Flexibility is an important part of your workout routine, since stretching your muscle fibers helps increase your fitness level, prevent injury, and stay agile and well. These daily must-dos will help you become more flexible, whether you're just trying to touch your toes or if you're aiming to finally be able to do the splits.
- Start in the morning: Wake up your body with a daily habit that will both energize you and help you become more flexible. These morning stretches you can do in bed are gentle and soothing enough to also do before bedtime. Since your muscles won't be warmed up when stretching first thing in the morning, be sure you never push your body farther than is comfortable.
- Don't skip the cooldown: Post-workout stretches are important, especially if you're a runner or cyclist, since these types of exercises can create tight joints. Open up your body and help increase your flexibility by never skipping out on your cooldown. All it takes is a few minutes of these post-workout stretches after every workout to help your body stay flexible.
- Roll out: It's not a secret that proper rolling techniques help loosen knots in the layer of soft connective tissue in your body (called the fascia) while also loosening tight muscles. Foam rollers are affordable and easy to use, so invest in one and do these essential foam roller exercises regularly to help you become more flexible.
- Complement your workout: If you're serious about becoming more flexible, add yoga or Pilates to your fitness routine. Both will help you stretch and strengthen all your muscles so that you'll see results as you stick with it.
- Target problem areas: Overall stretching should be part of your flexibility routine, but taking time to focus on your tightest areas is very beneficial. If you spend a good deal of the day sitting, for example, you should focus on shoulder- and hip-opening stretches to combat it. When targeting muscle groups, try to hold stretches for few minutes before switching sides but stop if the stretch becomes uncomfortable or painful.