By far the most effective way to continually increase flexibility is to work your muscles to full range of movement whenever you can.
Performing a dynamic movement pattern before you exercise can have huge benefits on preparing the central nervous system for the exercises you are about to perform.
Incorporating whole body stretch movements can also help to increase flexibility whilst warming up. Some examples of great flexibility movements can include the world’s greatest stretch. Watch our video above to see how to do this.
Another great tool for increasing flexibility and to be used with dynamic stretching is the foam roller. Identifying tight areas of the body and spending 5-10 minutes a day can hugely increase your flexibility. The foam roller presses into tight muscle fibres and starts to break them down over time.
This helps to lengthen the muscles to its original length tension. When a muscle is at optimal length it can work more effectively as the blood flow is increased to the area, and tightness is minimised.
When you execute your chosen exercises, trying to work your muscles to their full range of movement is also an effective way to maintain flexibility. An example of this would be performing a squat. If you can perform the squat so that your hip crease sits just below your knees at the end range and you can maintain good alignment throughout the upper body this will help your flexibility. If you were to perform the squat so your hip aligns with your knees you are only working muscles half way through their intended range.
At first, when you start to squat, you may not have enough flexibility but as you progress through each warm up with dynamic movement patterns and foam rollering tight areas your overall flexibility should increase allowing you to reach the end range.