What Is Flexibility Exercise?
If there was a way to reduce the impact of your workout on your muscle groups, lower the chances of future injury, and create a body that will keep moving farther into old age, would you do it?
Fortunately, there’s an easy route to achieving all of this and a healthier you: flexibility exercise.
What Is Flexibility Exercise?
Flexibility exercise is just another word for stretching.
To put it simply, it’s the group of exercises in which muscles or tendons are deliberately flexed or stretched to create more elasticity. The more elasticity in our muscles and tendons, the easier it is to move around.
According to Heart.org, flexibility exercises are an integral part of a well-rounded fitness routine. Adding intentional flexibility exercise to your endurance, strength and balance routines will ensure that you are working each part of your body.
What Are The Benefits Of Flexibility Exercises?
As we touched on before, flexibility exercise has a wide range of benefits. Here are a few more to get you thinking about the possibilities of incorporating stretching into your fitness routine:
It increases the range of motion.
Having a greater range of motion is a benefit in any area of life. Whether chasing a toddler around the park or trying to train your muscles to their fullest capacity, having the ability to move your body as far as possible can go a long way.
It prevents pain.
Having tight muscles can have adverse effects on all parts of the body, especially the back. If the muscles surrounding your spine, for example, are tense, they can worsen a whole score of back issues. Stretching your entire body will help relieve some of that tension and provide a reduction in pain.
It prevents injury.
When you’re performing any activity—be it lifting heavy at the gym or walking up some stairs—you are putting stress on your muscles and tendons. When our muscles and tendons are “cold” and tense, they’re more prone to pull or even tear. When we stretch, muscles and tendons “warm up” and can move farther without causing injury.
It supports movement.
Flexibility exercises support movement. Flexibility allows you to move through the world more comfortably by improving muscle coordination, balance, and range of motion.
It improves circulation.
Regular stretching gets your blood moving! This means a wave of oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your muscles and organs when you do flexibility exercises. This allows your whole body to function at a higher level of performance.
It supports posture.
Part of what makes poor posture is tight muscles (aka connective tissue). Tightness in the chest, back, and hips can cause you to hunch forward and exacerbate back issues. Loosening those muscles will allow for your back to find a more-comfortable, straighter posture.
It feels good.
Performing flexibility exercises engages your parasympathetic nervous system, which is associated with resting and digesting. Stretching exercise is also thought to release endorphins, which make you feel good naturally. Basically, having a stretching routine can be a relaxing expression of self-care that can boost any daily routine and improve overall bodily function.
Don’t forget to stretch before and after each workout, and create a dynamic stretching routine. These small changes can make a huge difference in your flexibility overall. To avoid injury and work at your absolute best, it is essential to prioritize your flexibility, stretching, and balance. Not only will it benefit you today, but well into your golden years.
There are a myriad of exercises to improve flexibility – from bending down to touch your toes to following an entire yoga flow routine. Now that you understand what flexibility strength training is and why it’s essential to find a stretching routine that feels right to you—do your body a favor by moving!
You can find flexibility exercises like yoga and other dynamic stretches on iChuze Fitness, our virtual fitness platform. Grab your free 7-day pass to access this 10-minute standing stretch by Nina, who will take you through an oh-so-good flexibility routine. You can also practice flexibility exercises in all of our locations. Stop in, say hello, and get to flexin’!