• Deanne Pandey

Experience muscle knots often? Working on your flexibility might help!

Flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or group of joints, or the ability to move joints effectively through a complete range of motion. Flexibility training includes stretching exercises to lengthen the muscles and may include activities like yoga or tai chi. Improving your flexibility can help you move more comfortably throughout the day. Flexibility training is stretching lengthening and loosening muscles and connective tissues to improve flexibility. You probably know what it means when someone says they are flexible. It usually means that they can reach down and touch their toes or bend deeply into a squat. But the definition of flexibility is more complicated than simply being able to do a single stretch. True flexibility is the ability to move through a range of motion without pain. That means that each joint and each group of muscles in your body might have a different range of motion or a different level of flexibility. Range of motion is a measurement of how much a joint can move, both in terms of distance and direction.

Along with other factors, your muscles' ability to relax or contract affects your range of motion. If your muscles are inflexible, then your range of motion could be less than it should be. Being flexible is a key aspect of physical health. With appropriately flexible tissues, your joints can move more freely, allowing more functional movement patterns. You'll also be more likely to have the range of motion necessary to perform strength training exercises to their full potential, allowing for better results.

Whatever your goal may be, flexibility can take you a long way.

Many exercisers add a few minutes of stretching to the end of their daily workout to relax muscles and improve range of motion. Or you can take five to 10 minutes to stretch in the morning after you get out of bed. Just a few minutes of flexibility training each day can provide benefits. For example, a lunge exercise strengthens the quadriceps on one leg but lengthens the hip joint on the other. Different swimming strokes increase flexibility in the upper back and torso. And walking strengthens the lower body but also increases flexibility in the hip joint. Another way to improve flexibility is to do various cardio and strength training exercises. Flexibility is inherent in many other activities such as yoga, pilates, and mobility work.

In the rush to lose weight, sculpt the body and build muscles, flexibility often falls by the wayside. It’s a shame because we’re born flexible and it really doesn’t take that much to stay in a state of relative flexibility. Inflexibility and how it negatively impacts the quality of our lives is not immediately visible in the way being overweight or untoned is, which is why most of us tend to not

pay attention to it.

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