Tips for a More Flexible You

We’ve all heard it….You should stretch before and after you workout....but why? What does it do for me?

You have heard that stretching and flexibility improve circulation and posture, but it’s hard to see the immediate benefit of stretching, like you do with cardio or strength conditioning. However, there are some other added benefits of flexibility that you may not have known about. According to Dr. David Geier, the director of sports medicine at University of South Carolina at Charleston, stretching lengthens your tendons and muscle fibers. Lengthening these fibers will assist you in increasing your muscle size when doing strength training. This means a more flexible muscle has the potential to become a stronger muscle.

Not only does flexibility assist with strength training it also helps make everyday tasks easier. Doing a few stretches after each workout will help you bend over and tie your shoes, get things in hard to reach areas more easily and improve your range of motion.

Below are some tips and pointers to help you become more limber.

  • Warm up some before stretching. It is not recommended to stretch with cold muscles, as this can lead injuries. Instead, go for a brisk walk, throw a few balls, shoot a few hoops for about 5-10 minutes and then do some simple stretches.
  • Stretch after each workout session. You don’t need to take 20 minutes to do cool down stretches. Take 5 extra minutes to stretch and loosen those tight muscles.
  • Focus on muscles that you use the most, or put the most strain on. If you are a runner focus on stretching your legs.
  • Try out a pilates, yoga class or dance class. Pilates, yoga and dance classes all use different techniques to help you achieve a great stretch.

Click here for flexibility exercises to get you started.

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