Los Angeles, CA – 3/5/2014—
Flexibilityis an essential part of overall fitness, but while some stretch and stretch,their muscles remain tight and many give up and settle for the flexibility theyhave. In order to increase and maintaintrue flexibility, there are specific moves that can be used to strengthen andstretch the muscles to allow for easier mobility and overall movement.
Toimprove flexibility, we must understand it first. Muscle tissue connects to the skeletal frame,and when that frame senses that a certain muscle is not strong enough to holdthe frame together, it tenses the muscle to make it feel tight. Therefore, we need to increase strength toincrease overall mobility and flexibility.
Repetitionof movements can help to create heat and natural stretching of muscle to reducethis tension and allow for greater range of movement. One group of muscles that is notoriouslytight in every person are the muscles of the back. There are two movements that can assist in instrengthening and lengthening the muscles of the back, and they are the bridgeand the hamstring curl.
Toperform a bridge, lie on the back with knees bent and hands by the sides withpalms facing the ceiling. Slowly engagethe glutes to raise the pelvis off the floor until the back is arched and the bodyis resting on the shoulders. Hold thispose for 8-10 seconds then slowly release the move back to the floor.
Thehamstring curl can be done on a machine, or for more benefit, use an exerciseball. Lying on the back in a similarposition as the bridge pose, place heels on the ball. Curl the back slightly off the floor whileextending the legs, then roll the ball back in towards the body to engage themuscles.
Similarexercises that contract and release the muscles can work for strengthening andlengthening muscle groups across the entire body. To improve flexibility, make sure to work onstrengthening muscles in addition to performing active and static stretches forincreased length in muscle fibers.
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