You are here because you want to learn how to work on your flexibility from home.
Well, you've come to the right place!
Table of Contents
What are the 3 best flexibility exercises?
1. Touching his toes
While standing, reach out toward his toes.
To perform a standing toe touch:
- Stand straight with your legs about hip-width apart. You want your legs to be straight, but don't lock your knees in either (it looks like a "micro bend").
- Start by leaning towards the floor.
- Let your body descend naturally. Keeping your hands relatively close, straighten your fingers and begin to slowly stretch toward the floor, gradually emptying your lungs.
The end goal will be to touch your toes.
2. Clasping his hands behind his back (Gomukhāsana)
The goal is to bring your hands together behind your back. One from the top, and the other from the bottom of your body.
To perform a back scratch:
- Sit (or stand) comfortably with your chest and back straight.
- Tuck your thumbs inside your fist.
- Place your right hand behind your head, below, above your shoulder. Stand as far back in the middle of your back as possible with your palm facing you.
- Your other (left) arm will go behind and up, palm facing out. Reach that hand up (don't strain).
- Switch arms and reverse the movement.
Over time, you should see your hands getting closer.
3. Butterfly Stretch
You sit cross-legged with your feet together. Try to keep your knees down.
To perform a butterfly stretch:
- Sit down with your legs facing out in front of you.
- Bring your two feet together until they touch your buttocks, pushing your knees apart.
- Grasp both feet with your hands, elbows towards the knees (they should not touch each other).
- Keep your back straight and let your knees drop (if they can, don't force it).
The goal is to lower the knees and bring the feet closer to the groin, but don't worry if that's difficult.
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Why these three exercises?
If you have good mobility in these three exercises, you're probably pretty flexible.
Improving these exercises will be your mission for the next 30 days!
Maybe you do a routine on Monday, Wednesday, then Friday.
We'll end this article with some tips on how to start a weekly practice.
Here's what you need to do right now: write down where you are with these moves.
- How far can you go with your hands on the first stretch?
- How far apart are your hands during back scratching?
- How far apart are your feet and how high are your knees during the butterfly stretch?
Before we dive into the series itself, let's discuss some general tips and tricks for improving your flexibility at home.
Tips and Tricks for Greater Flexibility
First of all, all bodies are different.
You may have a great range of motion in your back, but you may not have much range in your toes.
Our goal is to improve YOUR flexibility. We all have different ranges of mobility at first.
We all have to start somewhere, so don't stress if you're not feeling flexible at all...
Either way, by following this process, you'll learn more about your body and develop tools to increase your range of motion.
Here are 2 ways to increase your flexibility:
- Function. It is the technique and the awareness of your flexibility. Think of this as maximizing the potential of your current body.
- The structure. It's about your body itself, and the range of motion of muscles, tendons, etc. Structure is all about modifying your body itself through these flexibility exercises.
You probably won't increase your body's structural flexibility after just one stretching session. These things take time.
However, you can very well increase your flexibility by improving your function or technique. Just one of the two can very well increase your range of motion.
NOTE : You'll probably need a gym mat to feel comfortable with each exercise.
We will also use three specific movement tools to improve your flexibility:
1. Active range of motion
It would be doing the complete movement of an exercise, in a fluid way.
So, a normal bodyweight squat would be an active range of motion if you performed the full movement (Asian squat).
As you descend and ascend with your squat position, your muscles are equally engaged throughout the course.
This movement allows you to stop at a specific point in an exercise, such as the bottom of a squat, and move slowly and in a controlled fashion, pulsing slightly up and down.
You actually only move about an inch for your pulses.
This will help you control that particular area.
3. The outfit
As the name suggests, you block at a specific time during the exercise.
For example, for your squats, you can pause at the bottom of the movement.
This can help increase your stability during a particular stretch.
Next steps for working on your flexibility at home
1. Keep testing and re-testing your flexibility criteria.
What's measured is improving, so keep tracking your toe touch, back scrape, and butterfly stretch.
Remember that these tests don't need to be precise measurements rounded to the nearest millimeter (but if you want to, go for it).
Rather, they can be subjective:
"It's really hard, I can't get my knees down at all."
"I could probably sit like this for 15 minutes."
Don't worry about the accuracy of your measurements, but take note of how these stretches feel. This will help us know if you are improving.
2. Use your breath as a guide.
Breathing can often be a signal:
- If your breathing is calm and normal, what you are doing is in your comfort zone.
- If you're blowing a lot, or even holding your breath, you're probably trying too hard.
During your flexibility exercises, do not go too far beyond your comfort zone.
Yes, we need to find your benefit, but we also want you to feel in control during your stretches so you can really “own” the movement.
If you have to catch your breath, it could be a sign that you've gone too far.
If you find yourself panting and sweating like this, you may have gone too far with your flexibility exercises.
Pay attention to your breathing during our stretching exercises.
3. You don't have to stretch every day.
You don't need to stretch every day to increase your range of motion and gain flexibility.
Truth be told, you don't even need to do 20-minute streaks three times a week to improve your flexibility.
Even 10 minutes of stretching exercises twice a week could improve your mobility.
Just make it a habit.
Working on your flexibility – Conclusion
So much for these 3 exercises to improve your flexibility at home. It will be very useful to you muscle recovery days. Know that you can also practice them at any time of the day (and not necessarily only at home).
I'm curious to know where your flexibility is on these 3 exercises? Tell me by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org