Having good flexibility has many benefits. Flexible people have greater range of motion – which can help in various sports. Being flexible can enhance your body’s resilience, makes you less prone to joint injuries, enables you to adapt more effectively to the physical demands of daily life and respond to unexpected challenges with greater ease and comfort.
What kinds of activities can you engage in to improve your flexibility? There are a few different physical activities which can help you to develop your flexibility through stretching and joint movement. Here’s our top 5 picks!
Yoga is all about stretching! By holding various poses, you can build flexibility in all parts of your body, while also developing breath control and exercising muscles around the body. It is also a form of meditation and is used by many people to focus the mind and relieve stress. Yoga is suitable for all ages and can be practiced pretty much anywhere. Many people attend yoga classes, although you can learn yoga from home.
Pilates is similar to yoga but focused on building core strength by challenging you to move your arms and legs while holding poses. It is very good for improving motion of joints and also flexibility. Elements of Pilates are often used in rehabilitation to overcome injuries and joint issues – this is because it focuses on slow movements that do not aggravate injuries. The best way to learn Pilates is via a Pilates instructor. There are also online Pilates classes that you can try.
Tai Chi is technically a martial art – but it is more of an exercise than a form of self defense. Tai Chi focuses on slow movements and standing poses. It is fantastic for building flexibility, as well as balance and leg strength. Like yoga, it’s also great for the mind and often used as a form of stress relief. First practiced in China, Tai Chi has taken off around the world and there are now many classes that you can join around the world. You can also learn Tai Chi online.
Many forms of dance are great for improving flexibility. The most obvious example is ballet, which incorporates many stretch exercises to provide greater range of motion. However, many other forms of dance class like Zumba and salsa dancing can also challenge you to become more flexible. If you want to improve flexibility and you love dancing, why not try joining a local dance class? You can also learn various forms of dance at home in your living room (although exercising in a studio or hall will definitely give you more space).
Many combat sports incorporate exercises and moves that can improve flexibility. Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that is focused on kicks. It incorporates a lot of flexibility training because of this, encouraging participants to learn to kick higher and with more precision. If you want to improve flexibility within your legs, why not take up taekwondo? This martial art is also great for developing leg strength, balance and general stamina – and of course it is a great form of self-defense.
KT is a digital nomad who quit her job, bought a ticket somewhere, got a tan, fell in love with mother nature and she would never return to the normal life that society dictates. You can also connect with her on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @pinaynomad