Flexibility training is exercising at a lower intensity to improve the range of motion of a joint to move more freely. As you exercise and move through the daily activities of life, your joints and muscles shorten. This creates stiffness, aches and pains in different body parts over time. Stretching is a form of exercise that can lead to increased flexibility as it elongates the muscle fibers and connective tissues. Therefore, you can prevent stiffness, pain and aches in the muscles and joints, and stay active everyday.
Flexibility training is an essential, yet often overlooked health-related piece of the fitness cake. Let’s face the facts, how many of us really stretch regularly and put an effort on it? Fitness world puts a lot of emphasis on high-impact training, such as HIIT, running or sports performance, but flexibility training is a more efficient tool to create a fitness foundation. More importantly, when people (re)start exercising, flexibility training is the safest and friendliest way to start moving the body.
Lifting weights promotes lean muscle mass and aerobic exercise, such as running, promotes the function of the heart and lungs, but what can flexibility training do for you?
I was one of those who easily overlooked flexibility training. I would workout but not take the time to stretch before and afterwards. I played competitive volleyball but did not ever stretch regularly. I had injuries (tibia fracture, torn meniscus, pulled hamstring, etc.) and restarted exercising from scratch by jumping into high-impact workouts without considering doing more flexibility training to build range of motion and ability to move more functionally. I started running more and I completed 2 full marathons on top of 3 half marathons. I could feel my body starting to ache and taking longer to recover. Ignoring flexibility training did not help the recovery. I had a wake up call after my second marathon in 2017 as my body literally shut down. I would get so fatigued after any high-impact exercise - running, HIIT, weight training - that I could barely get out of bed or walk the stairs up. And I am thinking in my head: “I am a Fitness and Health Professional, what am I doing wrong? I should know what I am doing!”. However, this curse turned into a gift as this is how I immersed into yoga and flexibility training. My body could only handle lower impact training and yoga forced me to understand the importance of taking care of mysel and how to relieve stress. I saw the transformation through yoga and core training - my aches and pains are gone (left hamstring tightness is finally gone after 10 years, lower back is pain-free), new core strength changed my posture and my performance in other fitness formats (HIIT, strength training, running, dancing, cycling, Pilates) are on a new level.
Flexibility is important but how do we make time for it in our busy lives? There are responsibilities and noise around us that easily take our attention away such as work, family, hobbies. In order to take care of anybody else, you need to take care of yourself. Therefore, prioritizing flexibility training into the daily routine is helpful in other areas of life. Sometimes, I only have time to train 15min but it still energizes. I believe in less training in multiple days rather than plenty of training on few days. You want to have the time, even if it is just 5min, to connect with the body and your breath to realign yourself in today's busy world.
I have trained number of clients and a trend that keeps on repeating itself in terms of feedback is that how much of a positive impact flexibility, core and functional training has been to level up clients' fitness and overall health. This led me to want to help more people around the world and create a convenient online exercise program that can be done anywhere as it requires no equipment and gets people moving efficiently.
This 12-week Energy BoostCamp Online Program helps people to boost their energy throughout the day, live with ease and being fit without extreme exercise. Learn more about this yoga-infused flexibility, core and balance program here: