How can flexibility increase your athletic performance?
Flexibility, when defined, is the range of motions at a certain joint, or else said, the speed it can move from one point to the other. It gives quality, precision and definition to every move. As a result, we get to be more functional in our everyday chores.
Flexibility is mostly needed to make us perform each type of activity with ease. Sedentary lifestyle or even the wrong type of activity can make flexibility to deteriorate. This can lead to different health issues such as joint problems, obesity, injuries while training etc.
That is why, it is very important to know how and when to include certain flexibility training routines in your regular training sessions. Studies have also indicated that an improved flexibility can significantly play an important part in your athletic performance. And it can also inhale your overall physical level.
Benefits of flexibility
Even though being flexible brings you many types of benefits, mostly related to your physical aspect but mental as well, below you will find a list with the most important ones. Knowing what benefits you can get after participating in particular flexibility training routine, can help you, as an athlete, be in control of your muscle structure, bones and the level of stress you put on them. You will increase your blood circulation. Also, you’ll be able to fully release all the tension accumulated during the training session.
Flexibility relieves your muscle soreness – Since you are constantly putting strain on your muscles, causing the lactic acid to buildup, muscle soreness becomes a common thing to happen.
Flexibility reduces injury – Athletes are the category of people most prone to muscle injuries. This is due to the high amount they spend training and putting stress on their joints and muscles. That is why, when increasing your flexibility level, you automatically increase your range of motions (ROM). This brings to reduced muscle and joint injuries by almost 40 percent!
Physical and mental relaxation – Flexibility exercises are considered to be a great period of both mental a physical relaxation. This is the reason why so many athletes are implementing mediation, Yoga and other flexibility-oriented routines, in their life. Increasing your flexibility level helps also to clear your mind. You’ll become more focused and more present to your athletic performance when the time comes.
How to implement flexibility exercises?
Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes athletes tend to do is skipping their stretching routine due to the lack of time. Keep in mind that stretching helps your ROM be in shape. It maintains critical body parts such as joints, muscles, and bones, healthy . The best thing to do is to always include a short pre and post workout stretching routine on your athletic physical preparation.
Before starting your training session, a simple, warm-up routine to make the blood flow, increase the heart rate and body temperature, is what you should do. Try to focus on a short but yet dynamic warm up session. Some of the most recommended exercises are butt kicks, lunges, Frankenstein kicks, skips, shuffles etc.
After each training session, try to focus more on a slow and static stretching routine. Your main goal should be to gradually decrease your heart rate and temperature. This period will make your body break down the lactic acid. This acid is responsible for causing the soreness feeling and make it feel more relaxed and calm.
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