How to Improve your Flexibility

When you start to get older, the days of flexibility seem long behind you. Being able to touch your toes and do the splits seem like things of the past. But there are a bunch of ways you can improve your flexibility. Following the steps in this guide will help you improve your body’s flexibility over time, so you can feel like a teenager again.

Select the right exercise

flexibility-yoga-pilatesFirstly, you need to select the right type of exercise for your age, fitness level, and body type. If you want to become more flexible, you shouldn’t go straight into doing star jumps (in fact, avoid them altogether). Yoga, pilates, and tai chi are all recommended exercises if you are starting from scratch. It’s always best to opt for low-impact exercises like swimming over high-impact exercises like running. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.

Hold stretches for long enough

One of the most common mistakes people make when stretching is not holding stretches for long enough. You should aim for around 60 seconds for each stretch (e.g. 15 seconds split over three times). If you don’t hold it for this long, the stretch could be rendered ineffective. Be warned though, holding it for too long could make you feel stiffer. Stick to the 60-second rule for each muscle.

Don’t underestimate stretching time

Most people underestimate how long it takes to stretch and warm-up. If you go straight into an exercise, you will be more prone to injury. For example, if you are heading to the gym to work out, you should spend around 20 minutes stretching your muscles and doing light warm-ups. This will improve your flexibility and performance.

Increase your protein intake

You might have a healthy diet full of vegetables. But a lot of people fail to get enough protein after a workout. Protein and vitamin C (check with your doctor) will help reduce soreness post-workout and help your muscles to recover quicker. This allows you to get back on it without injuring yourself.

Drink a lot of water

Your muscles are made up of 70% water. That means, when you are dehydrated, they are too. Dehydrated muscles don’t extend and contract properly, which means you’ll be less flexible and more prone to injury. Drink water before, during, and after each workout.


Practice everyday

If you want to improve your flexibility, you should work on it every day. That doesn’t mean heading down to the gym and doing a full-body workout every day. If you do that, you’ll end up injured. However, you can stretch every day. Spend 20-30 minutes stretching every day and you will quickly see an improvement in your flexibility. Plus, you’ll feel better in general.

Visit a specialist

Flexibility specialists – like Stretch Affect – can condition your body with a flexibility and stretching session. This is a great option for people that have followed all of the steps above and are still feeling like they aren’t hitting their potential.

These experts will identify problem areas in your body, suggest specific exercises, and help develop a workout routine that improves your flexibility over time.



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Last Updated on April 28, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD