Stretching is one of the most vital things that you should do before you work out. However, flexibility work is almost, if not just as important. If you want to include a whole workout routine in your daily life, doing flexibility exercises should be included.
Stretching before and after your workout can improve your flexibility and help you reduce tightness, and make your workouts safer and more efficient. When you perform stretching exercises before a workout, the body will feel much better during and after.
If your muscles are tight when you begin your workout, you could cause a lot of damage to your muscles, and it is hard to recover quickly.
If you are older, the harder it is to recover from an injury. When we age, our muscles get shorter, and there is less elastic in them too. We should continue stretching to avoid as much loss as we can.
What are flexibility exercises?
Flexibility exercises will improve your ability of a joint to maintain movement that is necessary for everyday activities. You want your joints and muscles to be fluid and pain-free.
Flexibility exercises keep your joints and muscles pain-free. Your joints and muscles can go through a full range of motion because of flexibility.
Flexibility can improve your quality of life. You may think you are unable to be flexible, but anyone can become more flexible. The benefits of flexibility exercises are endless.
Being flexible is not just something for professional athletes. We all need to be flexible, especially as we get older.
Being flexible when we get older will help us when we are seniors and mobility issues come up. The more flexible you are, the better mobility you will have when you’re older.
To improve your flexibility, there are many exercises and stretches that you can do. Here are some of the best flexibility exercises.
What can they include?
Flexibility exercises can include many things. Some of those workouts include standing hamstring stretch, piriformis stretch, and more. Check out the list below.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
- Make sure you are standing tall with your feet hip-width apart, your knees can be slightly bent, arms by your sides.
- Exhale as you bend forward at the hips, lower your head towards the floor. Make sure to keep your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed.
- Bend your knees and roll up when you are done. This stretches your hamstrings, neck, glutes, and calves.
If you are scratching your head wondering what this stretch is. The Piriformis is a muscle located near the behind. This stretch is amazing for the hips. It also helps the sciatic nerve.
- Sit on the floor with both of your legs extended in front of you.
- Cross your right leg over your left leg, placing your right foot flat on the floor.
- Place your right hand on the floor behind your body.
- Place your left hand on your right quad or your left elbow as you twist your torso to the right. Switch legs and repeat.
- If spinal rotation hurts your back, take it out and use your left hand to pull your right quad in and to the left.
This stretches your hips, back, and glutes.
Lunge With Spinal Twist
This has sometimes been called the “World’s Greatest Stretch,” and there is a great reason for that. This stretch helps with posture-related pain.
- Start standing with your feet together.
- Take a big step forward with your left foot. You should be staggered in your stance.
- Bend your left knee, and drop into a lunge, keeping your right leg straight behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your right thigh.
- Place your right hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the left as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling.
- Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
- Repeat on the other side.
Stretches hips, quads, and back.
- Kneel, sit, or stand tall with feet hip-width apart, arms extended overhead.
- Bend your right elbow and reach your right hand to touch the top middle of your back.
- Reach your left hand overhead and grasp your right elbow.
- Gently pull your right elbow down and toward your head.
- Switch arms and repeat.
- Stretches neck, shoulders, back, triceps.
This is to help with lower back pain. It focuses on the hips and the groin areas.
- Start on all fours.
- Slide your knees wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Turn your toes out and rest the inner edges of your feet flat on the floor.
- Shift your hips back towards your heels.
- Move your hands to your forearms to get a deeper stretch.
- Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Some of these flexibility exercises you may be familiar with. If you have a hard time with any of these stretches, we advise you to cease doing them until you have spoken to your healthcare professional. The benefits of flexibility are endless.
From mobility, muscle flexibility and recovery, and fewer injuries, flexibility stretches can aid you in all of these. It takes an extra five to ten minutes a day on your workout, and the rewards are endless.
Best Exercises for Flexibility to Try
In addition to the flexibility stretches above, here is one of the best flexibility exercises you can do.
The child pose is one of the best recovery exercises. It helps with tension and stress on your back.
- Begin by sitting on your knees, sitting straight up in starting position.
- Slowly slide your hands forward on the floor, keep your hips close to your feet.
- Allow muscles to relax, feel hip flexors release and make space in the lower back.
- Stay in this position as long as you can.
Can you become flexible at 40?
It is never too late to begin flexibility stretches and exercising. If you want to become flexible at 40, it can happen. Flexibility improvements can happen at any age.
Regular stretching at any age can help you become more flexible. It is never too late to start.
Is it bad to stretch every day?
Stretching every day is not terrible. However, to get the best results, stretching two to three times each week for lasting improvement in flexibility.
To sum it all up, flexibility is a vital part of mobility. When we age, our mobility decreases, and it becomes difficult to do tiny things. Flexibility stretches and exercises are a great way to improve mobility.
We can start at any age, but the sooner, the better. You will be very thankful when you are older, and your mobility starts to decrease. It does not take much time, and it could save your mobility.