Benefits of Flexibility – Flexibility is an important component of physical fitness. Just like the other components, the level of flexibility can be used as a benchmark for assessing a person’s physical fitness.
There are several popular sports that require flexibility in joints and muscles, including floor gymnastics, equipment gymnastics, and beautiful jumping.
In these sports, joint and muscle flexibility is needed because there are so many movements in these sports that require athletes to move joints to limits that we rarely or even never do in our daily activities.
Definition of Flexibility or Flexibility
The ability to move joints optimally in order to reduce the risk of injury is called flexibility or flexibility. In other words, flexibility is the ability of a person to adapt his body to each work activity effectively and efficiently by stretching the body properly. If a person has good flexibility skills, it will be useful to minimize the occurrence of injuries during activities.
Benefits of Body Flexibility
As previously explained, the ability of the joints and surrounding muscles to carry out maximum movements without getting disturbed is flexibility. Practicing flexibility skills itself has several benefits, one of the main benefits of which is to avoid injury to the joints and muscles. Increasing flexibility throughout the body can make your joints move freely, smoothly, and can minimize disturbances such as sprains or sprains.
In addition, there are various other benefits of flexibility training, namely:
- When your muscles are more flexible, relaxed, and not tense, then when you do any activity that requires quite extreme body movements, you will not feel too sore or sore.
- Reducing the possibility of injury while playing various sports.
- Reducing the possibility of muscle cramps.
- When you focus on exercises that function to increase muscle flexibility, you will most likely be able to improve your posture at the same time.
- The length of the spine, the length of the shoulder bones, and the length of the leg bones can all increase depending on how flexible your muscles and joints are.
How to Train Flexibility Levels for Beginners
The various sports movements below can train the flexibility of the joints and muscles of the body easily, but are quite effective. Do these movements once or twice a day or every time you start exercising.
1. Side lying quadriceps stretch
Side lying quadriceps stretch has a function to train the flexibility of the thighs and calves. This type of sport does not require the help of any tools so it is very suitable for beginners.
Follow these steps to train flexibility of the body.
- Position yourself lying on the right side of the body, then bend your right arm and use it as a pillow under your head, and also make sure your legs are stretched out straight.
- Bend your left knee and pull your left ankle or heel towards your buttocks with your left hand.
- Make sure your waist and shoulders are parallel to the floor, while your head is parallel to your spine.
- Squeeze your stomach muscles, exhale, and hold the position for about 30 to 45 seconds, then straighten your legs while contracting your quadriceps muscles.
- Repeat for 3 to 6 reps and try to switch to the other side of the leg.
2. Glute bridge single leg progression
In addition to training the level of flexibility, glute bridge single leg progression is also a sport to strengthen the muscles of the back, waist, buttocks, thighs, and calves.
Just like the previous exercise, you also don’t need the help of additional equipment to do the following movements. This movement is also quite easy to do, so you can try it as a start in exercising.
This is how to do the single leg progression glute bridge movement to train body flexibility.
- Lying on a mat or other flat surface, bend one calf and make sure your palm is touching the floor.
- Open the other side of the thigh and calf to hip-width apart, then lift the other side of the leg, bend it, and place both hands behind the raised thigh.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles, make sure your posture is straight and touches the floor, then take a deep breath.
- Exhale while contracting your abdominal muscles, then lift your belly while pushing it away from your buttocks. Make sure your lower back and buttocks don’t touch the floor.
- Inhale slowly, then lower your buttocks and lower back to the starting position.
- Repeat several times, then replace with the other leg.
3. Seated butterfly stretch
Just like the side lying quadriceps stretch , this example of a flexibility exercise will train the calf muscles as well as the thighs. This movement is quite easy so it is suitable for beginners.
The following are the seated butterfly stretch steps that you need to follow.
- Sit in a cross-legged position, making sure your back, neck and head are straight.
- Place your hands on your feet.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine, exhale slowly, then bend your hips and back forward.
- Lower your elbows so they rest on the inside of your thighs, then push your thighs down.
- Make sure your back is straight, then push your back and hips as low as possible, then hold for about 20-35 seconds and then try to relax and return to the initial position.
- Repeat this movement for about 20-35 seconds.
4. Swan pose
This is an example of joint flexibility in the thigh muscles and also the waist muscles. You can find this movement in pilates sports.
Follow some of the following movements to do the swan pose exercise.
- Start by lying on your stomach.
- Place your palms on the floor, bend your elbows, and keep your arms close to your body so your hands stay under your shoulders. Make sure the position of the shoulders away from the ears.
- Keep your feet together as close as possible or if you can’t, try to open them shoulder-width apart.
- Push your palms toward the floor, tighten your abdominal muscles, then lift your stomach off the floor.
- Inhale while stretching your back as far as possible, keeping your elbows close to your body and your head in line with your spine.
- Hold the inj position for about 10-15 seconds, exhale, then slowly lower your stomach and chest to the floor.
- Repeat this movement several times.
5. Trunk rotation
This movement aims to train the flexibility of the hips and lower back. This helps you to roll your back more easily.
In this exercise, you’ll need a special weight ball, so please have one handy beforehand. The following is an example of a trunk rotation flexibility exercise.
- Sit on the mat with your knees bent, feet together, and position your heels touching the floor.
- You can hold a special weight ball in your lap close to your body.
- Make sure you are in an upright position, then tighten your abdominal muscles while rotating your body slowly, and your hands while holding the weight ball to one side. Make sure the ball stays parallel to your body.
- Pause, inhale, then exhale slowly. Rotate the body with the hand carrying the weight ball in the opposite direction.
- Repeat the movement back and forth and then repeat the entire sequence a few times.
6. Knee to chest
This exercise trains the flexibility of the lower back muscles and also the hips. Follow these knee to chest steps.
- Position your body on your back while bending your knees.
- Grab the top of the knee.
- Pull your knees toward your armpits and hold for about five seconds.
- Repeat this movement up to 3-10 times.
In doing lunges, there are two types of movements that you can try to train flexibility more optimally, namely front lunges and side lunges. Quoting an explanation from the website of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, an example of this exercise is believed to increase the flexibility of the hip muscles. This flexibility movement is also useful for training the lower body muscles and keeping the body balanced and stable.
Here are the steps for doing front lunges .
- Stand up and bend your left leg 90 degrees, position your right foot in front of your left foot and make sure your foot touches the floor properly.
- Bend your left leg as low as possible while keeping your back straight. Stretch the muscles in the left groin. Then hold that position for about seven seconds.
- Repeat for about 3 to 6 times and try on the opposite leg position.
Meanwhile, follow side lunges .
- Position yourself standing straight and widen your legs.
- Bend your left knee while your body leans to the left.
- Make sure your back and right leg stay straight.
- Hold this position for about 10 seconds, then repeat 3 to 6 times, and repeat with the opposite leg.
8. Cross-Over r
This example of a cross-over flexibility exercise can be described as very simple. This cross-over exercise will train the joints and muscles in the neck and back. Try these flexibility exercises.
- Position your body to stand by crossing your legs, make sure your feet are in a tight position and straight.
- Bend over and try to touch your toes as much as possible.
- Make sure the position of the back and neck remains straight or not curved.
- Hold this movement for about five to 10 seconds, repeat 3 to 6 times, then switch legs in the opposite direction.
9. Seat stretch
This exercise is very useful for training the flexibility of the neck, knees, thighs, calves, and also the back. This example of a seat stretch exercise is quite simple. Follow the steps according to the following instructions.
- Position your body to sit by straightening your thighs and calves. Make sure the toes are pointing up as far as possible.
- Touch your fingertips using your hand as much as possible. Feel the stretch slowly from the tip of the neck to the back.
- After that, push your chin towards your knees.
- Hold for approximately five seconds, repeat 3 to 6 times.
10. Standing quad stretch
In addition to training the flexibility of the thigh muscles, this movement is also an exercise to maintain body balance. Here are the steps for doing the standing quad stretch.
- Position yourself by standing on one leg. Then, pull the raised leg toward your buttocks.
- Make sure you lift your legs as high as possible while folding them as tightly as possible.
- Hold for about five seconds, repeat about 3 to 6 times, then switch to the other side of the leg.
A Sport That Can Be Lived
If you are interested in learning flexibility more deeply, there are several sports that make all the muscles of your body work effectively and train all members of the body to increase flexibility to the maximum, including:
This sport with smooth but quite complicated movements is indeed very useful for increasing the level of flexibility of the body. The body’s habituation to yoga movements is also usually not difficult because you will be introduced to basic or general movements that are easy first. Only after that switch the level to the middle and continue to the high level.
Yoga is not only good for training muscles, training flexibility, and also making the body fitter. However, it also teaches you to practice breathing and relaxation to release stress.
Often yoga and Pilates are thought of as the same sport, but in fact the two things are different sports. Even though yoga and pilates both train body flexibility, pilates movements are relatively shorter or only last about 3 seconds at most. In pilates movements, you will be in a lying, sitting, and also kneeling position more than in yoga movements, which are mostly done in a standing position.
Of course, not everyone can master it, and ballet is usually practiced from an early age. However, if you are used to doing ballet movements, your body will become flexible by itself. It does require a struggle if you have just started practicing ballet when you reach adulthood, but it is possible that you will be able to do it.
Apart from making it easier for you to adapt to your daily activities and prevent injury, the examples of body flexibility exercises that have been described earlier can help increase blood circulation to all the muscles in the body.
Having good blood circulation can help protect you from various types of diseases, such as lowering blood pressure to prevent various serious diseases such as stroke. Make sure you always do these movements to practice flexibility in each of your regular exercise schedules.
Enough of the summary regarding the understanding of flexibility, benefits, and how to improve it. Thank you for visiting, I hope this article is useful and can help you.