Getting more flexible is a fitness goal for many, and for good reason. Having a flexible body helps you exercise more effectively, increases blood flow to your muscles and joints, and reduces your risk of injury. To help you reach your goals, we’ve assembled a list of ways to increase your flexibility. They include:
- Stretching With Props
- Stretching With Bent Limbs
- Using a Yoga Strap
- Alternating Dynamic and Static Stretches
In the rest of this article, we’ll walk you through each and offer more explanation. If you’re just starting to work on stretching, we recommend starting with the first item on the list and working your way through as you gain flexibility. So, let’s get started!
4 Ways To Increase Your Flexibility
Stretching With Props
If you’re just starting out on your stretching journey, props are your new best friend. You can use yoga bolsters, yoga blocks, or even a pillow or couch cushion. Trying to get stretchier hamstrings? Place a bolster on your outstretched legs and gently lean your body on it. Want to deepen your side bend, but can’t quite reach the floor? Move the floor up to you with a yoga block!
Stretching With Bent Limbs
As you increase your flexibility, try graduating to stretching without props. But, at this stage, feel free to bend your legs as much as you need! Try a hamstring stretch with your knees slightly bent (you can even slip your arms under your legs for more support), or work on your straddle stretch with bent knees.
Using a Yoga Strap
A yoga strap can help you take your flexibility to the next level. Try laying on your back with one foot raised to the ceiling and the other extended on the mat. Loop the yoga strap around your ankle or calf and gently pull it toward your face. You can stretch your leg to the side in the same manner, or try this stretch standing up with one leg extended in front of you or to the side.
Alternating Dynamic and Static Stretches
As your flexibility journey continues, you’ll want to make sure that you’re alternating between dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic stretching means that you’re moving through the stretch to loosen your muscles, and is usually best to do as part of a warmup. Static stretching, on the other hand, involves holding a stretched position and is great to do after your workout to increase your mobility.
Examples of dynamic stretches include leg swings, arm swings, or lunges with a twist, while static stretches are exercises like splits, straddles, or chest stretches.
We hope you found some great ways to increase your flexibility! Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran, consistently integrating a few of these practices into your weekly workout routine will offer great results before you know it.