The wonderful thing about the human body is that every single one is different; therefore, people of all ages will read this guide. Flexibility is something we can improve in our 20s, 50s, 70s, and at any other age. For example, some young people may want to boost flexibility when playing a particular sport. On the other hand, some older people may need the flexibility to make day-to-day tasks that little bit easier (and to keep their independence as they age!).
Here are some amazing exercises for flexibility!
Simple, right? Although one of the most basic exercises in the history of physical fitness, the toe touch remains as a good indicator of your overall flexibility. To start, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly bend over to touch your toes. Try to keep your legs straight but don’t overstretch and hurt either the hamstrings or knees.
By doing this stretch a few times a day, you’ll soon find that you get closer and closer to your toes. If you do other exercises too, make sure you come back to the toe touch to check on your progress.
In the past, this suggestion would have generated a laugh and most people would have skipped ahead to the next one. Nowadays, we recognise yoga as a seriously beneficial type of exercise…especially when it comes to flexibility.
As you may know, yoga is all about stretching and getting into different poses. If you’re unsure of where to start, watch a video online because you’ll find plenty of basic/beginner yoga lessons. You don’t need to be a yoga pro to get started with this because it’s all about doing what’s comfortable for you. The more you do, the more you should see a change in your flexibility.
When most people see the word ‘exercise’, they think they have to be training for the Olympic Games. In reality, exercise doesn’t have to mean running, going to the gym five days a week, or any of this. Instead, it can mean putting on some comfortable shoes and going for a little walk (something we can do at any age!).
As you start walking, you’ll encourage blood flow around the body, improve cardiovascular fitness, and boost your balance, bone strength, and flexibility. If you aren’t used to walking, why not start with 10 minutes outside? You’ll soon find that you can walk longer and longer – make walking more fun with a podcast, audiobook, or your favourite music.
This guide has focused heavily on the legs and core, but the arms are important for flexibility too. Especially as we age, we need to keep mobility in the shoulder joints. In this case, you need tricep stretches. Whether sitting or standing, straighten the back and reach behind your head for the back of your left elbow with your right hand. From here, gently press down and move your flat palm down your back. Of course, don’t forget to switch arms and do this a few times per day.
A pilates instructor NZ once told me, Pilates is a life-long exercise. Meaning it’s a low impact, efficient way to stretch and keep your core strong, even as you age. As well as yoga, it’s possible to improve flexibility with Pilates. Although similar to yoga, Pilates is all about using slow and precise movements. While remaining stable at all times, you’ll use controlled movements to stretch the joints/muscles and engage the core. With a stable base, you’re more likely to enjoy flexibility in other areas.
As you can see, you don’t need any equipment for these exercises and it’s possible to get started with some comfortable shoes (in fact, you don’t even need these for some of the exercises!) If you are running a gym business you can easily market them with a fitness flyer template which is easy to make!!.