Stretching and flexibility improvement

Good flexibility not only provides many physical fitness benefits but also has a positive effect on your overall health and well-being. The term "flexibility" means the ability of your body to bend or adapt to changing forces and fast movements. Flexibility exercises are an important component of any strength training program. Increased flexibility in the muscles will improve their elasticity for movement during exercises and help prevent injury. Also, flexibility helps avoid stiff muscles that, over time, create pain that leads to chronic pain, especially to the low back.

Flexibility improves functional movement, prevents injuries, your athletic performance is much better, and your improvement athletically or strength-wise is much better. Flexibility helps your pasture and maintains your body's range of motion to function better. As a result, your body is in better balance and free of falling.

HARVARD HEALTH PUBLISHING ARTICLE:

Benefits of flexibility exercises

April 16, 2015

Activities that lengthen and stretch muscles can help you prevent injuries, back pain, and balance problems.

A well-stretched muscle more easily achieves its full range of motion. This improves athletic performance — imagine an easier, less restricted golf swing or tennis serve — and functional abilities, such as reaching, bending, or stooping during daily tasks. Stretching can also be a great way to get you moving in the morning or a way to relax after a long day. Activities such as yoga combine stretching and relaxation and also improve balance, a wonderful combination.

However, note that experts no longer recommend stretching before exercise. Newer recommendations suggest that you start your workout routine with a warm-up, such as an easy walk, or a sport-specific routine, such as serving some tennis balls and practicing groundstrokes before a match. This gets blood and oxygen flowing to your muscles. After five to 10 minutes of warm-up, your muscles are warm and supple. This is a good time to stretch. You can even do your flexibility exercises as a post-workout cool-down.