We often underestimate the importance of flexibility in our daily lives.
Whether it's tying your shoelaces, reaching for a high shelf, or even just sitting on the floor to have some fun with the kids or grandkids, flexibility is crucial.
Enhanced flexibility can lead to improved posture, reduced muscle soreness, and even a decreased risk of injuries.
Unfortunately, many people neglect to improve their flexibility.
The main reason for this is the misconception that flexibility is solely a natural talent - something you're either born with or you're not. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Anyone can improve their flexibility with the right approach and dedication.
People also struggle to improve their flexibility because:
- They don't know how to stretch properly.
- They don't stretch consistently.
- They become discouraged and give up too easily.
But there's no need to worry!
With the right strategies and dedication, you can certainly enhance your flexibility.
Here are 5 key points and a 5-minute stretching routine to improve your flexibility:
Key 1: Warm-Up Before Stretching
Warming up is essential to prepare your body for stretching. Light cardio exercises such as walking or jogging, dynamic stretches like arm circles and leg swings, or my favorite, a few rounds of Sun Salutations, can effectively warm up your muscles and prevent injuries.
Key 2: Stretch Slowly and Gently
Avoid bouncing or forcing your body into a stretch. Instead, move slowly into a stretch and hold for at least 30 seconds. The key is to feel a gentle pull, not pain.
Key 3: Stretch Regularly
Consistency is key in flexibility training. Set a goal to stretch at least three times per week. The way I do it is by practicing yoga. Yoga incorporate a range of stretches and strengthen your core, promoting overall fitness.
Key 4: Listen to Your Body
Stretching should never cause pain. Always listen to your body and stop if you feel any discomfort. This will ensure a safe and effective flexibility journey.
Key 5: Be Patient
Improving flexibility takes time. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. Remember, consistency and patience will pay off in the long run.
Now, with these keys in mind here’s a 5 minute flexibility routine to try at home:
Stretch #1: World’s greatest stretch
Repeat: 60 sec (or 10 reps) per side
Improve flexibility of: Hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves, chest, shoulders, back and neck
- Front foot pointing out in 45 degrees
- Try touching the ground with the elbow down before reaching your arm overhead
Stretch #2: Lunge to Half split
Repeat: 60 sec (or 10 reps) per side
Improve flexibility of: Hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes and calves
- Use yoga blocks like I use in the pic. This will give you more range of motion.
- Keep your back erect when reaching backwards
Stretch #3: Shoulder floss
Repeat: 60 sec (or 10 reps)
Improve flexibility of: Chest and shoulders
- Use a strap/belt/towel/groom stick
- You can do this exercise seated or standing
These stretches target major muscle groups, contributing to a balanced flexibility improvement.
Repeat this routine daily (or at least 3 times per week).
Whenever you’re ready, here's how I can help you:
I used to be stiff as a wooden board but today, at 38, I’m more flexible than I’ve ever been before!
This transformation didn't happen overnight. It was a journey – a journey that I'd love for you to embark on too. That's why I've created the ‘28-Day Journey to Flexibility’ program.
This program is designed to help you gradually improve your flexibility, just as I did, in a safe and sustainable way, right from your living room.
If you're ready to ditch the stiffness and embrace a more flexible, fluid you, then I invite you to join me on this 28-Day Journey to Flexibility.