You’ll probably never be able to kick your leg as high as a champion cheerleader or contort your body like Simon Biles, but you can improve your flexibility.
It takes time, it takes focus, and it especially takes patience, but it can be done.
Whether you’re looking to just be able to touch your toes or are hoping to one day do the splits, here are some helpful tips.
People have probably told you for years to make sure to stretch before a workout, but it’s not as beneficial as dynamic stretching.
Instead of sitting on the ground and holding a stretch for a minute before you go on a run, do squats, lunges, or other movements that will get your body warmed up.
This will not only get your blood flowing, but it’ll stretch your muscles in a way that will prevent injury and improve overall flexibility.
We’d all probably love to have our own personal masseuse to give us massages post-workout, but you can do it yourself.
Incorporate a foam roller into your post-workout routine, as it will help to recover your muscles as well as decrease inflammation and soreness.
When you wake up, take five minutes or so to slowly stretch your body. Reach down and touch your toes, stretch out your arms, or hold a calf stretch for 30 seconds.
This will help wake your body up, but it will also lengthen your muscles and keep you less tight throughout the day.
While exercise and stretching are critical to improving flexibility, so is your diet. Make sure you are getting enough protein into your diet, whether that’s through meat, nuts, eggs, or a protein smoothie.
This will help your muscles to recover quicker, thus decreasing joint pain and soreness.
In order for your muscles to work properly, they have to be properly hydrated.
Drinking enough water throughout the day will keep your muscles strong and decrease the likelihood of injury.
Stress can cause your muscles to tighten up, so it’s critical to take time to de-stress and let your body relax.
Not to mention, your workouts don’t have to always push you to the brink. Flexibility can really improve through lower stress workouts such as yoga, walking, and pilates.
Allowing yourself the time to breathe and unwind will ultimately prevent your body from becoming too tense.