People who have large gains and do not do things to improve their flexibility are at a greater risk of losing flexibility. Strength training muscles is important when it comes to increasing flexibility.
You may think that just because you never stretch and continue to feel fine that you are not injuring your body. Wrong. In fact, the less you work towards increasing your flexibility, the more likely it is for you to slowly decrease your range of motion over time. Though few fitness programs focus solely on improving flexibility, there are precautions and techniques that can help improve flexibility.
So what are some ways to improve your flexibility?
Warm Up Your Body
20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running, or cycling are great exercises for warming up your muscles before stretching.
Always stretch before and after lifting. Some things you can try are stretching with a partner, dynamic stretching, static stretching, and ballistic stretching. Stretching not only helps prevent injury but it can also promote proper form and posture.
Tai Chi, Pilates, or Yoga
Oftentimes people think pilates and yoga are mainly for women but many athletes and bodybuilders use yoga to remain flexible and maintain overall fitness. Activities such as Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga can help improve flexibility and help strengthen muscles.
Eating healthy helps to rid your body of potential harmful toxins and contributes to overall improved flexibility.
Remember to stay hydrated. Drinking water is key for your muscles to build and repair and will help your body function at optimal levels and help you to remain flexible. Muscle groups shut down when they become dehydrated and can cause stiffness and tightness.
Consider seeing a chiropractor regularly to help loosen tight muscles and joints. Seeing a Chiropractor can help to increase mobility and flexibility. Oftentimes a Chiropractor will instruct you to use a foam roller on your own in-between visits. Whether it be sore muscles from a tough workout or relaxed muscles, using a foam roller helps your muscles stretch and relax.
Flexibility is a key element of fitness. Don’t wait until you hurt your back, pull a muscle, or slip a disc. Start incorporating stretching and activities to increase flexibility into your routine today.