F is for Flexibility
Many people are quite fanatic, almost religious, about their workout routines. They follow the same regimen on the same schedule week after week, month after month. Others enjoy introducing variety into their workouts to stave off boredom. However, a very low percentage of people include flexibility training as a normal part of their workout. Little do they know they are not only limiting the effectiveness of their workout they are also placing themselves at greater risk of injury as well.
As you age, it is natural that your muscles lose strength, size and flexibility. This affects the range of movement around your joints and may lead to stiffness in the muscles and joints. This same lack of flexibility limits the effectiveness of your exercises and makes one more prone to joint and muscle injury. So as you age, flexibility training becomes even more essential.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
1) Make sure you hold each stretch for a minute or more.
2) Take deep breaths, this promotes muscle relaxation and increased range of motion.
3) Do not bounce. Bouncing doesn’t allow you to lengthen and stretch the muscle, instead you tend to snap it back and fourth like a rubber band.
4) Try trigger point therapy or self- myo-facial release as part of you flexibility routine. Both of these techniques help you address the reason you tight in the first place… the knots in your muscle.
5) Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility.
Below is a instructional video of how to perform myo-facial release on your IT Band, one of the biggest problem areas for most people.