There are a number of different factors that can contribute to why some people are more flexible than others. Genetics, gender, exercise history, and other reasons contribute to a person’s flexibility. Let’s dig deeper into what makes a person flexible.
Age is a major factor when it comes to flexibility. As you age, your muscles and joints become stiffer and less flexible. Additionally, having an inactive lifestyle and not stretching regularly throughout your life can increase your likelihood of inflexibility as you age. You should stay active, active and healthy throughout your life.
History of exercise and work
If you’ve spent most of your life in an office job, sitting and leaning forward to look at your computer, your body will suffer in the long run. Sitting for long periods of time will reduce your flexibility.
Gender (Are women more flexible than men?)
Gender also plays an important role in flexibility. In general, women are naturally more flexible than men, and part of this is due to the makeup of their connective tissues. Now this is a generalization, but work with us. Women often focus on activities that require more flexibility, such as yoga, dance, pilates, etc.
Some people are just more flexible than others! Even if people are genetically more flexible, don’t underestimate the power of lifestyle habits. Stretching for 10 to 15 minutes a day makes a huge difference in flexibility.
Tension muscles are short muscles. Most stretching techniques aim to make your muscles relax before stretching them. The muscles don’t actually lengthen when you stretch, in turn, they stop contracting.
How can you become more flexible?
- It’s best to stretch while your muscles are warm. This helps prevent muscle pulling. Stretching also prevents soreness after exercise.
- Know your body and don’t try too hard. If you try to stretch deeper and feel pain, slowly ease your stretch.
- When your muscles are warmed up and relaxed slowly, they respond much better. So when you stretch, move with complete awareness of your body. Gently go deeper into your poses.
- Practice consistency. To make progress in your flexibility, you have to stretch regularly. You’d be surprised how much a difference stretching three times a week can make.
- Sometimes just holding a pose for 5 breaths may not be enough. You can lie in a stretch position for a few minutes.
- Our bodies are different. If you had a really great day of stretching yesterday, your muscles may not be working today. It’s okay, be patient.
Best stretch for increased flexibility:
- Kneel on the floor with both your knees bent and your shins on the floor.
- Extend your right leg forward so that your right knee is bent in front at a 90-degree angle with your right foot resting on the floor directly below your knee.
- You can place your hand on your right front leg for a beginner stretch, or bend your left leg at the knee and hold with your left arm.
- Lean your hips forward against your stretch, keeping your torso upright.
- Hold for 30 seconds or so. Repeat on the next leg.
Stretches: hip flexors, quads, hamstringsStretch Butterfly:
- Sit on the floor, placing the soles of your feet together and your knees bent out to the sides.
- Grip your feet with your hands, focus on your center of gravity, and slowly bend your body forward toward your feet.
- Just go as far as you feel comfortable.
- Hold for 45 seconds to two minutes
- If you’re uncomfortable, elevate your hips with some blankets or a pillow, then try again.
Stretches: neck, back, buttocks, hamstrings and thighs.Pigeon back stretch:
- Lie on your back on the floor, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
- Cross your right leg over your left thigh.
- Hook your arm around your left hamstring and raise your left leg a few inches while keeping your back and shoulders on the floor.
- Gently bring your left and right towards you until you feel a stretch.
- Hold for 45 seconds to two minutes.
- Lower your feet to the ground. Switch legs and repeat.
Stretch: lower back, hips, buttocks and hamstringsStretch when folded:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent with your arms at your sides.
- Exhale as you bend forward from your hips, lowering your head to the floor.
- Keep your head, neck, shoulders relaxed.
- Wrap your arms around your back leg and hold for 45 seconds or more.
- If you don’t feel comfortable reaching that far, bend your knees more or put your hands on the ground.
Stretch: neck, back, buttocks, hamstrings and calves
Call Alexander Orthopedic Associates today!
At AOA, we’re passionate about rejuvenating your joints. We urge all patients to take care of themselves, whether it’s light exercise, stretching or maintaining a healthy weight. If you are experiencing joint pain, give us a call today.
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