Improving Your Flexibility

Flexibility: refers to the range of movement in a joint or series of joints. 

  • Length in muscles that cross the joints to induce a bending movement or motion. 

How can you Improve Flexibility? 

  • To improve flexibility, it is important to stretch
  • Stretching- is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon is deliberately flexed or stretched to improve flexibility and range of motion. 

What are the Benefits of Stretching? 

  • Improve range of motion 
  • Improve performance in physical activities 
  • Decrease risk of injury 
  • Enable your muscles to work most efficiently 
  • Decrease pain and soreness after exercises 
  • Improve posture 
  • Improve circulation of blood flow throughout the muscles 
  • Prevents tightness of muscles 

Types of Stretching 

Dynamic Stretching 

  • Low intensity form of stretching that utilizes movement to stretch your muscles 
  • Increases circulation and nutrient flow throughout the body Ex: arm swings, shoulder circles, lunges, leg swings, etc. 

Static Stretching 

  • Stretching muscles while the body is at rest 
  • It is composed of various techniques that gradually lengthen a muscle to an elongated position (to the point of discomfort) and hold that position for at least 30 seconds 

Stretching Essentials 

  • Target major muscle groups 
    Calves, thighs, hips, back, neck, shoulders, arms, etc. 
  • Warm up first 
  • Hold stretch for at least 30 seconds 
  • Don’t bounce 
  • Focus on pain-free stretches 
  • Relax and breathe freely 

Fit Stretching into your Schedule 

  • • Do stretches after your morning shower or bath 
  • • Stretch before getting out of bed 
  • • Stretch after exercise 

Keep up with Stretching 

  • It can be time consuming! 
  • You can achieve the most benefits by stretching regularly at least 2-3 times a week 
  • If stretching helped you increase your range of motion, it may decrease again if you stop stretching 

Approach with Caution 

  • If you have a chronic condition or injury, you may need to adjust your techniques 
  • Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the most appropriate way to stretch if you have any health concerns.