Thursday, July 7, 2011

FLEXIBILITY: I know I need to stretch but...

So you don't stretch?  No wonder why you're a 1ft shorter than you were when you were 20!  Seriously, increasing flexibility is important whether your the weekend warrior or a professional athlete.  Including flexibility exercises in your program not only makes you feel better, it helps relieve pressure off of your joints especially your lower back.

Besides traditional stretching and Yoga, strength exercises done in the fullest range of motion is another way to increase flexibility.  In effect, the weights will actually help you gain MORE flexibility but only when done in the fullest range of motion.  For example when doing a pull up, you would start from a dead-hang position and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar, then slowly lower yourself to the dead-hang position.  This way your lats get fully stretched and contracted with every repetition.  No half or partial reps!

Key areas of tightness for most people are: Chest, Lats, Hamstrings, Front Hip, and Calves.