Flexibility is a muscle or joints ability to move through full range of motion. Flexibility is also one of the most important components of physical fitness, but unfortunately it is often overlooked. Take a second. Think about the last time you worked up a sweat. Did you spend enough time warming up your body or cooling it down? If you a group fitness guy or gal you may notice that a few people slip out the door without adeqautely re-aligning their bodies. Stretching and cooling down may seem obsolete; however, that could not be further from the truth. Flexibility training should be a constant in your life and does not always come in the form of touching your toes.
Working on flexibility can Help to:
- Decrease Muscle Imbalances
- Decrease Your Chance of Injury
- Help Clear Your Mind
- Enable your muscles or joints work to full range of motion making daily life activity easier.
You can Improve Your Flexibility by:
Working through full range of motion while weight training
Getting a Massage: Getting a massage often seems like a luxury when it is actually a necessity. You do not have to go to a fancy spa to release your knots and tight muscles, you can use a foam roller or tiger tail to help. The most important thing is that you roll for recovery or find someone who can help. There are tons of affordable massage options out there like Massage Envy and Hand and Stone. Kick a couple of those pricey lattes to the curb and you can easily get a massage once a month.
Taking Time to Stretch: This sounds simple, but stretching is often overlooked. As a former dancer stretching was always a part of my regimen. Unfortunately, I have not done it often enough lately and am starting to make it a part of my morning ritual again. I created a light stretching routine that would be perfect for you to start or end your day.
Incorporating Yoga Into Your fitness regimen: Yoga is not all about chanting and “OM’ing”. Yoga works on strength, improving full range of motion and helps provide space in the body. Find an instructor that you like and hit your Downward Dog.
Learning to Breathe: Learning to connect your breathe to movement is one of the most powerful things you can do. Not only will learning to breathe make your flexibility training more effective, but it will help you harness the power to control your mind. I always tell my clients to “breathe out on the work”. So the next time you perform a set up crunches, push-up’s or a stretch breathe out on the work or the hardest part.
Drinking More Water: Muscles are made of up 75% water. Many people are walking around parched and dehydrated. So guess what? Your muscles are essentially stuck and will not work adequately without H20. Focus on drinking at least half of your bodyweight in ounces as a marker for hydration. Be mindful of how you feel and track the color of your urine. If it is pale you are hydrated. If it is closer to amber it means you are dehydrated and need to drink up buttercup!
Give this flexibility routine a try today! You can do it on flat ground or find a step, a chair or a rock for elevation.
Video by Catarcione Productions