Flexibility is the ability we have to stretch freely without breaking or hurting ourselves. Being flexible has many health benefits, such as helping you enjoy your favourite sport, as well as reducing the probability of injury.
Losing flexibility is common over time, that is why we give you a list of basic exercises to do at home that will help you increase your flexibility, regain movement and make your muscles more resistant.
With these 7 stretches you will be more flexible, see results and no longer sound like a rusty old machine.
7 exercises to improve flexibility
Easy to do at home, these stretches will increase joint health and mobility. Not only will they help gain flexibility, they will also improve overall health and fitness. If you want to get good results, we recommend doing them on a regular basis each day or a few times a week to start with.
- Back tension: Back exercises are some of the most important, since they allow us to prevent injuries and pain. Simply stand up, put your hands on your waist and turn your upper body, first to the right and then to the left. To ensure you are moving correctly pay attention to the side of your abdomen and that you feel a stretch.
- Arm stretches: A great way to give your arms a good stretch and a little more strength and flexibility is to clasp your hands in front of you, turn them around and stretch your arms outwards, away from your body. If you work in front of a computer, these exercises will help avoid the injury of muscles and tendons in your wrists and arms. Another option is to put your arm behind your head, palm flat to your back, hold it with your elbow, and press down to stretch your shoulder. This is also used in Yoga.
- Leg Stretch: To stretch the quadriceps, the instep and the vastus medialis there is more than one exercise you can try. One of the easiest and most recommended however is to lie face down on the floor, bring one leg towards you, take the foot with your hand and pull it towards your body stretching your thigh muscles. (the vastus intermedius muscle and the vastus lateralis muscle). This is great for fitness runners to stretch before or after a run.
- Seated Stretch: Stretching your leg is important to avoid joint injury, especially if you spend various hours a day sitting. A simple exercise is to place the heel on the ground and point and flex your foot. Having your leg straight will improve circulation and the movement will activate your muscles.
- Lunges: Despite being more intense, these lunges have benefits for the whole body, as they act as a stretch for various muscle groups systems. This activity involves stepping one leg back, or forward and leaning it on the ground while the other is placed forward with a 90 degree bend in the knee, as you would in a conventional stride.
- Lower back: To stretch the lumbar muscle we recommend doing the following exercise. Lie down on the floor, stretch one leg keeping it flat to the floor while you draw the other leg into your chest as much as you can. Repeat the same process with each leg and voila, your lower back will feel beautifully stretched.
- Yoga: This is one of the best activities for stretching the whole body. Its benefits not only include gaining flexibility and fitness, they also help calm the mind and promote relaxation. There are many yoga positions and routines for beginners, 15 minutes a day will be enough to obtain great benefits and improve your health.
Tips and recommendations to improve flexibility
There are so many ways to improve your flexibility. Eating a balanced diet is important, as there are important nutrients for joints, tendons and muscles in our bodies.
Stretching before and after exercising is just as important, along with a good warm-up, which will reduce the risk of injury and improve your performance.
In addition, we recommend practicing sports such as pilates, yoga or swimming, which allow you to stretch so many muscles and your entire body, giving you greater flexibility, resistance and strength.