Becoming more flexible allows you to enjoy a range of new activities like yoga and gymnastics. It can also mean reducing your susceptibility to injury and pain if the right parts of the body are focused on. Better flexibility can reduce back pain, improve performance and help improve your blood flow too.
Better flexibility isn't something that you gain overnight, however; if you want to improve your body's limberness then you're going to need to work at it!
Getting started with flexibility
The most important thing you need to become more flexible is focus and commitment. Stretching daily and slowly pushing the limits of your body is what it's all about. You'll need to create longer muscles by getting them used to a new range of motion.
Low impact stretches are a great place to start. Simple things like stretching out your legs and reaching to touch your toes are nice, low impact stretches that can help you limber up before a full body workout.
Focus every part of the body
It's important that you focus on stretching every part of the body - after all, each part of you works together to make you who you are! Take extra care during back stretches as these can be the most hazardous if done improperly. Get somebody who knows what they are doing to check your form before doing backbends, bridges and seal stretches. A wrong move when stretching your back can cause a lot of damage.
Hold your stretch for longer
Maximum benefits will come from stretches held between 15 and 30 seconds. The further and longer you can hold each position, the more accustomed your muscles will become to the new motion that you are exposing them to.
Stretch after working out
After a gym session lifting weights or on the cardio machines is the best time to stretch. Your muscles will be already warmed up and incredibly receptive to anything that you throw their way. Try to do some light stretches before and more intense ones after a workout to get the most out of the work that you put in.
Try dynamic stretches
Dynamic stretches like lunges, high knees and inchworms in the pushup position are far more beneficial than traditional, static stretches and a lot more fun.
Becoming more flexible is a slow process, but fortunately one that you can undertake without a set of weights or expensive gym equipment. Take your time and stretch each day - you'll start seeing benefits within a month if you do.