High school wrestlers are known for having high flexibility. Many gymnasts are as well. Few people will have the flexibility required to be a wrestler or a gymnast as an adult. Average range of motions decrease as people get older. Other conditions can limit a person’s mobility as well. These include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Even though people naturally lose joint range of motion as they get older, the process can be delayed through proper exercises. What type of exercises can be done? Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi all help people maintain muscular and ligament fitness when they get older.
Many people are told to stretch before they workout. This advice comes from an older school of thought. Physical trainers once believed that stretching muscles before a workout would help reduce injury. This is no longer believed to be the case. They recommend a warm up instead. These stretches, however, are good for keeping an appropriate range of motion. They can also help people with fibromyalgia reduce their pain.
Many people know Pilates as a progressive exercise program. Practitioners can start out with simple exercises designed to work various areas of the body. Like Yoga and Tai Chi, it starts out with gentle stretching exercises that help build muscle mass. it is these exercises that help with flexibility.
Yoga started as a spiritual practice on the Indian subcontinent. It emphasizes a special form of medication combined with gentle stretches. People who do extremely well with the forms probably have excessive mobility, but someone who practices this regularly will find that they bend more easily. They can do this without injuring themselves.
Tai Chi is similar to yoga, but it has a different origin. Its forms are based on actual martial arts forms, but the movements are slowed down. Like its Indian counterpart, it is practiced as a form of moving meditation. It burns about as many calories per hour as Yoga and the earlier forms of Pilates. Someone who wants to speed up the forms may be able to apply them to self-defense, but this is not recommended.
Flexibility exercises may be ideal for people who are older, but maintaining a good level of flexibility is important for all ages. It reduces wear and tear on the joints and ccan reduce pain. People who use these methods should remember that it is possible to have too much flexibility as well. There are dozens of hypermobility syndromes.