Unlike other types of training that we’ve talked about on this blog, flexibility training isn’t one specific workout. It’s an umbrella term that covers all sorts of exercises that help to improve your flexibility.
However, flexibility is about more than just being able to touch your toes. If you want to really see how flexible someone is, you’ll be looking at their range of motion – basically, how much a joint can move.
Different types of stretching can improve flexibility in different ways. There are three main types:
To do a static stretch, move into a position that stretches a muscle (to the point where you can feel it) and hold that position for around 30 seconds. Rest and repeat.
With dynamic stretching , instead of holding a stretch, you move through a joint’s full range of motion. This can be useful if you want to improve your flexibility when doing something specific, like getting out of bed or playing sports.
Active Isolated Stretching (AIS)
Like with dynamic stretching, with active isolated stretching, you again move your joint through its full range of motion. However, unlike static stretching, you only hold your end position briefly before returning to your starting point.
Other ways to become more flexible
If you don’t want to solely focus on stretching, workouts like yoga, Pilates, and tai chi can also help improve your flexibility.
Becoming flexible isn’t an overnight task. It can take a lot of patience and persistence, but whether you play sports or are in the home, working on it can make your life easier.