Thursday, February 21, 2013

Flexibility & Good Health

Flexibility is a major component of physical fitness. Flexibility allows for  efficiency while performing daily activities as well as prevents injury and aids in maintaining full range of motion. Other perks of being flexible include the reduction of lower back pain and muscle soreness along with improvement of posture, muscle coordination, and overall quality of everyday movements. By becoming more flexible, we are able to perform every day movements such as sitting, standing, walking up stairs, lifting and lowering heavy items without placing undo strain on our back.

How does a person become more flexible? By incorporating stretching into a daily routine, a person can start to see a difference in their level of flexibility in just a few weeks. A few easy ways to become more flexible include:

· Neck Stretch – Looking side to side, as well as up and down, to improve full range of motion in neck.

· Upper Back Stretch – Stretch each arm across your chest for 5 to 10 minutes daily.Back Stretch – Stand with arms hanging at your sides, and twist slowly at the trunk from side-to-side several times.

· Hamstring & Hip Flexor Stretch – Sit with one leg stretched outward and the opposite foot pulled to the inside of the knee; reach for toes and hold stretch for 10 seconds.

· Back, Shoulder, and Calve Stretches – Throughout the day, even while sitting at work, often flex hands, and feet to improve flexibility in arms, legs and back.

· Hip Flexor Stretch – Hold a deep lunge position, and then straighten back leg, while reaching for the sky.

Good flexibility will not happen overnight, but you can improve by incorporating a consistent stretching routine into your daily life.  Stretch for good health!


  1. Flexibility is so important to overall health and fitness. You mentioned some great points about flexibility decreasing injury to our back from what we might otherwise experience from doing everyday movements. And you are right people don’t realize how little time it can take to incorporate flexibility into your daily workout or routine. Many professional athletes include flexibility in their routines as well as taking it to another level and incorporating actual yoga classes or instructors into part of their training programs as I mentioned in my blog Not only does flexibility decrease energy but it also helps to increase strength and power. The five ways you listed to increase flexibility is a great outline for everyone to follow!

  2. As we age, flexibility is taken for granted by too many of us. With suffocating work schedules and home chores, finding a time to exercise becomes seemingly obsolete. Refraining from exercise allows those neglected muscles to tighten. When muscle fibers shorten, posture can suffer and cause stress on bones, such as your spine. Bad posture can lead to health problems such as kyphosis.

    I think this blog is very informative as you demonstrate the simplicity of stretching. Hopefully people can read this and add these routines to their day

  3. Flexibility is a major key to enjoying a healthy life. As people get older they tend to lose the ability to do certain things in life. Some things as simple as getting up and down out of a chair are the first to go as we age. Staying flexible throughout the years of life can keep us moving more efficiently and enjoying every day activities. These simple stretching exercises you provided are easy to do by anyone and if done regularly can help with quality of life and overall wellbeing. Great topic Amber, people don’t stretch often enough.

  4. Flexibility is important in daily life as well as athletic performance. I often wonder why fitness professionals as well as coaches neglect the 'stretching' segment during practices and workouts. Perhaps it is too time consuming and/or too passive. Whatever the reason, we should all remember to include stretching in our workout routines.

  5. Flexibility comes easier to some people than others. I know I personally struggle with flexibility and it use to frustrate me when my coaches made me stretch. After challenging myself to stretch twice a day and implement yoga three times a week into my schedule I noticed a huge difference. Not only did I feel better but I lost some aches and pains in my body, and I noticed a positive influence on my throwing. I was quicker through the ring and able to really hit the important positions I needed to get the most power. I think this is a great blog and people really need to understand the importance flexibility has on your everyday health and the many other advantages it brings.