There are a number of simple, safe methods for increasing flexibility that can be practiced on a daily basis. Before beginning any kind of exercise routine or making a significant change to one's activity level, be sure to consult with a physician. The most basic methods for increasing flexibility include stretching the muscles on a daily basis, especially in the morning and before performing physical exercise. It is also useful to practice a stretching routine after sitting or resting for more than an hour. Certain muscle groups can be targeted by performing extra stretches that involve a particular area of the body.
Increasing flexibility, just like increasing strength and endurance, requires one to follow through with a regular exercise plan. There are dozens of videos and guides that can be used to develop a circuit of stretching exercises. By watching a few videos and reading a few articles, one can easily choose five to 10 stretches to perform on a regular basis as part of an exercise routine. Be sure to choose stretches that are not too difficult and do not cause strain as such stretches can be counterproductive to increasing flexibility. After developing this routine, practice either a few times every week or every day.
There are a number of kinds of exercises that are known for increasing flexibility. Two of the most common types are yoga and Pilates. Practitioners of these two forms of exercise are known for having increased flexibility. This is especially true for advanced practitioners and those who have been practicing for many years. Taking a few yoga or Pilates classes is a great way to increase flexibility. Also, one can borrow a few movements and poses from these classes to incorporate into a daily stretching routine.
Another method of increasing flexibility is to take dance classes. Almost all forms of dance rely on dancers having a good deal of flexibility. As such, dance classes often include a significant warm-up period in which the muscles are stretched. After this period, other exercises and dance routines are performed that can also help to increase one's flexibility.
Some gyms now have fitness equipment for increasing flexibility. These pieces of equipment are usually rather versatile and include instructions for how to stretch many muscle groups in the body. Using a machine like this on a regular basis, especially before exercising, is a good method for increasing flexibility.