Flexibility is not only for gymnasts but for everyone. A better variety of motion can decrease the risk of injuries, improve blood supply and nutrients to joints, reduce muscular tension, and many more. It is a significant part of any normal workout regimen as stretching after the workout session helps in relaxing the tightened muscles. Also, flexibility plays an important role in the well-being of our body, more than we realize. The experts believe that sufficient flexibility can help you achieve better training results, increased muscle coordination and mobility, prevent injuries, and reduces muscle pain. Good flexibility can also improve blood circulation, and it can play an essential part in preventing any serious ailments, such as diabetes, kidney problems, and arthritis. You can gain more flexibility of your entire body as well as specific body parts with these exercises:
Standing Quad Stretch
Stand while keeping the feet together. Raise one foot behind, hold it with the hands, and then pull the heel to the buttocks. Hold it for almost five seconds. Do this again with the other foot.
Standing Side Stretch
Stand with the feet together, and lift the arms overhead. Grasp hands and entangle the fingers. Breathe and then reach up, and during the exhaling, bend the upper body to the right. Keep the position for almost five seconds. Then exhale and then return to the initial position, then repeat with the left side.
Seated Hamstring Stretch
Sit on the floor and extend the right leg in front. Bend the left leg with the sole kept against the inner thigh. Then start leaning forward and reach for the ankle as distant as possible. Then, pull the toe near the body. Hold the position for almost 10 seconds and then repeat with the opposite leg.
Standing Calf Stretch
Stand almost three feet away from a wall and put the palms flat on the surface of the wall, shoulder-width apart. Put the right foot back with your toes facing forward. Keep the right knee straight, heel over the ground, and then lean forward. Then hold on for a few seconds and then repeat with the other leg.
Stand upright and grasp your elbow with your opposite palm and then pull your elbow across the chest. Hold the position for some time and repeat with the other side.
Butterfly Groin Stretch
Sit on the floor upright, bend your knees, press the soles of your feet together, and pull them towards the groin. Grasp the feet, drop the knees to your sides, and then gently utilize the pressure when you feel a stretch over the inner thighs and groin. Turn the chest to your left and then right.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place the right foot in front. Keep your hands below your ribs, and then entangle the fingers. Tighten your muscles on the pelvic floor, squeeze the glutes, and then tuck the pelvis in. Bend your knees gently, and then come down after counting to three. Press into the floor, come up after three seconds. Switch the legs and then repeat.
Lie on your belly over the floor with your thumbs under your shoulders and feet stretched. Squeeze your glutes, tighten the pelvic floor and then tuck in the pelvis. Raise the chest, pushing within the index finger and thumb. Hold the position for five seconds before getting back to the initial position.
Kneeling Hip Stretch
Begin with the kneeling position over the floor with the left leg up, right shin over the surface. Place any cushion under the right knee if it is not comfortable. Shift the hips forward and assume that you are pressing the pelvis on the floor. For the protection of your front knee, ensure that it doesn’t move beyond the big toe. For a chest opener, lift the arms to the ears and lift the chest to the ceiling. Then hold and repeat with the opposite leg.
This position is easier to get in by starting from a downward-facing dog. Start from there, then raise your left leg up and behind you. After that, bend the knee as you’re bringing the leg toward the chest. Rest your left leg over the floor with shin as parallel with the front part of the mat. Rest your right leg straight behind you. Lean over the left leg and then rest the forearms over the mat. Hold the position for the desired amount of time.
You must always warm-up before stretching because the muscles are elastic and not prone to rip when warm. A useful rule of thumb is to do a five-minute dynamic warm-up before the stretch. It includes walking lunges, leg swings, pushups, or other bodyweight exercises; these get the blood pumping and can involve some range of motion and degree of flexibility. However, you don’t need to stretch a lot before a workout because it has been shown to reduce performance. Stretching too much before a workout can cause runners to get slow, jumpers cannot jump high, and limiting the number of weight lifters can lift if done quickly before the workout. You also don’t need to stretch the muscles after the workout excessively. It is due to the strength training that actually causes minute tears inside the muscle fibers.