6 Surprising Ways to Build or Regain Flexibility as an Adult

It’s common for joints and muscles to stiffen as people age, leading to reduced flexibility. If you’re experiencing this, you may find it difficult to fully move some body parts, such as your neck or hips.

Fortunately, there are effective methods to improve your flexibility as an adult. Discover six surprising ways to regain your flexibility as you age.

Why Flexibility Matters

Flexibility isn’t just about being able to touch your toes as you bend forward or do a split. It means that your joints have enough range of motion, enabling you to move and perform tasks efficiently. It’s essential for daily activities, whether walking or sitting in front of your computer. 

Poor flexibility in one body part can affect the whole body. For instance, sitting for long periods can cause back pain, which can lead to posterior pelvic tilt and affect spine alignment. This can trigger issues with your hamstrings, shoulders and neck.  

Being flexible also matters because it helps decrease the risk of injuries. Your bones deteriorate as you age. Flexibility exercises have been shown to counteract these natural changes and improve your health. As a bonus, regular exercise can improve your heart health and immune system.

How to Improve Flexibility as an Adult

Fortunately, various ways exist to help improve your flexibility. Start with these actionable and surprising ways.

  1. Maintain Good Posture

Standing up straight and tall is easier said than done. However, good posture is essential for flexibility. Unnatural positions, such as texting or slouching, can cause tightness in the neck and back. You can correct it simply by sitting or standing up straighter. Keep your shoulders relaxed, back straight and head up.

Develop a habit of checking your posture occasionally, especially if you spend most of your day at your desk. Set a gentle reminder every 30 minutes to straighten your back.

  1. Sit on the Floor

Did you know that sitting on the floor can provide an excellent stretch for the back, hips, knees and ankles? It requires a bigger range of motion, and getting down on the floor is already a good stretch. You can sit cross-legged, with your legs straight out or while doing the butterfly pose, a stretch that relieves tightness from inner thighs, groins and knees. Follow this step-by-step guide to achieve this yoga pose:

  • Sit straight and stretch your legs in front of you.
  • Bend your knees, place the soles of your feet together and let your legs drop to both sides toward the floor. 
  • Support your feet with your hands.

If sitting on the floor is too challenging, use a yoga mat to boost comfort.

  1. Visit the Adult Playground

Adult playgrounds feature various equipment to get the body moving, such as areas for walking, balancing and lifting with stationary bikes, leg presses and ergonomically shaped bars. Playing outside can also help strengthen your bones and enhance your ability to perform everyday activities.

There are plenty of ways to get creative in an adult playground. You can create games with your friends or meet new friends. Search for the nearest playground near you to reap the benefits of playtime.

  1. Self-Massage

Massage therapy is one way to improve your flexibility. It’s a great way to relax tight muscles and stimulate blood flow. Fortunately, you don’t need to go to spas daily to reap these benefits. All you need is quality massager equipment to help relieve stiffness and soreness after a rigorous workout. 

After massaging a tight area, you may notice light puffiness and redness due to the dilation of blood, fascia and muscle cells. This is a regular occurrence and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. 

  1. Target Stretches to Tight Areas

Notice which areas of your body feel tight. Not sure which areas need more attention? The stretches that are most challenging to you. If your hamstrings are flexible but you experience tightness in your neck, do regular stretches on that area.

If you work at a desk, you might feel tight in your lower back. The lying twist is a deep stretch that releases tension in this area. Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on your back on the floor or a yoga mat.
  • Form a T with your arms and twist your lower body to the left side, bending your right leg and resting your right knee on the ground.
  • Keep your upper back on the floor, then turn your head to the right.
  • Breathe slowly for a few seconds, allowing the body to go deeper into the stretch.
  • After a while, shift to the other side. 
  1. Do Adult Gymnastics

You don’t have to be a kid or teen to enjoy gymnastics. While you might not flip across the floor, an adult gymnastics class can help build your flexibility and strength. This activity aims to teach you the basics in a relaxed and safe environment. 

Inquire about the gyms in your area, find a class for adults and give it a shot. It might be challenging at first, but the nerves will eventually wear off if you’re dedicated to being more flexible as you age.

Improve Your Flexibility as an Adult With These Tips

Remember that it’s not too late to become flexible. At first, your body may resist these activities. However, if you conquer the initial discomfort, moving the tight areas of your body will soon feel easier.

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