To preserve your physique limber and your muscle tissues in good condition, it is advisable keep energetic and do workout routines which might be targeted on flexibility.
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Limiting your bodily exercise or sitting for lengthy durations of time may cause your muscle tissues to develop into restricted of their flexibility and vary. And as you age, your muscle tissues progressively develop into shorter and start to lose some elasticity. Aging can even lower the vary of movement in your hips, shoulders and backbone.
The excellent news is that it’s by no means too late to search out methods to be extra versatile. If you’re employed flexibility workout routines into your regular routine, it could actually significantly enhance your bodily well-being — to not point out serving to to offset the results of growing older in your physique.
According to Christopher Travers, MS, listed below are 5 of one of the best methods to develop into extra versatile with day by day or frequent practices.
1. Take a yoga class
Yoga reduces stress and means that you can focus by utilizing breath management, easy meditation and bodily postures. Not solely does it improve your steadiness and adaptability, however yoga additionally leaves you feeling stronger and extra mentally targeted.
Yoga may be each a low impression and extremely efficient exercise. Taking a fundamentals or newbie yoga class a couple of times per week will assist stretch your muscle tissues as they develop into extra tense together with your common way of life.
When you’re training yoga, you are able to do entire physique actions targeted on stretching a number of areas of your physique all of sudden, otherwise you concentrate on yoga poses that focus on particular areas like your hips, again or shoulders.
Accessing yoga can also be very simple. You don’t must go to a yoga studio to develop your apply. Just search the number of on-line lessons that help you take lessons from the consolation of your own home and also you’ll be in your approach to feeling significantly better bodily (and mentally, too).
2. Go for dynamic stretching over static stretching
Whether you’re lifting weights or going for a run, dynamic stretching is a extra useful warm-up train than static stretching.
While a static stretch, corresponding to touching your toes could assist you really feel free, dynamic stretching higher prepares your physique for the various kinds of motion you’ll use in your upcoming exercise.
An instance of a dynamic stretch for somebody planning to run is a knee-to-chest train:
- While standing, carry your knee towards your chest, then convey your foot towards the bottom.
- Hug your shin as you convey your knee up so your knee cap rests towards your chest.
- Alternate every leg and do that 10 occasions.
This stretch mimics a operating stride and warms up the muscle tissues you’ll use throughout your run.
To make some dynamic warm-ups just a little simpler, you may maintain on to one thing sturdy and secure like a railing or chair.
3. Try tai chi
Originally created for self protection, tai chi entails a sequence of physique actions you carry out in a sluggish, targeted method whereas respiration slowly and deeply.
This historical Chinese train is a low-impact exercise that places minimal stress in your muscle tissues and joints — so it’s secure for all ages and health ranges. Tai chi will assist enhance your leg energy, flexibility, vary of movement and reflexes.
Just like yoga, should you can’t discover a class close to you, there are a number of tai chi movies on-line that can assist you start to study the fundamentals.
4. Add stretch bands to your routine
Another train possibility you should use at house is including light-weight stretch bands (additionally known as resistance bands) to your exercises or stretching routine.
Stretch bands can enhance your mobility and stimulate a few of your dormant muscle tissues. When you’re activating the muscle tissues in your physique, these resistance bands assist interact your main muscle teams to create rigidity. The extra you stretch the band, the better the resistance is positioned in your muscle tissues.
There are some ways to work with stretch bands. In every train, you’ll really feel stretching occurring in several components of your physique. There are many on-line movies you may search that can assist you select which muscle tissues you need to work on.
- Upper physique — Hold the band in each arms and easily pull them aside, which is able to activate your shoulders, chest, again and biceps all of sudden.
- Leg extension — Lay on the ground, holding the band in each your arms, wrap it round your foot and lengthen your leg in the direction of the ground, switching sides.
- Wide leg stretch — Or wrap the band round your two toes and pull them aside, activating all your leg muscle tissues, hips and your core muscle group.
To get one of the best outcomes with stretch bands, preserve right posture, transfer slowly and preserve fixed, sluggish rigidity on the stretch band. Make certain you steadiness every resistance train on each side of your physique.
5. Follow up with foam rollers
Using a foam curler helps you enhance flexibility, operate and efficiency whereas stopping accidents. Using a foam curler additionally helps take away lactic acid from the muscle tissues so your muscle tissues get better from a exercise extra shortly.
Using a foam curler in your muscle tissues is a self-myofascial launch (SMR) method — a sort of self-massage method the place you knead or “roll out” your muscle tissues utilizing your individual physique weight on an object to alleviate rigidity.
This method will help relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and irritation, and enhance your joint vary of movement. Targeted muscle teams can embody your hamstrings, quadriceps, hips, calf, again or gluteal muscle tissues.
A foam curler seems to be simply the way in which it sounds — it’s a big roll of dense foam. You place the curler beneath the focused space, then transfer utilizing your individual physique weight to softly therapeutic massage the muscle and break up restrictions to regular soft-tissue extensibility. This makes the muscle tissues extra versatile.
You’ll instantly see a distinction in how versatile your muscle tissues are after utilizing foam rollers. And, like many different flexibility workout routines, they’re nice as a result of you may do the workout routines at dwelling.
Move extra usually to remain more healthy
“There truly is a variety of flexibility exercises you can do,” Travers says.
“And like with all other exercises, if you can find a few you enjoy you’ll reap the benefits of having an easy, go-to routine that will become like second nature. Knowing how to stay flexible can make you feel better, help you move more easily and prevent joint pain and muscle tension down the road.”