Becoming more flexible isn’t as hard as most people think.
As an athlete, I have always done my part to maintain my flexibility. I will be the first to admit however, that it isn’t easy staying flexible when you have to balance a full-time career with a full-time family, and somehow manage to find a way to stay in shape. Yoga is probably the most popular way to gain more flexibility, but you definitely have to get yourself into the right headspace first. So here are a few tips and tricks to make sure you are doing all you can to become more flexible.
Make sure you warm up before hand. A warm muscle is a more flexible muscle, and stretching while your muscles are cold could lead to strain. Simple muscle activities like jumping jacks or running in place are enough to get your blood pumping first.
READ MORE: Five Beginner’s Yoga Mistakes to Avoid
Remember to breathe, regardless of whether you are just stretching or doing full-on downward dog, its important to breathe to keep oxygen circulating and allow your body to send messages to your nervous system. Surprisingly, many people forget to breathe when they stretch.
Be patient with your body, because you probably won’t be able to touch your toes the first time you try. The key is repetition, and time. I can tell you from personal experience that every day you will become a tiny bit more flexible, but it definitely will not all happen at once.
Don’t strain yourself or overstretch. Some of your ligaments and tendons are more delicate than others, and overstretching can cause injury. Make sure you are mixing it up and paying attention the signals your body sends.
Stretch after cardio. After your muscles are good and warmed up and your blood is pumping, stretching will help circulate your blood even further and keep your body in prime condition between workouts.
It may seem daunting, but everyone is capable of becoming more flexible. If you are patient and cautious however, you can yield the results you want, and one day you, too, will be able to touch your toes.