Flexibility is an important component of fitness (along with cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, and balance). Some people think that flexibility is only reserved for those who participate in certain sports that require it; however, being flexible can provide many benefits for everyone, regardless of what sport or activity they do.

Flexibilty allows your joints and muscles to move through a range of motion without restriction or pain. This flexibility can reduce muscle fatigue and help you perform other exercise more effectively. It can also improve your posture, and decrease the likelihood of injury. Flexibility exercises can also help you avoid discomfort when confined in a space for extended periods of time, such as during a long meeting or plane flight.

Traditionally, the idea of becoming more flexible was synonymous with stretching. But, as every ballerina, tennis player, golfer, or martial artist will tell you, just stretching is not enough to increase flexibility. Flexibility training is a combination of static (passive) and dynamic movements that stretch and contract your muscles.

The goal is not to get to the point where you can touch your toes, but to achieve a level of flexibility that allows you to perform the movements you engage in on a regular basis with ease and control.

Passive flexibility is a great place to start, and passive flexibility exercises are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. These exercises can be done while sitting, lying down, or standing, and include things like seated forward bends, hamstring and quadriceps curls, standing straddle, seated bow and arrow, side-to-side lunge, kneeling lizard, and more.

Dynamic flexibility is a little bit more difficult to incorporate into your day, but it’s still important to consider adding it to your routine. This type of flexibility training looks a lot more like strength training, and involves doing exercises that involve contracting and then relaxing your muscles for brief periods of time. It includes things like alternating forward and backward lunges, high pyramid good mornings, contract-relax for front splits, half frogger slides, block sandwich lifts, and more.

The best time to do flexible training is after an aerobic or strength training session, while your muscles are warm and can move more easily. However, it’s essential to note that you shouldn’t stretch your muscles to the point of pain. If you are in pain, you should stop the stretch immediately and come back to it another time when your muscles are warmer.

It’s also important to stay hydrated, because dehydration can actually hinder your flexibility (Kristina Nekyia covers this topic wonderfully in her blog post over at Fit&Bendy). Finally, it’s worth mentioning that some research suggests that consuming protein before your workout can help to promote muscle recovery and enhance flexibility.  Flexibel träning