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Flexibility exercises: a must!

Flexibility refers to the ability of your muscles and tendons to stretch fully so that your joints are able to achieve a full range of motion. Through stretching exercises, you train your joints to stay mobile so they can move without feeling pain or stiffness.

Did you know that muscles can stretch to 150% of their initial length? Among the factors that affect flexibility are bone shape, body fat volume, muscle mass volume , age, and muscle temperature. It is possible not only to improve flexibility quite considerably but also to maintain a higher level of flexibility.

Your stretching “session” should not generally take you more than 5 minutes. Whether you choose to stretch after your workout or at any other time during the day, at work or at home, this “mini” stretching session should not be neglected.

Here are 6 stretching exercises you should incorporate into your stretching routine. Make sure to hold each position for at least 20 to 30 seconds without bouncing. Breathe deeply, and relax!

Stretching exercise for the gluteals (buttocks)
Description: Cross your leg on the opposite knee. Bend the supporting leg as you lean forward without rounding your back. Take hold of a chair or a wall for more stability.

Stretching exercise for the quadriceps (front of the thigh)
Description: Grasp the ankle and, with the thighs parallel and close together, pull the heel in towards the buttock.

Stretching exercise for the hamstrings (back of the thigh)
Description: Using either a towel or your hands, pull your leg towards you without bending the knee.

Stretching exercise for the chest
Description: With the forearm resting on the wall, the elbow bent at 90o at shoulder height, twist the upper body to the opposite side.

Stretching exercise for the shoulders
Description: Pull one arm towards you by pressing the elbow with the opposite hand.

Stretching exercise for the triceps
Description: With the arm bent, raise your elbow close to your ear. With the opposite hand, press the elbow backwards.

Karine Larose, M.Sc.

Karine Larose is a kinesiologist, Director of Marketing and Communications and Spokesperson for Nautilus Plus who specializes in fitness motivation. She authored The Guide to Healthier Living, penned the book 10-4 The Healthy Way to Lose 10 Pounds in 4 Weeks and released her third work called Zero Diet: Delicious and Healthy Recipes for Success, all by Les Éditions du TRÉCARRÉ. Karine has launched a series of exercise DVDs entitled 30 minutes par jour pour Vivre Plus and is featured on the ULTIME FIT online platform. Many TV shows and radio stations regularly request Karine’s point of view on physical exercise issues and points of interest.

Flexibility exercises: a must! is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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