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4 Benefits of Flexibility & 5 Tips For Efficient Results

Flexibility is one of the key ingredients that make up a complete training program. Unfortunately, it is often overshadowed by exercise dedicated to muscular strength and weight loss because of the latter’s more visible benefits. Nevertheless, focus should still be given to flexibility exercises as it yields a number of advantages to people who perform them regularly.

4 Benefits of Flexibility Exercises

1. Better Posture

– Like muscle training, flexibility exercises can also help your body maintain god posture since stretching your muscles will ensure that they’re properly aligned.

2. Move Faster and Better

– Flexibility exercises can also readily improve your body’s performance and complement whatever benefits your body has gained from aerobic training, anaerobic training and other disciplines you may practice.

3. Pre-Habilitation of Injury

– Pre-hab is a buzzword in the fitness industry that simply means to reduce the chances and the seriousness of suffering from physical injuries before they happen identifying imbalances in the body and taking measures to correct them.  Stretching is one way to practice good pre-hab.

4.  Effective Preparation for Strength Training

– Before you can get down to exercising your muscles and make them look bigger and feel stronger, you need to perform the necessary flexibility exercises first. Flexibility exercises will prepare your muscles for the workout you intend to accomplish and lessen the chances of having strained or sore muscles.  The Dynamic Warm Up was designed for this exact purpose.  Warming up effectively relaxes muscles and consequently makes your workout easier to accomplish and obtain quicker results. It also prepares your body by making sure that all of the important functions – circulation of blood, breathing, and nerve transmission – will adjust effortlessly to whatever workout you have in mind. The Dynamic Warm Up contains plyometric exercises as well as dynamic stretches that prepare me for whatever evil concoction of a workout I have come up with.  Whatever it is, I know the dynamic gets me ready.

5. Tips to Have Efficient Results from Flexibility Exercises

1. Take It Seriously

– Flexibility is just as important as any other exercise so prepare your body the way you would before doing aerobics, weights, CrossFit, or any other training. Allocate the required time and effort for flexibility exercises.

2. Choose a Flexibility Exercise that Matches Your Capabilities and Preferences

– Flexibility exercises don'ty have to be relegated to the Dynamic Warm Up alone. If you can’t perform this or if you are simply not interested, then look for other avenues to explore. You can integrate flexibility exercises, for instance, with your favorite sports or use props to make it more interesting.

3. Don’t Push Yourself too Far!

– Many make the mistake of going for the gold at their first attempt of stretching. This can actually be counterproductive if you were to injure yourself stretching.  If you’re new to flexibility exercises, start from the beginning instead of skipping levels to avoid injuring yourself.  The Kaizen way is to break down a goal such as touching your toes into smaller steps.  Start in a seated position and begin by reaching down the legs for the knees.  Then use a towel wrapped around your feet to artificially extend your reach.  Over time, you will accomplish your mission.  Remember to celebrate the small victories.  

4.  Combine It with Mental Exercises

– Your body will be more receptive to flexibility exercises if you’re able to relax your mind as well.  I designed the Dynamic to be a challenge but also a way to spend a few minutes meditating and visualizing.  When I warm up I let go of all the distractions of the day and clear my mind.  I spend much of the day training troops and giving a lot of myself.  My training time is my time to give back to myself.  It is time to re-fill my soul and serve myself so that I can continue to give and serve others.  A good warm up could (should) challenge you as well.  I added the difficulty of the Training Mask to practice breathing techniques and heart rate control under stress.  All this preparation may seem like much, but the benefits of a proper mental and physical warm up can not be emphasized enough.

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5.  Change Your Perception about Flexibility Exercises   

- View flexibility as en enhancement to your routine, not as a hinderance or waste of time.  Thinking negatively affects your performance, so paint flexibility in a positive light and your attitude and training will change for the better.  All of the greatest athletes of the world can and will easily vouch for the necessity of stretching exercises.  You can even incorporate your stretching into your cool down.  Use this as a reward after you finish a brutal routine like my Tactical Athletes WOD.  

Relaxing your muscles and cooling down after a workout is another opportunity to practice meditation, breathing and heart rate control.  It's important that the body functions resume a normal state in a gradual process.  Practice this after your workout and your entire body will benefit.

While you certainly don’t need to spend too much time on flexibility exercises, you should definitely include them in your regular exercise routine. At the very least, make sure that your routine begins with a proper warming-up and ends with a cooling-down exercise. Lastly, keep in mind that enhanced flexibility is just as impressive as physical strength and agility!

 - Tee Major