How to improve your Strength and flexibility
Flexibility and Strength Exercises Are Truly For Everyone!
Whether you’re a retired athlete or simply have goals or plans to improve your overall health, a great place to start is to evaluate the way your body works—through flexibility and strength.
The great news is, you don’t need to have a rigorous fitness regimen to improve factors like your flexibility and strength—all it may take is simply slightly adjusting the current plan you have now.
Why Should You Work on Your Strength & Flexibility?
First and foremost, strength and flexibility go hand in hand.
Improving your health and working on the various aspects and levels of athleticism doesn’t just make you fitter—it makes you healthier, from the inside-out.
These exercises can help you not only get stronger but also avoid bone density loss, help you improve your balance, and decrease the average amount of joint pain you may experience on a daily basis.
In this article, we’re going to go through a few activities and exercises you can do.
We’ll also introduce you to a few reasons as to why you should be implementing these in your already existing workout plan (if you have one) or taking these on 2-3 times a week—for beginners.
So, what are Strength Exercises?
You don’t have to be an athlete to work on your athleticism and strength.
Implementing them into your “workout” routine or everyday schedule can help your overall health, increasing your power, size, and endurance.
Strength exercises involve using your muscles, strength, and your body’s weight to work against resistance to help you increase your power. You can either work with your own bodyweight, various gym equipment or some other creative ideas—you don’t even have to go to the gym (or spend the money buying a membership)!
Depending on your beginning level of strength, you should look to complete a strength “routine” or a few of these exercises about twice a week.
Muscle-strengthening exercises also have so many different faces—you can either head into a gym (with a professional if you’re a beginner) and start lifting weights, you can do functional strength with resistance bands or you can participate in everyday activities like heavy gardening, climbing stairs, hill walking, and even get into bodyweight exercises (which is especially recommended if you are looking to get fit but not bulky).
Why is it important?
If you’re worried about the risk of falling as you get older, strength training not only helps with maintaining bone density, but it can also help you improve your balance, coordination, and strength.
It’s recommended to do strength exercises only 2-3 times a week since your muscles need a day or two to recover. During a strength training exercise, if you’re doing it properly, the activity actually causes micro-tears in the muscle fibers you’re working with. These fibers need a day or two to repair before being worked on again.
And what about Flexibility Exercises?
Since these two types of workouts go hand-in-hand, it’s only proper if we suggest to take on both types—flexibility and strength training—to make a complete workout regimen.
Working on your flexibility through stretching, yoga, tai chi or even pilates can help you improve your joints’ abilities and help you be able to carry on with the movements in your everyday life with a reduction of pain.
Why is it important?
Especially as you age, your joints may feel the wear and tear of years and years of impact through walking, running or other physical activity. To help you keep those joints healthy and pain-free, working on your flexibility can be the key.
Paying attention to your flexibility can not only help you perform exercises but are great for injury prevention.
The less tight your muscles are—especially before physical activity—the less likely you are to end up with an injury.
Flexibility exercises can also help your body slow down the rate of bone and muscle loss, as well as improve your posture, and reduce your everyday pains.
Tips for Implementing Flexibility and Strengthening Exercises in your Everyday Routine:
- First and foremost, if you are a beginner, we would definitely recommend working with a professional to help give you the best advice, guidance, and training plan fit for any physical limitations you may have and to help you best avoid injury while working out.
- If you want to work on your muscle strengthening exercises every day of the week but have been advised to give your muscles a break (as we mentioned earlier on), you can split up your muscle groups into days—or upper body/lower body—so you can still head to the gym or do a workout every day without having to worry about training the same muscles on consecutive days.
- Along with flexibility and strengthening exercises, you can (and should if you’re able) to add some cardio in your workout routine. This can help you with your cardiovascular health and overall well-being.
- Remember—especially if you’ve never done strength training before—you should start as gradually as possible and work your way up in weight or repetitions as you move along and feel comfortable.
- Working on your flexibility is never a bad idea! You can stretch every single day without fear of getting injured.
- There are so many different types of programs out there! You can find all types of strength and flexibility programs, from those which are even equipment-free and can be done from anywhere—to full-blown bodybuilding programs. Depending on your goals and your starting level, you should try finding a program that fits you. Again, working with a trainer is a helpful start!
We hope that this article was insightful in giving you a brief introduction in helping you implement a few strength and flexibility exercises into your regular fitness routine!
For the best results, make sure you listen to your body. If you are feeling pain or soreness, don’t push yourself past your limits—that can lead to an injury when not under proper guidance and instruction.
When implementing a routine and trying to turn it into a habit, the first step is always the most important—so, take that first step!