Tips to increase flexibility
Meta description: Becoming more flexible takes time but there are a few things you can do to increase your flexibility at home and in the gym. Have a read of these 4 handy tips and watch your flexibility level increase.
Our tips edition aims to help you build skills in a variety of sports and fitness activities. Several topics have been covered already so if you’re interested in running, cheerleading, bodybuilding and more, make sure you check out previous editions of SPORFORYA Tips. flexibility is the theme of this post and it’s something that can be applied to many different sports including dance, yoga and gymnastics. If flexibility isn’t your strong point or is an area you would like to improve keep reading for 4 handy tips!
Whilst there is no proven link between diet and flexibility including food quality protein post-exercise to ensure you’re maintaining a balanced diet is a good idea. Especially as protein can help speed up muscle recovery enabling you to stretch more regularly without being in too much discomfort. Protein can also decrease joint pain and support tendons which are two very important factors that contribute to your flexibility.
When stretching your muscles it is normal to feel some discomfort (stop if it is really painful as you may be damaging the muscle), during these moments it can be tempting to count faster and release the stretch sooner however this won’t benefit your flexibility. Many people hold stretches for between 5 — 10 seconds however, for better results push yourself to 30 seconds and you’ll see your flexibility level increase.
As well as holding stretches longer try to stretch more often. Flexibility isn’t necessarily a skill that will increase quickly, therefore, it is important to stretch regularly. You can even try to add stretching into your day-to-day routine such as keeping straight legs when bending to pick something off the floor or reaching up to higher cupboards without using a step stool. It is also important to continue stretching even after you hit the target you are aiming towards in order to maintain the level of flexibility you have built up. Failing to stretch on an ongoing basis could see you make negative progress much quicker than you’ll be able to improve.
Treat yourself to a warm bath or shower before stretching as this will have plenty of physical and psychological benefits. This works well because it enables you to override the muscles natural protective response by relaxing them. You could potentially get more out of your stretches because you are starting with warm, relaxed muscles that are ready to work.
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