Flexibility is often underestimated part of creating strong&healthy body. And that is a big problem. In modern society, most of us spend the day sitting in a chair which definitely doesn’t help to stay fit for years.
When I refer to flexibility I am not talking about the extreme and impressive level of it like Jean Claude Van Damme style splits or putting your legs over your head. I am thinking more about being able to touch your toes without bending your knees while standing straight and holding this position for a few seconds without much of a discomfort. Or about being able to raise your hand straight above your head without problems. Being able to lift and hold a bridge from the ground.
Kids can do most of these stuff without any problems!
Here are a few reasons why everyone should have this minimal level of flexibility.
It will protect you from injuries.
Being flexible doesn’t guarantee injury free life and training but definitely lowers the risk of injury. Plenty of injuries are caused by performing the movement with bad form and too much weight. Bad form is usually caused by limited mobility in some parts of the body. Propper flexibility routine will increase your range of motion and therefore enable you to perform exercises with better form.
It makes you stronger.
The more flexible your body the higher their strength potential. Think of it this way, muscles get stronger in specific(trained) range of motion. Meaning that if your range of motion is limited, your potential strength gain from this exercise is also limited. Increased flexibility may give you an impression of strength loss at the beginning. However long term it just makes you stronger in the parts that have not been trained so far.
It corrects your posture.
Being healthy is about feeling good in your skin. Correct posture contributes to feeling good and looking better, more confident. Working on flexibility helps in keeping your posture correct. Due to sitting lifestyle, most of us have their shoulders moved forward which leads to tight chest and week and stretched back. Propper stretching will not only strengthen the back but also stretch the front chain of the body. Result- improved posture and better breathing.
It speeds up the recovery.
Stretching has always been said to improve recovery. Depending on the year of the studies you read, you can find out to stretch the same muscle group that was trained or a different one. Regardless of timing stretching simply feels good, increase the blood flow to the muscle and improves recovery.
It makes us complete.
This one is more of an opinion of mine. To be fit one should not be limited by their body to the point that touching toes is impossible. We are only as strong as the weakest part of our body!
What type of stretching do you do?