It’s vi­tal to stay flex­i­ble at any age

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Fitness -

FLEX­I­BIL­ITY is a com­po­nent of all types of move­ment -- from ev­ery­day ac­tiv­i­ties to the most rig­or­ous ex­er­cises. Be­ing flex­i­ble helps you stay mo­bile and avoid in­jury. Yet flex­i­bil­ity train­ing of­ten gets lost in the shuf­fle or pushed to the bot­tom of the list af­ter car­dio and strength train­ing. Its goal is to in­crease your range of mo­tion -- how far you can reach when, for in­stance, you bend from side to side, or raise your arm over­head to grab an item from a high shelf.

Flex­i­bil­ity is best achieved through static stretch­ing, which are stretches you ease into and hold for 10 to 30 sec­onds while in­hal­ing and ex­hal­ing -- no bounc­ing, no hold­ing your breath. As you start a stretch, fo­cus men­tally on the mus­cles you’re tar­get­ing. Ex­tend just to the point of dis­com­fort; you shouldn’t feel any pain. Here are three moves that tar­get the lower body.

For your ham­strings, sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Think of your hips as a hinge and, with a straight back, lower your chest to­ward your thighs un­til you feel the stretch in the backs of your thighs. Re­peat three to five times.

For your hips, stand up straight, fac­ing a sturdy chair or ta­ble in case you need it for sup­port. Raise the heel of your right foot be­hind you and use your right hand to press it to­ward your back­side with­out mov­ing your thigh or your hip out of align­ment. Re­peat three to five times, then switch legs and re­peat.

For your calves, step for­ward with your right leg. Keep your left heel flat on the ground and press your left hip for­ward as you re­dis­tribute your weight over your right leg. Re­peat three to five times, then switch legs and re­peat.

Note: It’s im­por­tant that mus­cles are warm be­fore you do static stretches. They’re a great fol­low-up af­ter ev­ery car­dio work­out, but do at least two or three fo­cused ses­sions per week, tar­get­ing all mus­cle groups, and al­ways af­ter a min­i­mum of 10 min­utes of light ac­tiv­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.