3 Ways to Improve Flexibility as an Athlete
As an athlete, maintaining strength, endurance and stamina are the most important central aspects in order to perform at top physical condition. However, an athlete may overlook the importance of flexibility, as it can improve their performance in a multitude of ways. These enhancements include an increased range of motion, improved posture, strengthened joints and muscles and the prevention of serious injury. With those concepts in mind, there are a variety of ways to improve flexibility as an athlete. Read on below to learn how you can reap the benefits of flexibility to be at the height of physical health and fitness.
Where to start?
To get a good start on how to properly approach building flexibility, you must acknowledge the kinds of exercises and routines that are necessary for maintaining discipline and avoiding overexertion. From this point forward, it is important to consider how these methods of improving flexibility influence the kind of athletic activity that you do and how you can apply them to your routine.
1. Know the Kinds of Stretches and How They Apply
Dynamic, Ballistic, Static Active, Static Passive, Isometric, and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) – these are all forms of stretching that can apply to an athlete’s routine. Not every form of stretching is widely used, however their applications can be situational in comparison to the kinds of activities an athlete does throughout their routine. Three of the activities listed below are in fact widely used for all kinds of situation to increase flexibility.
Dynamic – The most common form of stretching is applied to the most crucial point of any workout routine – warming up. As the name suggests, the exercises involve a dynamic range of movement that prepares the targeted portions of the body to properly approach any workout situation. Calisthenics, such as lunges, push-ups and jumping jacks, are all active examples of dynamic exercise. It’s also important to note that these exercises are ideal if you prefer a lighter alternative.
Static Active – The static form of stretching uses tension of extending the limb through resistance without moving the limb itself. Static active involves using the opposite limbs to hold the stretch for a certain amount of time – usually around 10-30 seconds max.
Static Passive – This exercise is commonly known as “static” stretching. Static passive stretching makes use of the external forces in the body. Static stretches are usually performed after a workout and are ideal for increasing one’s range of motion. It is important that you do not do these stretches before a big event/competition, as it can have an adverse effect on the body and make it prone to serious injury.
2: Start Off Light
It’s tempting to cut straight to the heavy lifting, but you would only cheat yourself out of an opportunity to capitalize on flexibility. Starting off with lighter weights not only warms you up for heavy lifting, but it also gives you a chance to focus on including a full range of motion in your workout.
3: Rest and Relaxation
The body needs rest to recuperate and perfect your flexibility exercises. Massaging, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated and eating right are key to a healthy recovery and maximizing your overall results.
Visit a Personal Trainer Near You
Personal Trainers are the most knowledgeable on how the body works in motion and how to get the most out of your workout routine. If you are looking for a place to meet with personal trainers, then JD Core is the place to be. Located on 6 Kingsbridge Rd, Fairfield, New Jersey, JD Core is ready to put your body to the test and deliver the performance training you need to improve your flexibility and physical performance. Contact us today to schedule a personal training session and let us help you build your physical confidence. We are looking forward to helping you get in shape for the future.