Virgin Active blog
5 ways to improve your flexibility
Flexibility is important. Not only can it help with the overall balance in your body, it will improve your posture and reduce potential injuries. Whether you’ve always dreamed of doing the splits, or just want to get low enough to touch your toes, we’ve got 5 top tips to help you on your way to a more flexible body.
Try static stretching
This type of stretching involves holding a position for a specific amount of time to lengthen the muscles and connective tissues in your body. Static stretches include things like quad stretches and hamstring stretches which you typically do after a workout or as part of a warm up. But, there’s no reason why you can’t stretch whenever you want.
Holding positions for 30 – 45 seconds will give your muscles time to get used to the hold. Repeating these moves over time will help to increase your range of motion. But, remember, you should only stretch to the point where you can feel the stretch. Don’t force anything – you should never be in pain.
Add in more movement
Many of us sit down for the majority of the day. Whether that’s at a desk for work or spending your evenings watching a good series, having long periods of sitting down can mean our bodies get stiff and rigid.
Try dynamic stretching with Pilates (or Yoga)
Pilates (mat and reformer) and Yoga moves are often dynamic, meaning you are stretching your body whilst doing gentle movements. Dynamic stretches like glute bridges, lunges and bodyweight squats, mean your body is repeating moves. These moves are designed to test your range of motion and can also help you with improving your balance and control.
Hit the sauna
As if you needed another excuse to use the sauna… The heat of the sauna will help to relax and lengthen your muscles as well as make you more calm. This can reduce joint pain and increase the flexibility of your muscles. And, it will also get rid of lactic acid build up after a workout.
Keep it consistent
…And make sure to track your progress!