If you can’t start your day without a morning run or end it without getting a good workout in at the gym, you probably know the importance of flexibility when it comes to exercise.
But all that stiffness is not just detrimental to your workouts. It can also result in long-term health issues such as joint and back pain. Furthermore, being unable to fully extend your muscles can hamper your posture, which can lead to a whole other multitude of problems.
But, worry not – there are plenty of simple solutions that will help you increase your range of motion and eliminate stiffness for good. With this in mind, here are 6 ways to improve your flexibility.
Wear the Right Clothes
Clothing such as yoga pants, compression tights, gym shirts and sports bras will help you get a better feel for your movements and eliminate the constraints that come from wearing clothes that aren’t appropriate for stretching and exercise. Having a workout-ready wardrobe will also give you an extra push to stick to your routine, and consistency is key.
Take up Yoga
It’s safe to say that yoga is one of the best ways to alleviate a variety of physical health issues, including stiffness. In addition to its capability to increase your range of motion, yoga will also make you feel more relaxed and improve your body awareness. And, thanks to modern technology, you don’t have to spend a fortune on yoga classes.
Popular streaming services such as Yoga Selection allow you to choose from a variety of different classes that are tailored to your needs. Along with their comprehensive list of beginner-friendly courses, they also offer many learning resources that you can use to gain more experience. Head over to yogaselection.com to get started.
One of the biggest contributors to muscle soreness and stiffness is poor posture. Practising belly breathing will open up your diaphragm and improve your posture in the process. This is especially important for lifters, as they typically breathe into their ribcage instead of their belly.
Our muscles are an astonishing 75% water, so it makes perfect sense that hydration is key to ensuring they’re working in optimal condition. Staying hydrated is particularly important after a workout, as this is when your body loses a lot of fluids. In any case, water is the best thing you can drink.
While a little less conventional than other solutions, dance-based fitness routines are known as a great way to boost your flexibility. Zumba, for example, includes movements such as hip-swirling, shoulder-rolling and a variety of other techniques that effectively utilize your muscles and joints.
Tai Chi is similar to yoga, but focuses more on continuous flows of movement between different postures. It’s a more gentle, meditative way to stretch your muscles and increase flexibility. Tai chi is also an excellent way to relax your mind and alleviate stress.
None of these methods are expensive, time-consuming or difficult to incorporate into your daily routine. But at the same time, their benefits can be life-changing so make it happen ASAP.