There are a lot of compelling reasons to work on our flexibility. From preventing injury and muscle soreness to increasing performance, we all want to increase flexibility quickly. Here are some tips and tools to reach your goals safely.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
With a goal in mind, we often take an intense approach to achieving it. Although, when it comes to increasing flexibility, this can be counter-intuitive. When we push ourselves too hard, we can end up constricting the breath and clenching our muscles, causing us to strain rather than stretch. See, when the breath is inhibited, oxygen is unable to circulate to the muscles, making them tighten. To increase mobility, it is best to work yourself up to a greater range of motion with a consistent, daily practice.
What’s Holding You Back?
A great way to reach your flexibility goals is to gain awareness of the obstacles that are holding you back. Do you experience difficulty bending down and touching your toes? This could mean that your hamstrings are tight and could use some individualized attention. Other areas of restriction might include the glutes, quads, lower back, neck and hip flexors. Consider these setbacks as opportunities for growth and work poses targeted to these areas into your stretching plan.