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5 Activities to Improve Your Flexibility

5 Activities to Improve Your Flexibility

Flexibility is an important yet mostly neglected aspect of physical fitness. People usually focus more on building strength or endurance, but knowing how to improve flexibility fast can improve a person’s overall physical ability.

But before we get to how to improve flexibility fast, we first need to talk about what flexibility is.

What is flexibility?

Flexibility is a person’s ability to move their joints and muscles in a specific range of motion easily and without pain.

One common example of flexibility is being able to reach your toes when stretching. Another is being able to squat without trouble, or being able to sit on the floor without discomfort.

In addition, flexibility also reduces a person’s risk for injury. This is because your muscles and joints have a wider range of motion, so you can move and bend easily. Flexibility also allows a person to move more efficiently and helps maximize their muscles’ ability.

How is flexibility measured?

When it comes to measuring a person’s flexibility, various tools and statistical methods are used by professionals. These methods are most commonly used for professional athletes since it helps gauge their strength and ability to do certain things.

But for regular folks, being able to do exercises without any pain or difficulty usually means that you are flexible. Flexible people also have a wider range of motion, and their muscles do not feel tight or tense.

Exercises such as reaching for the toes, doing splits, or bending the head forward to reach the knees are also common measures of a person’s flexibility. If you can do these exercises without any trouble, then you know that you are flexible.

However, if you feel some tightness in your joints, or there is some pain when you try to do these exercises, you might need to work on your flexibility.

How to improve flexibility fast: 5 activities

Here are some tips on how to improve flexibility fast:

Stretching

Stretching is the simplest and most straightforward method of how to improve flexibility fast. Additionally, stretching helps get your body ready for physical activity and keeps your muscles and joints flexible.

It also helps strengthen your muscles and can lower the risk of injury when you do more intense and complicated exercises.

Ideally, stretching should be done before and after exercising for about 20 minutes. You would need to focus on building up the muscles in your legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms, so focusing on a wide variety of stretching and warm-up exercises really helps.

If you can not do the stretching exercises fully just yet, do not worry. Just try to do the exercise as best as you can. Over time, your flexibility should improve and you will notice that the stretching exercises gets easier and easier.

Pilates

Pilates is an exercise technique that focuses on performing controlled movements of the whole body. It engages the core and flows outward towards the limbs. This a well-known activity that can help improve your flexibility and muscular strength.

Pilates is great if you want to improve your core muscles, your posture, and of course, your flexibility. It is also sometimes used for physical therapy since it is a low-impact exercise and helps build muscle strength.

One common misconception about Pilates is that you need specialized equipment in order to do it. While there are a number of exercises that need a Pilates Reformer, most Pilates exercises can be done simply by lying down on an exercise mat on the floor.

The great thing about Pilates is that the exercises can be adapted to suit those who are not as strong or as flexible. So it’s a great way for beginners to start build their strength and flexibility.

Yoga

Yoga is another form of exercise that is great for your flexibility. It is founded on a mind-body practice that integrates physical poses/ postures, breathing, and meditation. Just like Pilates, yoga is a low-impact exercise that helps build your strength and flexibility.

Another benefit of yoga is that there is a meditation component involved when you are exercising. This means that it can help you relax and calm down, and also helps relieve stress.

In addition to improving flexibility and strength, yoga also improves your coordination and balance.

Dancing

How to improve flexibility fast? Dancing! Dancing is a great and enjoyable form of exercise that helps build flexibility and strength.

Through dancing, you can improve your range of motion, and strengthen your legs and your core muscles. Another great thing is that dancing is easily adaptable and the steps can be changed depending on a person’s skill level.

This means that even if you are an absolute beginner, or have not done any physical activity in a while, dancing will work great for you.

It is also a great way to relax, socialize, and have an enjoyable time while building your strength and flexibility.

Circuit training

Lastly, circuit training is another great form of exercise for those wondering how to improve flexibility fast.

Circuit training is a type of exercise that uses different stations to work out different parts of the body. It is a more intense form of exercise that aims to keep the heart rate up and helps build strength, endurance, and flexibility.

The great thing about circuit training is that it works on different aspects of physical fitness all at once. So unlike more targeted exercises, circuit training focuses on a broader approach.

It is a great exercise for people who like variety, and easily get bored when exercising.

how to improve flexibility fast

Important reminders

How to improve flexibility fast? Whichever activity you choose to do, be sure to start slow, especially if it is your first time. Building your flexibility should not cause any pain nor does it have to hurt. Once you feel anything out of the ordinary, be sure to stop what you are doing and take a rest to prevent injury. Consult your doctor or invite a fitness instructor in helping you build a basic everyday routine to help you with your goals.

Key takeaways

To enjoy a better quality of life, free from aches and pains, invest in your health and fitness now, and keep your body in tip-top shape.

Learn more about Health Fitness here.

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Sources

How to improve your strength and flexibility – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/how-to-improve-strength-flexibility/, Accessed July 17 2020

Flexibility Exercises for Beginners | ACE Blog, https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6499/flexibility-exercises-for-beginners/, Accessed July 17 2020

Best 10 Flexbility Exercises – Health & Wellbeing – Saga, https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/health-wellbeing/exercise-fitness/flexibility/10-flexibility-exercises, Accessed July 17 2020

6 exercises that will improve your flexibility, https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/fitness/a28264/how-to-improve-flexibility/, Accessed July 17 2020

Flexibility Exercise (Stretching) | American Heart Association, https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/flexibility-exercise-stretching, Accessed July 17 2020

Measuring flexibility – ScienceDirect, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/000368709190385U, Accessed July 17 2020

Pilates for beginners: Explore the core – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/pilates-for-beginners/art-20047673, Accessed July 17 2020

Introduction to Yoga – Harvard Health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/introduction-to-yoga, Accessed July 17 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated 3 weeks ago
Medically reviewed by Mike-Kenneth Go Doratan, M.D.
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