If stiff muscles are holding you back, this guide will help loosen things up and improve your athletic ability in a flash.
: Always consult a physician before attempting to do any exercise or exercise plan.
Step 1: Set up a schedule Set up a stretching routine to perform three to four times a week supplemented by additional time twice a day to work on your flexibility. Search online for ideas to get started.
TIP: Look for a 20 to 25 percent improvement in flexibility before genetics start to slow your progress.
Step 2: Avoid bouncing Avoid bouncing as you stretch, and stay balanced by stretching muscle pairs, such as quadriceps or hamstrings, at the same time.
Step 3: Talk to a trainer Ask a trainer at your gym to help you develop a stretching plan that is within your ability and that doesn't tax your body or stress your joints.
Step 4: Try dynamic stretch Do some dynamic stretching that actively engages your muscles, ligaments, and tendons with a specific set of movements instead of simple static stretches.
TIP: Dynamic stretches are best before a workout. They use more energy, but get the blood flowing to more parts of the body.
Step 5: Stay consistent Stay consistent and dedicated to your plan. You may not see results overnight, but, after a few months, you'll experience less pain and more agility in sports, dancing, and everyday tasks.
FACT: A 2007 study found that 16.5 million Americans practice yoga.