How to Become More Flexible
Edit 9/4/06: For help on the splits, read Flexibility to the Max–Stretch your splits in 3 weeks!
You’ve been stretching what seems like forever, but you still havenâ€™t got the splits down after a year or so. It seems impossible, and you start asking yourself if youâ€™re incapable of doing the splits. Maybe the right question to ask is if you are stretching correctly, doing the right stretches, and stretching frequently enough.
Being able to do the splits isnâ€™t just based on being flexible in one area. A lot of people tend to stretch the same muscles everyday, but never get the splits down. This may because they are doing the wrong stretches. Another possibility is that they arenâ€™t performing the stretches correctly. Make sure you use a variety of stretches and also perform them correctly. Stretching improperly wonâ€™t do you any good.
Being flexible also requires a lot of stretching. There are many ways to improve your flexibility. You need to be stretching daily, for at least 15 minutes. You canâ€™t just compensate and decide to stretch for two hours every Saturday. It doesnâ€™t work that wayâ€“you have to stretch daily in order to build up on it. Your flexibility improves everyday, but it also digresses. If you stretch once a week, youâ€™ll become more flexible, but by the next week, you will lose all the flexibility that you gained. Thatâ€™s why you have to stretch dailyâ€“so that you build flexibility and donâ€™t lose it.
One important tip for stretching is to do it after warming up. Your muscles are much easier to stretch while theyâ€™re warm and it wonâ€™t feel as painful while stretching cold. Youâ€™ll get better results this way and have less risks of pulling a muscle. Also try strengthening your legs.
Another tip is to stretch while at practice. I know you probably warm up and stretch, but while stretching, you canâ€™t just talk to your friends and be in a stretching position while doing so. You have to think about stretching and focus on becoming more flexible. You can sit in a stretching position for hours and get no stretch at all. You actually have to stretch to your limits in order to improve your flexibility. After awhile, your stretching limits will expand because you are becoming more flexible. You will be able to get another inch down into your splits. And week after week, if you continue focusing, youâ€™ll get it!
Just remember that flexibility is attainable if you focus hard and stretch often. Donâ€™t let your flexibility digress more than it improves.