Many people believe that flexibility is something that you are born with as genetics plays a role in it. While genetics may play a role, everyone can improve flexibility irrespective of whether they start young or not. Flex exercises are a great way to improve your flexibility. Though challenging, these do not have to be a huge part of your routine. You can add a few body flex exercises to your strength or cardio and see the benefits in your performance.
What is a flex exercise?
Flex exercise is a workout plan focused on improving the range of motions and flexibility. A range of techniques is incorporated to help achieve this. Some of them are dynamic stretching, static stretching, and facilitated stretching. These work in different ways on the muscles and nerves to expand the contracted muscles and lengthen them. The flex workout should be done naturally and gradually so that there is no injury.
The body flex exercises are ideal for those leading a sedentary lifestyle, and their muscles have become tight due to this. It is also recommended for people who want to improve their flexibility in general which has become contracted due to rigorous exercise. Either way, flex exercise is the perfect option to improve strength and flexibility. Moreover, it can easily be incorporated into your home workout plan.
Benefits of flex exercise
At the outset, one should know that there is no optimal level for flexibility and that if you are more flexible, that is not necessarily better. But one should strive for a wide range of motion to do all the daily tasks easily and safely. Here are some of the benefits of doing body flex exercises.
- Improves mobility: Every individual has a different degree of flexibility. If your muscles are more flexible, that means you are more mobile. In addition, when your muscles are flexible, it makes the movement comfortable and the joints move in the right sequence. All this means that the right joints and muscles are used for exercises, reducing the risk of overstraining other muscles and preventing injuries.
- Reduces lower back pain: As per research, there is a connection between flexibility and pain. Those who are flexible have fewer complaints of lower back pain. In addition, a stretching workout that involves the hips, hamstrings, and dorsal muscles reduce pain and stiffness in the lower back.
- Reduces the risk of injuries: When the body is flexible, there are smooth movements of the joints. This and proper control and muscle activation reduce the risk of injury as there is less stress on the joints. Even simple stretching exercises using flex band workouts can make the muscle tissues and ligaments more flexible.
- More strength: Weight lifting and bodyweight training are usually performed to improve strength. But for this, you would need a greater range of joint motion. That happens when you add a body flex workout into your program. Flexibility helps the muscles to move easily under tension which means you can train with more power.
- Boosts athletic performance: When strength and flexibility increase, it leads to better performances. Flexibility coupled with proper posture can provide the needed support to do any task better. For example, a weightlifter who uses flex band workouts can do more weights when the ankles, hips, shoulders, and knees are more flexible.
Flex exercise examples
Many exercises work on all the muscles of the body. These are simple and improve the strength of the major groups of muscles. Some of the common flex exercise examples are:
Planks: This is a common and popular body flex workout that can be done without any equipment. It is ideal as it can be done anywhere and gives the core a good workout. Start this workout by lying on the floor. Balance your body using the forearms and standing on the tips of your toes. Clench your buttocks, keep the core engaged and the spine straight. Look straight ahead and stay in this position for 30 seconds. Try to do at least 3 planks every day.
Biceps squeeze exercise
These are done to workout on the triceps and triceps. Use a band as a prop to add more power and it can become part of your flex band exercises. To do this, place your left arm in front of you at 90 degrees. The left palm should press the right hand down. Hold in this position for 30 seconds and repeat the same on the other arm.
Body hold exercise
This is done to improve stability and strength. It can be part of your flex band exercises program if done with a resistance band. To do this easy exercise, sit on the ground with your feet placed flat on the ground and your knees bent. Raise the arms so that it is over the ears and stretch the legs out to form a V. Hold in this state for 10 seconds and repeat.
Flex bar exercise
The flex bar exercise improves the tendon strength and decreases pain in the elbows. It is done using a flex bar to reduce soreness and joint pains. Grip the ends of the flex bar with your hands and oscillate or grip it in various forms to improve strength.
Sample strength and flexibility workout plan
This sample flex exercise plan starts with a set of warm-up exercises followed by flexibility and strength exercises. Cooldown exercises should also be added to the routine to prevent aches and pains. The entire piece can be completed in about 35 minutes.
- Shoulder rolls using both shoulders.
- Chest presses pushing the hands away and then bringing it back in.
- Arm rows as if you are rowing an imaginary oar back and forward.
- Knee beds
- Standing press-ups
- Calf stretches
- Hamstring stretches
- Back stretches
- Chest stretches
- Arm stretches
Focus on flexibility to stay active and keep your muscles in good condition. Also, avoid sitting for a long time, limiting the range of motion and flexibility. Since it is never too late to become flexible, add flex exercise to your routine, improve your physical health, and offset the ageing effects on your body.
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