Flexibility describes our movement of joints, muscles and the motions that we put them through. It varies naturally between people, some of us are born with great flexibility while for some of us we have to develop this over time. Irrespective of who you are, what type of body you have or how flexible you think you are or aren’t the good news is that you can
improve flexibility and it’s far easier than you might think too.
What is flexibility and why is it so important?
Flexibility refers to the range of motion that our body is capable of between joints and muscles. Having good flexibility is important for many reasons, it improves your health, how you feel about yourself and reduces the likelihood of injuries. In short, good flexibility makes life easier and can help you live healthier.
When we have a better range of motion it means our muscles have to exert less energy and effort to perform the same task, this reduce the pressure placed on muscles and joints and makes things like walking, running and lifting easier. An improved range of motion also helps to tone muscles, improving the power that we can put into each action allowing the muscle to support better development.
Flexibility is also great for our confidence and being flexible is hot! It allows you to hold better posture and flaunt what you have with ease, just think of athletes.
Benefits of being more flexible:
- Better Balance
- Prevents aches and pains
- Improves physical performance
- Reduces stress
- Increases stamina
- Improves sleep
- Strengthens muscles
How can I improve my flexibility?
Improving your flexibility can actually be achieved easily through exercise and stretching. All of our classes at Adelaide Hills Bikram can help you improve your flexibility as each class incorporates a stretching component and works towards building flexibility. Even one class a week will improve your flexibility as this dedicated time allows your muscles to improve and retain the benefits. You can increase the impact of coming to class on your flexibility by coming to some additional classes or by varying the classes. You can also incorporate what you learn at class into your daily routine to maximise the benefit and make sure that you stretch regularly and before and after exercising.
Does the heat help?
Yes! Heated classes are the best for improving flexibility as they increase the suppleness and elasticity of muscles, ligaments and other supporting structures of the body. This allows for greater flexibility and reduce the chance you will injury yourself stretching. The heat also helps reorganise the lipids (fat) in the muscle structure and helps the circulatory system to deliver blood and nutrients to the muscles you are stretching, helping to deliver a better result than normal stretching alone.
How do classes help improve flexibility?
Bikram and Yin Yoga:
Yoga has a worldwide reputation for developing flexibility and you only need to see some pictures of ancient gurus and elite sporting professionals to understand why. The speed and pace at which yoga is able to build flexibility has also been noted in hundreds of academic journals since the practice became more common in the developed world.
Both Bikram yoga and Yin yoga incorporate stretching poses. These poses allow you to safely extend your muscles and joints and train them to be able to extend further and move in alignment. This allows you to improve your range of motion in targeted muscles groups and over your entire body. These stretching poses are proven to lead to increased flexibility.
Many people think that you have to be flexible to attend yoga, however this is simply not true as people who are the least flexible often have the most to gain and will see the biggest benefits of attending a yoga class. It might take some time to go deep into a posture but everyone has to start somewhere so don’t let this idea scare you. Many students have come to our yoga classes never having been able to touch their toes or lift their leg above their knee, through practice however I have seen shocked faces as many experience the change for the first time in their lives!
Hot Pilates and Fitness classes:
Both Hot Pilates and our Fitness classes incorporate flexibility building components into their routines. These help to build and tone muscle while improving the body’s movement range with each and every session. The classes are particularly good at building muscle strength to maintain extension and you will notice this in joint agility and when muscles are performing more strenuous tasks. For maximum benefit incorporate a yoga class which will allow the stretching and training in these classes to be applied deeper.
Can I also improve flexibility at home?
Absolutely! Flexibility is something that you can work on each and everyday and simple stretching is a great place to start. Make sure that you regularly warm up before exercise and stretch after exercise to cool down as well as making an effort to do flexibility building exercises. This can help you improve your body’s flexibility.
If you’re worried about causing more pain or damage, don’t have the motivation to stretch regularly or want faster results that are compatible with daily life and sports then coming to one of our classes can ensure that you are covering all bases safely.
Improve your flexibility and book into a class online today!