In this fast-paced and busy world, few have the time to hit the gym or do yoga to improve their flexibility. Yet this is precisely what you need if you spend your day sitting at the desk.
Whether you’re feeling stiff as a stake, flexible like a rubber band, or comfortable in your sneakers, flexibility refers to the ability to perform bodily movements with the greatest range of muscle and joint capacity. Flexibility is one of the five fundamental physical qualities that every person possesses.
The other 4 are strength, endurance, speed, and coordination. To reach your maximum potential on these qualities, you need to master the other four well. In short: flexibility is a fundamental skill of every athlete and is a prerequisite for a healthy musculoskeletal system.
What You Should Know About Flexibility
Some families are more flexible than others. It’s innate and is passed down from generation to generation! But other factors also affect flexibility. Age, for example. The older we get, the less flexible we are. Women are also more flexible than men, no doubt thanks to their hormones which permeate and relax the tendons and muscles.
Flexibility involves bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. It depends on the flexibility of our joints. We have over 400 of them; most of them are very mobile, like the joints of the limbs, others are semi-mobile like the joints that form the spine. The joint is where two bones meet. They are held by ligaments as well as by the tendons of the muscles.
Back Stretching Exercise
The child’s posture, or balâsana for yoga practitioners, is an ideal stretching exercise to relax the back muscles, particularly the lumbar zone. To do this, position yourself in a four-legged position (four legs). Without moving your hands, sit on your heels while exhaling.
Place your forehead on the ground. While keeping your buttocks on your heels, grow taller, reaching as far forward as possible with your hands while exhaling. To go further: Do three back stretching exercises.
Quadriceps Flexibility Exercise
This movement is a benchmarking exercise for improving the flexibility of the quadriceps, muscles located on the front part of the thigh. Start by supporting one leg, grasp the ankle of the other leg. Bring your heel back towards your buttock, then direct your pelvis forward while keeping your torso straight.
Tip: to accentuate the stretch, do not hesitate to orient your knee backward (without arching your back, of course). To go further: Do five quadriceps stretching exercises.
Glute Stretching Exercise
Extremely effective, this exercise will allow you to relax your gluteal muscles and the piriformis, the deep muscle of the hip. Lie on your back and place your right ankle on your left knee.
With your two hands, grasp the back of your thigh and gradually pull it towards you while blowing. Remember to keep your right knee in the open position. To go further: Do three glute stretching exercises.
This exercise mainly relaxes the posterior deltoid (muscle bundle located at the back of the shoulder), the middle deltoid (lateral part of the shoulder), and the upper back muscles.
While standing with your back straight, position one arm against your chest, forearm above the opposite shoulder. Grasp your elbow with the opposite hand, then bring your arm back against you. To go further: Do ten shoulder stretching exercises.
The muscle located in the posterior part of the arm, the triceps, is used when you stretch your arm. This exercise allows you to stretch it while also working on the flexibility of the shoulder.
Standing with your back straight, flex one arm behind your head, place your hand between the shoulder blades, and elbow up. With the other hand, pull your elbow both to the side and down. Always keep your back and head straight.