Everyone, even the most sedentary folks, look for flexibility and mobility to perform their day to day activities comfortably. The joint mobility as a result of a range of motion is known as flexibility.
The majority of people already have a built-in level of flexibility. The good thing is if you lack flexibility you can achieve it gradually by practicing stretches.
Flexibility, of course, varies from individual to individual. You need enough flexibility for any situation that you will typically encounter in day to day life, plus a little more. This “little more” is called the flexibility reserve.
Factors Affecting Flexibility
These following are the major factors that may have an impact of flexibility level.
Health Benefits of Flexibility
- Increase joint movements
- Reduce muscle tension
- Less risk of muscle strain
- Reduce back problems
- Decreased muscle soreness
- Improved posture
- Development of body awareness
- Stretches Prevent Injuries
How to Do Full Body Stretches to Improve Joint Flexibility
Static stretching and dynamic stretching are two well-known methods for increasing joint flexibility. Active and passive stretching belongs to static stretching. In static active stretching, you stretch the joint slowly to gain an extreme range of motion. In static passive stretching, you have a partner that moves you towards the maximum range of motion, at the time you relax during stretching.
Dynamic stretching involves swinging the arm and/or legs in a controlled manner.
Before you start stretching you should keep in mind the following points.
- Avoid overstretching that may cause an injury.
- Stretch means “stretch”, not stress.
- Focus on bretahing, Inhale and exhale during every stretch.
Front Shoulder Stretch
In a seated position on the ground, with knees, bent, place your hands behind with finger-pointing backward. Slowly slide your hands farther and farther backward until you feel your front deltoids being stretched. Stop and hold that stretched position for about one minute.
Serratus and Latissimus Stretch
Reach arm up and over, bending at the elbow. The arm is now positioned behind the head as if stretching the triceps. While bending at the waist lateral, add a slight amount of pressure to the elbow width with the opposite hand.
Forearm and Wrist Stretch
Start on all fours with a neutral spine. Support yourself on your hands and knees. Thumbs are pointed to the outside of the body with fingers pointed towards knees. Keep palms flat as you lean back to stretch the inside part of your forearms.
Forwards Torso Stretch
While holding on to a bar with hands shoulder-width apart, bend forward at the waist. Make sure to be far enough away from the bare to elongate the torso.
Lie in a supine position with one leg bent foot flat on the floor. Grab the back of the opposite leg just below the knees and pull towards the chest. Keep the stretched leg straight but not locked at the knee joint.
Low Back Stretch
As you lie flat on your back, bend one knee. Allow that knee to fall over the opposite leg, as the hip rises off the floor. Be sure to keep shoulders and upper torso on the mat.
Neck and Upper Back Stretch
Lie on your back with both knees bent to alleviate pressure on the low back. Clasp hands behind head. Gently raise head off the mat and bring your chin to the chest.
Chest and Anterior Stretch
Clasp hands together behind your back. Gently raise arms until you feel a stretch throughout the chest and shoulder region.
Stand with one foot in front of the other. Bend one leg, and put your foot on the ground in front of you, with the other leg straight behind. Slowly move your hips forward, keeping your lower back flat.
- Flexibility can be increased by engaging yourself in different physical activities.
- Different sports need a different level of flexibility like yoga and gymnastic needs more flexibility than playing cricket. So, you should train accordingly.
- A high degree or a lower degree of flexibility depends on body shape and structure.