Make Flexibility Training A Core Part Of Every Workout

Flexibility training is an aspect of physical fitness that often gets overlooked in favor of “flashier” exercises. A lot of people are under the impression that if they aren’t huffing and puffing they aren’t really working out. Performing a series of stretches really doesn’t look very impressive (unless you are a contortionist). However, stretching is never a waste of time. In fact, it is one of the most vital aspects of any fitness routine.

Benefits of Stretching

Daily stretching preserves muscle flexibility over the short term and increases it over the long term. You should always stretch after a cardio or resistance training workout. This helps keep your muscles from tightening up and greatly reduces soreness over the next 48 hours. One of the most common reasons people don’t stick with a fitness program is post-workout soreness. Since lack of exercise is a surefire way to destroy your health, flexibility training could literally save your life!

You can also extend training time for many exercises if you stop and stretch muscles during a workout when they start to cramp. For example, you can squeeze in quite a few more squats if you do a quad stretch between each set.

Pay attention to any areas of your body that are especially tight - either from working out or from old injuries. Spend extra time rehabbing these muscles and tendons with gentle, persistent stretching. Take it slow and remember that pain is the signal that means “Stop!”

Stretch Anywhere - Anytime

It’s also a great idea to do some dynamic flexibility exercises throughout the day - especially at work. Slow arm circles, neck and shoulder rolls, and lower back stretches are especially helpful for relieving tension. Don’t worry if coworkers look at you funny.

Pretty soon they will be following your lead and remarking on how much better they feel when they stay relaxed on the job. Then, you can all lobby your boss to let you use an empty conference room for some lunchtime yoga exercises !

Get Really Stretchy

For hard core flexibility training, you will want to use a combination of stretching styles. Dynamic stretching which involves bending, reaching, and rotating helps you explore and maintain your current level of mobility.

Static stretching (relaxing into a stretch and holding it) helps you lengthen muscles and tendons and can greatly increase your mobility over time. This isn’t just a goal for profession athletes. There is a wonderful feeling of exhilaration that comes with being able to move fluidly and easily. It makes you feel young again!

Using your own body weight is one of the easiest ways to do static stretches. You can just move into position and relax - letting gravity do all the work. To experience a simple example, bend forward from your waist (without curving your back). Let your arms hang freely and feel the pull on your torso and the resulting stretch in your hamstrings.

Flexibility Training to Fitnesstempo
Flexibility Training to Muscle Flexibility