Welcome back to this week’s edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays. This week, we have been discussing flexibility all week, and we want to reveal two things you can do with your resistance training to help improve your flexibility. Often times it is thought that flexibility can only be improved through activities such as stretching, massage, foam rolling, yoga, and pilates. But in actuality, improving your strength can greatly improve your flexibility, especially with the tips that we are going to share below.
1) End Range Speed
The first tip that you need to consider if you want to improve your flexibility with resistance training is your end-range speed, or how fast you are moving at the two different turn-around points during an exercise. How you start your rep, how you stop your rep, and how you change direction to return to the start position can all influence how much your resistance training will improve your flexibility.
Go to any commercial gym and you will see that resistance training exercises are performed relatively fast with weights being flung up and dropped down. This is NOT what you want to do if you want to improve your flexibility. Instead, you should be starting your rep by moving SLOWLY and you should approach the turn-around point slowly, as well. You should not be flinging the weight and instead you should be using your muscles to contract and squeeze into the start and stop positions.
2) Reverse Stretching
The second tip to consider if you want to improve your flexibility with resistance training is reverse stretching. Reverse stretching is exactly as it sounds – the opposite of stretching. For example, if you are doing a knee extension exercise and want your knee to go straighter, instead of trying to stretch your hamstrings, straighten your knee as much as you can and focus on squeezing your quadriceps muscles.
The motion will look similar to stretching your hamstrings, but your focus will be completely opposite. You will be thinking about squeezing and contracting the muscles on the front of your thigh instead of trying to relax and lengthen the muscles on the back of your thigh. If you do this correctly, not only will you see an improvement in flexibility, you should also see an improvement in strength to help you with your exercises.
Check out video demonstrations of both of these tips on this week’s episode of 2-Minute Tuesdays, and make sure to send us a message or drop a comment below to let us know what exercises you are using these tips for and how you are liking them!