You eat the right foods, drink the right drinks, and exercise regularly. In other words, you’re strong and healthy. There is only one hole in your overall good health. You aren’t mobile! Many people underestimate the importance of flexibility and mobility, but in truth it is very important to your overall health. It makes sense that in order to perform well in your workouts you must be able to move well and with good range of motion. In order to do that, you must work on both flexibility and mobility. Use the tips below to improve just that!
Tip #1: Roll Before
For many years, it was common practice to stretch before working out. However, not only does stretching before a workout pose a greater risk for injury, it also can decrease power in your workout. This is why foam rolling is a much better practice to implement before a workout. It releases a lot of tension in your muscles without decreasing power so that you can perform your best while also working on mobility.
Foam rolling works by basically giving your muscles a massage. It releases the muscle fascia so that your muscle fibers can glide seamlessly past each other without any resistance. Try foam rolling the major muscle groups that correspond to the muscles that you are going to work in your upcoming workout and feel the results!
Tip #2: Go All the Way
As you exercise, you can help your flexibility by working throughout your entire range of motion. Initially, you may have a harder time squatting your full range of motion, but sticking with it will allow your muscles to work all the way and will lead to their being more flexible.
To get to where you can squat or perform other exercises as deep as your body allows, you will probably want to reduce the amount of weight you use. As your body grows accustomed to going through a fuller range of motion, you can increase the weight and enjoy improved flexibility.
Tip #3: Stretch Afterwards
Your routine winds down, and your muscles feel tight and want to stay that way. Folks who are new to working out often enjoy the feeling. It lets them know their body has worked hard, and so they allow the tightness to remain as they leave the gym and return to their daily routines.
However, this is when your stretches become most important. Now that you have worked out and your muscles are warm, it is perfectly safe to stretch without risk of injury. By taking 10 minutes to slowly stretch, you can take a huge step toward your overall flexibility. A good post-workout stretch will focus on the areas worked during your routine, but will provide a little stretching for the entire body. You can also finish your stretching with more foam rolling if you have time, as this will help further your mobility goals.
Tip #4: Take it Slow
When stretching for increased flexibility, you may be tempted to push it as far as you can. But don’t give in. Instead, you should relax and take the slow and easy-going path to flexibility. Going too far too fast will actually have the opposite result that you want, as your body will have to repair itself from small injuries that occur from stretching and won’t want to stretch further in the future. Instead, take your time and allow your body to ease into stretches.
Feel an uncomfortable burning sensation that actually hurts? That is not your body’s way of thanking you. Back off and stretch to the point of slight discomfort. Accept that you can’t increase your flexibility overnight, and you will make better headway than beating your muscles into flexible submission. Stretch to the point of slight discomfort and hold that position for at least 30 seconds!
Contact me today to by filling out your information on my website to get started on a challenging and consistent exercise plan to increase flexibility as well as reduce your body fat and increase your energy levels. Let’s do this!