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Improve Flexibility For A More Balanced Workout

While strength training is certainly important, far too many men focus solely on building mass at the cost of increasing their flexibility.  Unfortunately, not achieving balance or taking everything about your body into account when working out could leave you open to a possible injury.  This is especially true if warms ups and stretching are ignored before and after a workout.

A new report from Men’s Fitness explains the importance of developing flexibility in certain key areas of the body.  As the author points out, getting yourself to become more flexible is an essential tactic when trying to be as healthy as you possibly can.  The report lists five tests that should indicate whether or not you need work.

The first thing you’ll want to test is what kind of flexibility you have in your hamstrings.  To do so, lay on the ground with your legs perfectly straight and your arms down.  Then, with one leg kept flush against the ground, raise the other as high as you can while still keeping it straight.  Ideally, you should be able to have your leg point straight up like a flagpole sticking out of the ground.  If you’re only able to get halfway there, your flexibility is not great and in fact is going to require attention to get you to a level that can protect you from hamstring injury.

If you focus on your upper body quite a bit, then there’s a good chance that you’ve done so at the loss of flexibility in your shoulders.  Exacerbating this potential danger is any job that requires you to sit at your desk and lean forward while using a computer.

The advice on hand suggests laying flat against the ground like when you were lifting your legs a second ago.  This time, you’re going to be focusing on your arms.  Put your arms in front of you like a Frankenstein’s monster, but turn your hands toward one another like there’s a rod leading from one palm to the other.  Keeping that distance and position, put your arms back behind your head to touch the floor.  If you’re unable to reach the ground, it could suggest another area of focus for you to speak about with your trainer.

Squats are another movement that can be used to reveal deficiencies.  Hold a dowel rod with both hands above your head, positioning your feet about as far apart as your hips.  Maintaining that position with the rod, conduct a series of squats.  You’re going to look to see if your heels push up when you squat down and if it’s hard for your back to be kept perfectly straight.  Also keep track of whether or not the rod remains in position or if you angle your arms while in the midst of the motion.

Get a trainer to help you identify areas requiring assistance and to help you figure out a plan that will allow you to achieve a more well-rounded body.


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