For some people, it can be a challenge to reach down to the floor and touch your toes without bending your knees. When we were young, many of us took our flexibility for granted. It’s not as common as you think to be able to lift your legs over your head, or bend deeply into a squat. If becoming more flexible is a resolution of yours, continue reading to learn some natural ways to improve your abilities:
Dynamic Stretch Before Exercise
If you’ve ever seen someone jogging or stretching before a work out, it’s because they are warming up their joints and muscles to prevent damage or discomfort. It’s important to incorporate dynamic stretches prior to exercise because these active movements encourage your joints and muscles to go through a full range of motion.
Dynamic stretches include lunges, arm circles, high kicks, backpedal jogs, side shuffles, and more. These types of stretches improve speed, agility, acceleration, and flexibility. Besides warming up your muscles, dynamic stretching also increases nerve activity and decreases risk of injury.
Static Stretch After Exercise
Now, after you have completed your work out session, you must perform static stretching to improve your flexibility and muscle recovery. Static stretching is the exact opposite of dynamic stretching in terms of motion. This form of stretching involves extending your muscle until you feel tension, and holding that pose for 15 to 60 seconds.
Unlike dynamic stretching, it doesn’t involve fluid motion. Examples of these stretches include reaching for your toes (head-to-knee forward bend), the hamstring stretch, side stretch, shoulder stretch, butterfly stretch, and more! When you finish these stretches, it can help your muscles recover sooner, and lead to less discomfort such as pain and stiffness. It’s a wonderful way to release stress and tension as well.
Eat Nutritious Foods
A diet high in protein can work wonders for your body, ranging from a strong immune system to a healthy metabolism. When you consume your suggested daily intake of protein on a consistent basis, it will reduce appetite and hunger levels, increase strength and muscle mass, boost your ability to burn fat, and lower blood sugar. Protein also helps our body build, repair, and oxygenate, which are all great for improved flexibility. If you’re looking for foods that will support your splits, backbends, or other flexibility goals, go for high-protein, anti-inflammatory foods to get the job done.
Dark leafy greens, lean and vegetable proteins, and fruit with high-water content all help improve your flexibility because it hydrates your body and provides it will nutrients to power through any workout. The extra hydration helps your muscles to stretch, so you’ll be reaching those toes in no time!
Take Certain Vitamins
Sometimes while you’re working out, your whole body can feel overworked or worn down. A lot of these symptoms can be alleviated with proper vitamin consumption. Did you know that adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, along with other key nutrients, can help support bone health and flexibility? Vitamin C is also known to help your body produce collagen, which is a key protein found in connective tissues. Keeping up on your proper intake of these vitamins can help promote flexibility by providing elasticity to your tendons, muscles, and ligaments. This will make stretching so much easier!
Here at GMU Sport, we offer a variety of supplements that deliver you essential vitamins and minerals with each and every dose. Our Vitamin D3 supplement would be a perfect fit for those looking to boost their flexibility and bone health.