How Long Does it Take to Increase Flexibility
We live in a culture of instant gratification. Everyone wants results yesterday, but it’s critical to put in the work first. With that being said, you shouldn’t have to wait long to see improvements in your flexibility as long as you stretch often.
How Long Does it Take to Get Flexible
You should begin to notice a difference in how flexible you are within two to four weeks. However, that’s only if you practice stretching at least five days every week.
You also want to practice an array of stretches so that your whole body feels the burn. Naturally, you can start slow if you need to, but with practice, you should gradually make your way to stretching every single day.
How Flexibility Works
Credit: Men's Journal
When most people think of flexibility, they imagine gymnasts able to contort their bodies into all kinds of angles. But that’s only part of it.
At the end of the day, flexibility merely refers to you being able to use your muscles and joints with their full range of motion. It’s easier to move when you’re a child, but through years of a sedentary lifestyle, some people’s muscles atrophy to where they can’t move as well as they did previously.
Being inflexible can lead to health problems down the line, so it’s crucial to stay active even as you get older.
What Should You Do to Increase Flexibility
Credit: Men's Health
Stretching regularly and practicing yoga are stellar ways to feel looser. But they should only be the beginning.
Ideally, you engage in some other type of physical activity. Cardio is great for your joints, so at the very least, you should go for a jog a few times every week to stay in shape.
You also shouldn’t count out the benefits of routine massages. Deep tissue massages are great for working out any tightness in your muscles.
The Best Types of Stretches for Increasing Flexibility
Stretching isn’t worthwhile if you don’t know what you’re doing. The following have been proven scientifically to boost flexibility and mobility.
Static stretches refer to movements where you stand, sit, or lie still in a single position for a prolonged period of time. Planking would be an example of this.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation stretches refer to movements where you passively move a muscle and then contract it isometrically against resistance. As you repeat this movement, you should notice an increased range of motion with each rep.
How to Speed Up Getting Flexible
If you aren’t getting the results you want within a few weeks, here are some additional pointers for feeling looser.
Warm Up Properly
Contrary to popular belief, stretching is not a warm-up. You should engage in some light cardiovascular exercise before you stretch, even if it’s just jogging for 10 minutes.
Maintain Proper Nutrition
When you eat better, you feel better. And when you feel better, you’re more likely to go the extra mile to attain your fitness goals.
A foam roller is a handy tool for moving in ways that would be impossible on your own. You can find a high-quality one online for less than $15.
Don’t Rush Your Stretching
A lot of people want to see gains quickly. However, if you go too fast, you could hurt yourself. If you injure yourself, you severely limit your mobility, and you’ll have to take a break from yoga for a while.
Incorporate Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching involves gradually increasing your range of motion. It includes things like leg swings where your hamstring is able to move further with each movement. A combination of dynamic and static stretching is best to see results quickly.
Benefits of Being More Flexible
There are plenty of advantages when you decide to stretch more often. You’ll notice improved posture and a better state of mind since you’re moving and releasing endorphins.
That’s really the greatest benefit of all. Stretching feels good, so do your body a favor and start working out today.
Bramble, Leigh-Ann PT, DPT, EdD, COMT. “Static vs. Dynamic Stretching: What Are They and Which Should You Do?” HSS, 19 Apr. 2021. https://www.hss.edu/article_static_dynamic_stretching.asp
De Mille, Polly. “Top 6 Tips to Increase Flexibility.” HSS, 14 Mar. 2011. https://www.hss.edu/playbook/top-6-tips-to-increase-flexibility/