First off, let’s clear up any confusion about flexibility and mobility. They’re each necessary—they usually work collectively—however they’re not precisely the identical factor.
Rick Richey, MS, a grasp teacher on the Nationwide Academy for Sports activities Medication, explains that flexibility is in regards to the extensibility of soppy tissue (muscular tissues, tendons and ligaments) round a joint; whereas mobility is in regards to the joint motion itself. It’s value noting that somebody can have versatile muscular tissues—nevertheless, if their joints are stiff, they could lack mobility. Flexibility and mobility work collectively to maintain your physique sturdy, secure and lively.
“What makes a stretch light is how laborious (or not laborious) you pull on the physique half to get the stretch,” explains Linda Magid, a Pilates teacher licensed by the Athletics and Health Affiliation of America (AFAA). “Many individuals pull, or push, too laborious and trigger the limb to shake. Which means you’re going past your stretch potential and may get injured.”
To assist handle this, Magid recommends utilizing props akin to straps or towels that will help you attain your foot, for instance, after which get a great grip on it so that you don’t slip. “Maintain a stretch for over 30 seconds and, in case you are feeling comfy, stretch a little bit extra,” Magid suggests—including that always, “Flexibility occurs after the 30-second mark.”
Do these light stretches to make you extra versatile usually, wherever you want. You don’t even want gear or props.
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For hip flexors and quadriceps
This stretch is for hip flexors and quadriceps—muscular tissues that may get tight due to plenty of sitting—and is extraordinarily light. “Lay in your again together with your toes on the ground, knees bent, arms in a T, and stroll the toes exterior your mat, primarily a bit previous your hip width,” Magid says. “Drop each knees in a single route. Should you drop your knees to the correct, then the correct leg will relaxation on the ground whereas the left leg stretches.”
You don’t need the leg you’re stretching to hold within the air, so if it doesn’t contact, you’ll be able to put a block underneath the knee to assist it. “Maintain for 30 seconds, then gently swap to the opposite facet,” Magid says.
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