We'll explain why flexibility is important, as well as which sports will help you get there. You'll be (almost) doing the splits in no time!
1. Why should you be supple?
It's not just for sport that you need to be supple. It's also important for your everyday life to help you with all sorts of things: picking something up off the floor, moving around with the grace of a Russian ballerina (OK, we're exaggerating a bit), lifting something heavy, etc.
Being flexible will also help protect your joints and keep your body working well in general. Muscles that are not stretched much will lose their length, causing premature wear to your skeleton and potentially leading to arthritis.
And in a sporting context, flexibility helps you perform better, recover better and avoid injury. You'd therefore be a fool to miss out!
2. Which sport will make you more supple?
Once you know all that, you just need to find the right sport for your level of fitness and your tastes.
This is many people's first port of call when they think about flexibility. Yoga uses a range of different poses - downward dog, tree pose, cow pose, etc. - to work your flexibility. Having a look at this list, it seems these animals may be more flexible than you are! We recommend doing 15 to 30 minutes of different positions every day to get the most out of yoga.
As for Pilates, it focuses more on your abs and spine. It also means you'll be killing two birds with one stone because, as well as becoming more supple, you'll work your core muscles.
Contrary to what the name suggests, floor-barre isn't necessarily done with a bar. Basically, it involves performing the movements that a ballet dancer would do during their warm-up, but on the floor (hence the first part of the name). It's perfect for stretching out your muscles and gaining flexibility! Pirouetting comes later though!
When it comes to muscle elasticity, stretching is the go-to option. Besides having a very positive effect on your flexibility, stretching will also strengthen your joints and tendons. The more you do it, the more slender you will become and the longer your muscles will be.
So now you know everything you need to improve your flexibility. All you need now is a healthy dollop of motivation and some daily exercise! We look forward to seeing photos of you with your legs behind your head. Good luck!