“I’ll will go to the gym when I lose more weight, get stronger, get more fit, etc.”

“I’ll do flexibility exercise once I become a Yoga master.”

Sound familiar?  They don’t make sense but you may be familiar with these excuses.  You do not need to qualify as a Cirque du Soleil contortionist to start doing flexibility exercises regularly.  In fact, being stiff and inflexible is one of the best reasons to start stretching!

As with anything you can keep it simple or you can get as involved and complicated as you want with flexibility exercises.  Pilates, Yoga, and Dynamic Stretching are just a few of the many ways you can improve your flexibility.

This article will show a simple and safe way of stretching that is effective and does not require any special equipment or classes.

Here some basic guidelines:

You can stretch everyday.  At a minimum you should do flexibility exercises at least 3 days each week.

Stretching when your body is warm is more effective so a good time is after your cardio or resistance workouts.

Hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds and progress to a 30 second hold.

Do each stretch 3 to 5 times each session.

Stretching should not be painful.  Ease into each stretch until you feel tension in the muscle but not pain.

Click here for photos of a general flexibility program.