How To Become More Flexible, Contributed by @sharingeverybite

in #stretching3 years ago

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Training your body to have more flexibility isn’t just a task for gymnasts and ballerinas. It’s something that every person should be doing on a regular basis for optimal health. You might be thinking, “There’s no way I’d ever be able to do the splits, so this probably isn’t something I’m capable of.” But the good news is, you don’t need to be a contortionist to remain agile and healthy.

Here are some tips to increase your flexibility over time. You’ll enjoy fewer back problems, fewer muscle aches, and more energy (among many other benefits).

The Practice


Before jumping into the logistics of how to become more flexible, you must understand that it’s something you have to maintain every day. Some people find it easy to incorporate 10-15 minutes of stretching immediately after getting out of bed, while others like to do it before going to sleep. Whatever time of day is convenient for you, make sure you stick with it each day.

Otherwise, it’s easy to lose progress and become stiff. You don’t want to back track after working so hard to loosen up.

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How To Stretch


There are a few important things to remember about stretching your body:

  • Stretching to gain more flexibility will feel a little uncomfortable at first. You need to push past that to see results. With that being said…
  • Don’t push yourself beyond a mild to moderate level of pain. If you do, it can result in pulled muscles or other serious injury.

With these things in the front of your mind, you can begin. Before each session, get your blood pumping for at least five minutes. Do whatever you enjoy the most, whether that’s jogging in place, taking a lap around the neighborhood, dancing in your room, or some other thing. After some cardio, you can begin.

I recommend finding free stretching/flexibility training videos on YouTube to show you proper form for the hundreds of different potential stretches.

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Staying Motivated


I won’t lie, it’s going to seem like somewhat of an annoyingly painful task without obvious progress at first. If you’ve never done any formal stretching in your life, it might be even worse. I’ve heard people say plenty of times, “I’ve just never been flexible like other people,” but it’s not a genetic trait. Lacking flexibility is directly correlated with not stretching. Strange, right?

Even if it seems like you’re not getting more flexible, keep at it! Just remember that you’ll have better physical health as you progress. As any chiropractor will tell you, many spinal and muscular issues are the result of poor flexibility.

What are your favorite stretches and flexibility exercises?

Share in the comments below.

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Stretching and motivation is life! As a dancer I can say that nothing feels so good as being confident about your skills. Even if you can do the splits, it means a lot! Looking forward to do yoga!

I was introduced to the circus arts when I was 18 and fell in love with stretching and being able to do amazing things with my body. I feel so much more comfortable now now that I'm more flexible. I'm currently working on backbending and contortionist moves, but my shoulders are very tight and it is SO painful. But an addicting pain! Just have to keep at it and I will get there!

My favourite stretches are Lunge With Spinal Twist and 90/90 Stretch..Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints.

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Yoga is my favorite excersice to improve it. I start this activity 1 year ago, but in a few months I did the lateral split easy, however, i was dancer when I was a teenager and the muscle memory helped me. Yoga is the best because is achieved step by step and the muscle dont suffer.

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We are all born pretty flexible, just try to find a baby who can't touch his/her toes! ;) With years and lack of movement the conditioning sets in, we inhabit less and less of our bodies. Good news is - we are all more than capable to change it! Tip #1 Warm up either from inside out (by physical movement) or from outside in by using the environment (hot climate, hot bath or a hot shower) Tip #2 Go slowly, it's not about how far you want to stretch but about staying at the edge of the stretch (before you feel any pain) and listening to the body's response Tip#3 Consistency. To make it easier incorporate stretches in your daily life (bend forward any now and then sitting on your office chair, as you are watching TV). It's really not about being able to twist yourself into a pretzel, it's about increasing the space you are living in. Your body doesn't have to be a studio apartment, you can be living in a mention with ever more rooms to visit :)