To become more flexible, you will need to put your body under rigid flexibility training. However, wanting to do it quickly is another story. You do not only need extensive training but also an iron-clad resolve and the right knowledge and techniques to get the results that you want.
If you want to know more information about this topic, then you are on the right page. In this article, you will learn about the benefits of flexibility, exercises on how to get flexible fast, and other must-know information to help you get the results you want as quickly as possible.
Benefits of Being Flexible
It is important to know the benefits that you will gain from your becoming flexible before anything else. This will help your motivation and encourage you to do your best to achieve your goal. Here are some of the best benefits of being flexible:
- Less Athletic Injuries
Although tight muscles do not necessarily cause injuries, it can result in poor movement patterns, which may cause injuries. When you are imbalanced and tight, your body will not be able to move as you want it too. For example, individuals with tight hamstrings and hips swing their legs and rotate their hips when they run or walk. This can cause unnecessary strain or pressure on those areas.
- Reduced Body Pains
A proper stretching routine can significantly reduce body pains such as cramping, muscle soreness, and joint pains. Your body is designed to have a wide range of motion, and the more you take advantage of those natural patterns, the more body pains will fade away.
- Fitness Boost
Being flexible will also help you become more active and improve your overall fitness. Whether you like skiing, biking, or yoga, being flexible will give you the advantage of allowing your body to become more limber.
- Improved Circulation
Although heart strength indeed is one of the most significant factors that affect circulation, it is not the only factor there is. The body’s vascular system is big and vast, so they are affected by intense movements or the lack thereof.
Stiffness can be systemic, and the tightness in the back of your legs can indicate that you have some circulation issues on your connective tissues and extremities. Flexibility training can help with this because it can unblock the stagnant areas and help improve the whole body’s natural circulation.
- Better Sleep
Feeling body pains constantly can make you feel so uncomfortable to the point where it can affect your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. However, with the right flexibility training such as yoga, you could achieve a better sleep quality, allowing you to wake up feeling fresh and energized.
- Enhanced Nervous System
At some point, your nerves can be blocked by shortened tissues. This can prevent electrical energy in your body from free-flowing. In contrast, when you are more flexible, your body can become a superconductor of energy. This can enhance the proprioception in all parts of your body, and you can mostly feel its benefits in your shoulders, wrists, feet, and hands.
Different Types of Flexibility Training
There are 3 main types of flexibility training. These are stretching methods designed to improve the muscle’s flexibility. Here’s a closer look at each type:
- Static Stretching
When people think of “stretching,” this is the common method people associate it with. It can help improve passive range more quickly than other types of stretching methods.
Static Stretching involves holding the muscles in its maximal lengthened position to the point of discomfort. This can be around 10 to 20 seconds, depending on which part of the body you are stretching. This is then repeated a couple of times with a short interval between each stretch.
- Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching is the total opposite of static stretching. It involves active moments where muscles and joints move in a full range. This is what you normally do when you warm up your body before a workout. Some examples of it are side shuffles, lunges, straight leg kicks, and many more.
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation
This stretching method involves contracting the muscles that are in a fully lengthened position. Physiotherapists mostly use it for outpatients and sports athletes.
List of Flexibility Exercises that You Could Try
With all the information discussed above, you are now ready to learn about the different stretching exercises that can quickly give you the flexibility that you want. Here is a list of exercise on how to get flexible fast:
- 2 Minutes Dynamic Stretching
If you allocate 10 minutes of a day to workout, you should start it with a 2-minute dynamic stretching routine. This routine involves jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and burpees. Although these may not sound like stretching methods, these can help loosen up your muscles and prepare them for your workout.
In 2 minutes, you can execute the following:
- 5 complete set of burpees
- 10 complete set of lunges
- 10 squats
- 20 jumping jacks
If you have more time left, you can continue and start from the beginning of the list.
- Upper Body Stretch
Unfortunately, many people only focus their stretches on their lower bodies such as calves, quads, hamstrings, and hips. When they do this, the body will feel imbalanced since everything is interconnected in a lot of ways.
You can allocate 2 minutes and 30 seconds for a decent upper body stretch. Here is an upper-body stretch routine that you can follow:
- 60 Seconds Neck Stretch– lean your head to the left as if you are bringing your to your shoulder and hold the position for 30 seconds. If you are having trouble doing this, you can hold your head with your hands to keep it steady. Do the same thing on the other side and hold it for another 30 seconds.
- Chest Stretch- on a bench, hold a light dumbbell. Open your arms wide and hold the dumbbell, then let your hands fall slowly to the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Shoulder Stretch- Extend your left arms across your body as you stretch to feel the stretch on your shoulder. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat the same thing on the other side of your body.
- Piriformis Stretch
The Piriformis refers to the deep internal hip rotator on the outside of the butt. Its main purpose is for external rotation, and if it is tight, it can cause sciatic nerve irritation. Stretching this area can help prevent this irritation, or if you have this already, it can alleviate it.
Here are the steps on how you can stretch your Piriformis:
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
- Cross your legs and put your feet flat on the ground.
- Touch your right hand on the floor behind your back.
- Meanwhile, put your left elbow in front of your right knee and twist your torso to the right. You will feel a stretching sensation on your glutes, back, and hips.
- Hold the position for 15 to 20 seconds. If you start feeling pain, stop immediately.
- Repeat the same steps for the other side of the body.
- Figure Four Stretch
This stretch strategically targets the iliopsoas muscles, the Piriformis, and the IT band. It is a passive pose, so it is easy to do, making it an excellent stretching option if you have knee or sciatica pains.
Here are the steps on how to execute this stretch:
- Lie on your back and put your feet flat on the mat.
- Put your right foot on a cross over your left quad.
- Raise your left leg off the mat while grabbing the back of your left leg and gently pulling it to your chest.
- Once you start feeling a comfortable stretch, hold it for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
- Repeat the same steps on the other side.
- 90/90 Stretch
The 90/90 stretch is a modification of yoga’s pigeon pose. It helps with the external rotation of one leg and internal rotation of the other, allowing you to hit both movements of the hip in one single stretch. This is an ideal stretching exercise if you have a tight flexor.
Here are the steps on how to do it:
- Sit with a 90-degrees bent on your right knee in front of you, your calf vertical to your body, and sole facing the left while you flex your right foot.
- Allow your legs to be flat on the mat and put your left knee on the left side of your body in a bent position so that your foot is facing behind you. Just like your right foot, keep your left flexed.
- Ensure that your right butt cheek is on the mat and slowly move the left cheek closer to the mat. You may not fully do this when your hips are really tight so take it slowly.
- Hold it for 30 seconds up to 2 minutes.
- Repeat steps 1 to 4 on the other side.
- Sphinx Pose
This can gently stretch your lower back while engaging your abs so that it is fully supported. It targets the shoulders, chest, and lower back region. Here’s how to do this stretch:
- Lie on your stomach and keep your legs straight behind you.
- Put your elbows underneath your shoulder with your forearms touching the mat as you lift your chest.
- Press your thighs and hips into the mat, then try to lengthen your spine while keeping your shoulders relaxed.
- Get a nice stretch on your lower back by sitting up. Avoid hyperextending and immediately stop when you feel pain or stabbing sensation.
- Pretzel Stretch
This is a great stretching exercise because it targets multiple essential postural muscles. It stretches your hips, glutes, spine, and quads. Here’s how to do this exercise:
- Lie on your side with your head on your arm.
- Bend on your right knee and hip as much as you can, facing your chest, then drop it to the mat.
- Ensure that your torso and leg are in a straight line.
- Stay in this position for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, then switch to the other side.
When choosing what flexibility exercise to do, it is essential to consider the parts of your body where you feel tight. This will enable you to create a holistic routine for your body. The nice thing about flexibility workout is that it can be customized according to your skill and needs, so you better take advantage of that.
Tips for Safe Flexibility Training
When you do flexibility exercises, there are a couple of important reminders that you should bear in mind to avoid accidents that can lead to injuries. Here are some safety tips that can be helpful for you:
Make Sure to Warm Up
Think of your muscles as taffy. When it is cold, it can be hard to stretch, but it is easy to work with when it is cold. Your muscles follow the same pattern. When it is not warmed up, you are more likely to feel restricted, so you should make it a habit to warm up before doing your stretching exercises.
Now, you may be thinking that stretching exercises are considered “warm-ups”. This is true when you are doing strength training or endurance training, but that is not the case for flexibility training.
When you do flexibility training, warm you muscle up by walking for a couple of minutes first before doing the stretches, you can also swing your arms and walk in place. You can even warm up by dancing with a couple of songs or basically just do anything that will get your body moving.
The warm-up will help heat up your muscles, allowing you to perform your stretches better. It will also significantly reduce the possibility of overstretching or muscle strains.
Pay Attention to Your Form and Posture
The next safety tip is to pay attention to your form and posture. You can do this by doing your exercises in front of a mirror to ensure you are stretching the right muscle group.
Also, if you are a beginner, make sure that you have a good reference for executing the stretching exercise you want to do. This will help you have the correct form for the exercise preventing the likelihood of injury.
Paying attention to your form and posture is also important in assessing whether you are gaining any progress or not. Good form and posture can be equivalent to better flexibility gains.
Focus on Your Target Muscles
Balance is very important for the body. Unfortunately, for many people, one side of their body is often more flexible than the other side. This side is usually the more dominant side for the person. For example, right-handed people are more flexible on the side of the body because they tend to favor using those extremities more than the other side.
This could mean that the side may require more attention when doing your training. You need to be aware of your imbalance because if you assume that the other side of your body is as flexible as the other, you may push it more than it could bear. This can result in injury and other issues.
It is also important to keep breathing while you are doing your stretching exercise. If you don’t, you might feel lightheaded, and this can result in abruptly losing your form, causing some kind of injury.
You can try doing yoga breathing when doing your flexibility workout. Besides, learning how to breathe properly while working out can help you in other ways as well.
Stop When You Feel Pain
This probably the most important safety tip to remember when you are doing flexibility training. Stretching can feel uncomfortable because you extend your muscles and hold that pose for a couple of seconds. However, this discomfort should not feel like pain.
When you do feel a stabbing, tearing, or an unbearable type of pain, stop your exercise immediately. You are feeling these sensations because you overstretched your muscles, you did not execute the exercise properly, or your body is not ready to do that stretching yet.
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Other Helpful Factors that on How to Get Flexible Fast
Getting flexible fast is not only about doing flexible training. It also requires you to pay attention to these factors to help you get your desired results:
- Right Mental State
Becoming flexible can be a big challenge, especially when you have injuries or muscle and joint issues. However, it will help you become more physically fit and have a better quality of life. This is something that the right mental state can help you with.
When your brain is in the right condition, it is easier for you to overcome challenges through your willpower. This will prevent you from quitting before getting any results.
- Proper Diet
One thing that can help you achieve flexibility quickly is if your body is at its right weight. If you are on the heavier side, achieving flexibility can be more challenging because your body’s weight is putting more pressure on your joints, making it difficult for you to achieve the movement that you want.
A proper diet can help with this. By eating the right amount of food, you can maintain or reduce your body’s weight to become more flexible. The food you eat is also important in ensuring that your muscles and joints have the right nutrition to stay healthy and recover quickly when you do flexibility exercises.
To improve your flexibility is some that you can not do overnight. This means that you need to have the proper self-discipline, especially if you want to get the results quickly. It will help your
Ask yourself, why do you want to become more flexible? Is it to have better performance when doing workouts, or is it because you want to help your body improve after an injury?
Knowing the answers to these things will significantly help you keep your motivation consistent throughout the training. These are even more important when you are at a point in your training where you feel worn out, and different parts of your body hurt. Reminding yourself why you started this journey will help prevent your motivation from faltering.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Flexibility
How do you get flexible fast?
You can become flexible quickly with the right flexibility training, exercise, and diet. If you follow a strict regime, you can be flexible within 20-30 days, assuming that you are already in a decent physical condition.
How do I get Flexible everywhere?
You can become flexible everywhere by following a holistic full-body stretch that works on the tight areas of your body.
Is it possible to make yourself flexible?
You can make yourself flexible by training daily. This will also help you have a stronger body and avoid getting injuries when engaging in sports and other physical activities.
Can you injure yourself when doing flexibility training?
Yes, it is possible to injure yourself when doing flexibility training, especially when you are executing the stretches wrongly or pushing your body too hard. When you start feeling a stabbing or sharp pain when you are stretching, it is an indication that you are doing it too much, and you should stop. Another sign also is when you feel super sore the next day.
How much flexibility training do I need?
It is good to do stretching exercise around 3 to 5 times in every workout session. If possible, do some stretching before transitioning to the desired position.
When should I stretch?
The best time to stretch is when your muscles are already warmed up so you can stretch it without feeling pain or tightness. If you are doing only stretching exercises, start by warming up your muscles by walking for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, it is best to do stretching exercises after your workout session if you are doing endurance training.
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A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
How to get flexible fast is no easy feat. You need to condition your mind and body for a challenging road ahead. However, its benefit is surely worth it. With improved flexibility, you can have better overall fitness. It will also allow you to feel better about yourself.