Activities that lengthen and stretch muscles can help you prevent injuries, back pain, balance problems, restless sleep and a host of other issues.
A well-stretched and healthy muscle more easily achieves its full range of motion. This improves athletic performance... imagine an easier, less restricted golf swing or tennis serve! Functional abilities, such as reaching, bending, or stooping during daily tasks can be greatly improved by a combination of simple self care techniques. Rollga exercises can also be a great way to get you moving in the morning or a way to relax after a long day. Activities such as Rollga combine stretching, strengthening, muscle release, breathing and relaxation also improve balance and flexibility, a wonderful combination.
Flexibility is a great indicator of overall health and with more flexibility there is much less risk of injury. A simple quiz can assess where you are at and to give you a gauge on how flexible you are and also to encourage a lifestyle change to include flexibility improvement.
Click here to take the quiz-
Flexibility can seem like something you’re either born with or without. Walk into any yoga class and you can see it, there’s one group of people who can easily bend, twist and touch their toes and another group who relies heavily on straps, blocks and bent knees to get into each posture and position.
If you’re part of the less-than-flexible group, don’t worry. While some people are naturally more flexible than others, it’s possible to improve your flexibility—even if you haven’t touched your toes in years (or ever). Below are a few tips on how you can improve your flexibility, as well as why it’s important for your overall health and well-being.
What is Flexibility?
Simply, flexibility means the muscles and joints in your body can move without restriction or pain.
Why Does Flexibility Matter?
If you’ve ever woken up with your body feeling stiff and achy, then you know exactly why flexibility is important, says Taggart Downare, Physicist and Inventor of the Rollga Roller and the Rollga Release Point System, a proprietary education system of simple release points on the body to maximize ones well-being.
“Flexibility is a key to ensuring you can move at your own pace without constantly feeling like you have a big old monkey on your back,” says Downare. “Tasks like daily living, sport and fitness require varying degrees of stretch and range of motion to perform successfully without risking acute or overuse injuries.”
With more flexibility comes a greater sense of ease of doing daily tasks and getting in your workouts. Which has become essential in the busy lives we live today... especially for people looking to boost their performance in the gym.
“Your body is constantly under strain from external factors—stress, fitness, work and home-related repetitive activities,“ he says. “As fitness has grown to become a core value for more people, flexibility is extremely important.”
What are a few benefits of Flexibility?
Being flexible has many benefits, first it helps you feel good in your body.
“More flexibility help one to be more supple and agile which has both physical and mental benefits. More bounce in your step, and it just feels so good to move without restrictions.” says Downare
Flexibility training can also reduce risk of injury, prevent or correct muscle imbalances, improve posture and enhance joint range of motion, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
A 2020 study found regular stretching can help improve heart health. Another 2020 study found 30 minutes of stretching five times a week helped lower blood pressure better than walking for the same amount of time in people with high blood pressure. There are many other studies verify many health benefits to flexibility training, needless to say flexibility is important!
Flexibility is also significantly more important as you age. A 2012 study concluded that flexibility improvement can help the range of motion in older adults, and a 2014 study found a regular exercise and stretching program can help increase lower-body flexibility, dynamic balance and low-back strength, which all help reduce the risk of falls in older adults. Maintaining and working on flexibility increases in importance with age. The good news is flexibility can be improved at any age.
How can flexibility be improved?
1. Pay Attention to Your Body - The first step to boosting your flexibility is noticing which areas of your body move easily and which ones don’t,
2. Good Posture - Any time you do any movement where your head is in front of your body and your shoulders are rounded forward. Think of driving, sitting, texting and working on the computer, your muscles are in an unnatural position that can cause tightness. You can correct it by simply sitting up straighter.
3. Stretch & Strength - “Flexibility and strength need to be symmetrical to each other,” he says. “It’s like yin and yang. Strong muscles are a problem if they are not flexible.”
Some of the best workouts that improve both flexibility and strength include barre, Pilates, yoga, dance and Rollga.
4. Sitting on the Floor - How often do you sit on the floor? Probably not very often, but this “outside-the-box” exercise can help you challenge yourself because sitting on the floor is actually a stretch for the hips, back, knees and ankles.
Aim for about 15 minutes in any position that’s comfortable for you for a whole-body health boost, he says.
5. Include Flexibility Training in All Your Workouts - If you already exercise regularly, an easy way to boost flexibility is to incorporate modalities like Rollga which is a combination of stretching, foam rolling, acupressure self massage and body awareness into your warm-up and cool-down time, says Downare.
6. Don't Wait to Work on Your Flexibility - Getting to the gym can be hard some days, so don’t put off your flexibility training just because you missed a workout. Instead, do simple stretches and incorporate some of the Rollga products while sitting at your desk or waiting in line at the store.
Downare recommends having a morning routine to get yourself moving. He also suggests making sure you change positions frequently throughout your day.
7. It Doesn't Take A Lot of Time - The best part of flexibility training is that you don’t have to spend hours on it to see improvement. For Downare, that means doing a Rollga Routine every morning while his coffee is brewing.
“It’s a short routine that consists of 8 key Rollga poses,” he says. “This routine improves my mood and boosts my energy for the day ahead in such a short amount of time. My daily routine is less than 8 minutes!”
If early isn't your thing... try stretching during your lunch break at work or before you go to bed, he suggests. Doing a soothing self massage and acupressure Rollga routine before bed aids in sleeping better and waking up less stiff and more flexible.