Are there any other forms of flexibility training besides just stretching?

Yes, self-massage is another form of flexibility that feels much different than stretching. Self-massage can be performed using a foam roller to apply pressure to muscles which allows you to seek out any tender areas or knots within the muscle. Once a tender area is located, stop rolling and maintain the pressure on the area for 30 seconds. Here are some great foam rolling exercises you can do at home: calves, front of thighs, side of thighs, and glutes.

Flexibility is the ability to have full active range of motion.  In general, we tend to keep the motion we use, and over time lose the motion that we rarely use.  So stretching is not the only form of flexibility training.  When weight training, make sure you go through your full motion and use the weight to feel a slight stretch at the end of the range of the exercise.  Weight training has been used for years to aid flexibility.  Also, at work or at home you can make sure that you arrange items you use in places you will reach (or stretch) to access.   

There are different types of flexibility training.  When warming up before exercise, it is usually good to perform active stretching.  By using this rhythmic motion (such as high knees or butt kickers) your muscles and joints get prepared for activity.  However, when you are finished with your activity is the best time to perform a static stretch to gain flexibility (such as a seated hamstring stretch).

There are always different ways to stretch, as well as different ways to make sure flexibility maintains in the normal range.  Always make sure to put safety first.  Exercise should not hurt you, including flexibility training.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.