to 3 series of 20 reps each exercise. This will help you warm the body for the training that follows and move the muscles, joints and tendons.
2. Exercises involving a full range of movement
Isolated exercises will help you a lot in gaining more strength and muscle mass. But to work on your flexibility and during exercise, practice exercises with a full range of movement.
For example, the dead-lifts help to improve the flexibility of the hips. Just beware of the weights you use when you first perform new exercises of this kind. Practice with the smallest weights until you are sure you are doing the exercise with the right form.
3. Static stretching after training
Static tension consists of placing the body in positions where the muscles and tendons have been stretched for a long time (20-30 seconds).
During this time, the body gets used to the position and the muscles relax after the effort they went through during the workout.
Stretching should not make you feel pain. In the first few seconds, you should feel a tightening, followed by relaxing of the entire body. Include positions in which you will stretch your chest, back and hips, as they suffer the most from improper stance of the body.
4. Professional massage
The previous 3 steps will help you a lot to improve your flexibility. And a professional massage will take you one step further to this end.
The massage helps to break the knots in the muscle and other tissues that can be an obstacle when performing movements in full range.
Therefore, if you are able, hire a professional masseur at least once a month to recover from the training and regenerate the body.
In order to be able to respond appropriately to flexibility exercises, the muscles must function optimally. This means that they should be sufficiently hydrated because water is an important part of the composition of muscle tissue.
Apart from the fact that you need to get plenty of water during the day to achieve your fitness goals, pay particular attention to hydration during exercise.
6. Food supplements for greater flexibility
As I mentioned at the outset, our body over the years naturally loses flexibility.
This is due to the lower muscle activity, but also to the changes occurring in the bone system, more specifically the joints.
It is therefore important to continuously improve flexibility to prevent injury or to recover from an existing one. In this mission, dietary supplements – vitamins, minerals and re-generators – can be very helpful.