Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/05/2014 -- Flexibility is 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 they have. In order to increase and maintain true flexibility, there are specific moves that can be used to strengthen and stretch the muscles to allow for easier mobility and overall movement.
To improve 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 hold the frame together, it tenses the muscle to make it feel tight. Therefore, we need to increase strength to increase overall mobility and flexibility.
Repetition of movements can help to create heat and natural stretching of muscle to reduce this tension and allow for greater range of movement. One group of muscles that is notoriously tight in every person are the muscles of the back. There are two movements that can assist in in strengthening and lengthening the muscles of the back, and they are the bridge and the hamstring curl.
To perform a bridge, lie on the back with knees bent and hands by the sides with palms facing the ceiling. Slowly engage the glutes to raise the pelvis off the floor until the back is arched and the body is resting on the shoulders. Hold this pose for 8-10 seconds then slowly release the move back to the floor.
The hamstring curl can be done on a machine, or for more benefit, use an exercise ball. Lying on the back in a similar position as the bridge pose, place heels on the ball. Curl the back slightly off the floor while extending the legs, then roll the ball back in towards the body to engage the muscles.
Similar exercises that contract and release the muscles can work for strengthening and lengthening muscle groups across the entire body. To improve flexibility, make sure to work on strengthening muscles in addition to performing active and static stretches for increased length in muscle fibers.
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