General Question

CuriousLoner's avatar

Best way to become more flexible?

Asked by CuriousLoner (1808 points ) July 15th, 2012

I mean in the physical sense, I do basic stretching for warm up and cool downs, but I simply am not getting more flexible from that. Any suggestions?

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6 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

First, if you are not very inflexible be careful about stretching before exercising. You said you stretch during warm up, so I am going to assume you are stretching once you have already done some exercise and are actually warm, which is good. If you are stretching before you even start, you could injure yourself.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things as long as you are always stretching warm. Once you have worked out, stretching at the end is the most beneficial. You reduce the probability of have sore muscles, and you should be increasing flexibility. Remember to hold the position, don’t bounce or go quickly back and forth when you stretch. Some people feel they get a better stretch when they do floor or bar/barre stretching rather than typical stretching done standing up.

I am very inflexible, I know how frustrating it is. I wasn’t as a child either. I do gain flexibility when I work on it. I am more flexible now that I exercise regularly again compared to when I was doing nothing, but I still am fairly inflexible compared to most people, especially compared to women.

You could try yoga. I personally dislike yoga, but a lot of people love it. Ballet and Barre class will increase flexibility also if you want a whole class that works on strength and flexibility.

CuriousLoner's avatar

@JLeslie Yea me too I don’t care for Yoga either, but then again I have never tried so…Meh. Ballet highly doubt it. I guess just keep exercising. I can’t even touch my toes though when doing hamstring stretch standing. So I will attempt some extra stretching some how…

JLeslie's avatar

I should have written if you are not very flexible in my first sentence.

@CuriousLoner Yeah, Yoga is frustrating since I am relatively inflexible. I can’t touch my toes either. Stand with your legs apart a little more then shoulder apart, bend at the waist to touch the floor, which you probably can’t touch, and so bend your knees also so you can touch. Bend when you need to, but you can still work on the stretch that way. Also, if there is a ballet bar, lift one leg onto the bar while holding on with both hands, resting your ankle on the bar, and you can lean towards your leg for more stretch.

Cruiser's avatar

Don’t knock Yoga until you try it. Yoga will help stretch and strengthen all your muscles and ligaments. Pilates is pretty good for this as well.

DaphneT's avatar

If Yoga doesn’t do it for you, the martial arts routines may appeal. Try Tai Chi to start and explore away. The flexibility will come with care and attention, and with constant effort, persevere and you’ll reach that floor! Just don’t expect to go all Cirque de Soleil flexible.

tranquilsea's avatar

Start with a Basic bend like a forward bend. Get a strap or a towel and step on it while grabbing the ends. Reach down and use the strap to pull yourself a bit lower down. Hold it for 10 seconds or so. Take a breath in and then out and pull yourself a bit lower. Hold for 10 seconds again.

If you work incrementally like this you’ll be able to step on your hands within two to three weeks.

Use this strategy on other stretches.

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