Flexibility isn’t just about being able to touch your toes. A good stretching routine can significantly enhance your performance in both cardio and strength training. Not only does it decrease your chance of getting injured, it can also be a form of relaxation that improves both mental and physical recovery. In other words, it’s worth it!
The best time to improve your flexibility is during your regular workout. Try to incorporate at least five minutes of stretching in your warm-up and your cool down. If you have trouble fitting it in immediately after your workout, do some stretching within the hour after exercising. Always make sure you stretch to slight discomfort and over time you will see improvements. Stretching should NOT hurt!
Here is a great illustration of stretches that work for most exercise routines. Hold each exercise for 10-30 seconds.
And here are some short videos that may be helpful to add into your training routine:
Yoga is an excellent way to increase your flexibility. It is ideal to incorporate a full session into your week, but starting with short bouts of yoga in the morning or after your workout is beneficial. Want to learn more about yoga or deepen your current practice? On Thursday, March 5, The Whole U will host a yoga seminar at the HUB featuring Dr. Christian Novetzke and Dr. Gary Martin. Dr. Novetzke, an associate professor in several UW departments including the South Asia Program, has written three books and teaches a seminar called Yoga History and Politics. Dr. Martin is a full-time lecturer for Near Eastern Languages and Civilization and a yoga instructor at the IMA. Register Now!
The Whole U has Discount Fitness partners within our network that offer yoga classes to help you work on your flexibility training. If your favorite yoga studio is not on the list, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.