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How to improve flexibility

posted on Tuesday, 28th June 2016 | find under Fitness
Throughout the fitness world, there are always tales that because a person can't touch their toes, they're assumed to not be physically fit. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth as you can certainly be fit and healthy without being flexible. However, if you can't touch your toes, worry no more, Sweaty Betty ambassador Charlie Morgan has shared her top tips to get naturally more bendy. 

how to improve flexibility

Not many people can touch their toes

Touching your toes is seen by some as the true test of flexibility. Should we be concerned if we can't do it? 'No', says Charlie. In fact, 'the majority of people can't touch their toes. Tight hamstrings, lower back or hips are the main culprits behind any inability here.

Keen to improve these areas? 'Work on your hamstrings with forward folds,' Charlie suggests, 'and release your lower back with back bends. Make sure you always stretch upwards and lengthen through the spine before folding forwards. Never push yourself too far. If your hamstrings are super tight, make sure no one ever physically pushes you beyond your limit to prevent injury.'

Flexibility matters

So if you can't touch your toes (yet), does that really matter? According to Charlie, it might, as it could be linked to your mental state. "Yoga teaches us that mind and the body are linked. If you're tense in your body, then you are likely to also be stressed in your mind. For example, really stressed out people have tight shoulders as they tend to screw them up around their ears. Our physical bodies are reflections of our mental state. It's important to stay flexible in your body in order to stay open and flexible in your mind.'

Not only can flexibility aid our minds, it can also help prevent injury in physical activity, Charlie adds. 'Lack of flexibility is an indication that muscles in our body are tight and need to be stretched. The more flexible we are, the more comfortable it is to exercise and we suffer less post-exercise aches and pains.'

Convinced? We are. But what other regular exercises can we do to improve flexibility? The answer is an easy one. 'Squats are great for opening the hips and strengthening the back and the core.' (And they create a great bum as an added advantage).

Find out more about Charlie at CharlieMorganYoga.com. Keen to get more flexible? Shop Sweaty Betty's full range of yoga clothes here
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