No matter what kind of sport you do, a balance of flexibility and strength-building is necessary for making progress. If you focus too much on strength, your muscles could become tense and stiff. But if you focus too much on flexibility, you could weaken your muscles and joints.
If you’re more focused on the flexibility side of exercise, you’re doing the right thing by finding out how to strengthen your muscles at the same time.
With the extra muscle strength to support your mobility exercises, you will be able to achieve much deeper stretches and avoid pain and injuries relating to the joints. To reach your peak fitness potential, you need both pliability and foundational support.
Having a remedial massage in Adelaide is a great way to go about helping your muscles to maintain flexibility, and there are several other ways, too.
These five tips can help you on your journey to a balanced fitness regime.
Disclaimer: Please ensure you have obtained professional advice before attempting any new regime, nutrition plan or gym exercises, or check with your GP if you’re unsure whether they are suitable for you.
- Try progressive overload
Progressive overload is what happens when you incrementally increase the strain, frequency, or the number of repetitions you do in your fitness routine.
For example, if you did 10 squats a day for a week, the following week you might up that intensity by either adding more reps, more weight, or more mileage (if you’re running).
When it comes to maintaining flexibility while gaining strength, you want to introduce your new approach to fitness slowly rather than all at once. Progressive overload allows for a gentler transition into strength training that helps you retain your muscular flexibility while building foundational strength.
The idea behind progressive overload can be applied to any activity you are trying to turn into a habit. By slowly but consistently progressing your workload, the stronger you will become over time and the easier it will be to execute those muscle-building moves.
- Do compound exercises
Compound exercises are exercises that involve multiple joints at once rather than just one or two. This helps to accelerate the joint strengthening process. Plus, it gives your body a fuller, more strength-intensive workout that supports multiple areas of the body.
Some of the most popular compound exercises include:
- Squats (hip, knee, ankle)
- Push-ups (shoulders, elbows, wrists)
- Jump rope (calves, glutes, hamstrings, obliques, quadriceps)
- Pull-ups (shoulder, elbow, abs)
Compound exercises are great for a variety of reasons. Not only do they result in stronger muscles and joints, but they also give your entire body a chance to activate. By engaging multiple joints at once, you help your body maintain a solid foundation of strength while continuing with your flexibility routine.
- Focus on your form
Form is extremely important for any type of exercise you’re doing.
But what exactly does it mean?
Your form is the way you hold your body during exercise. And depending on what your form looks like, you could be either helping or hindering your strength-building routine.
Having good form means being conscious of all parts of your body at once, making sure all the necessary muscles are activated, engaged, and poised in a healthy position.
Doing posture-focused practices such as yoga or tai chi or getting a remedial massage in Adelaide to loosen up your muscles to allow them increased mobility are all great ways to improve your overall form. If you are constantly stretching your muscles but not properly engaging them, they will lose definition and capacity for support during intensive movements.
- Eat more protein
A high-protein diet is for anyone who wants to develop their muscular strength and definition, not just bodybuilders who want biceps like boulders. Protein plays an integral role in muscle building, which is why you need to consume more of it to increase your physical strength.
You can find protein in a wide variety of different foods, both plant and animal-based. Some of the most popular sources of protein include:
- Tofu (8/100 g)
- Beef (26/100 g)
- Lentils (9/100 g)
- Eggs (13/100 g)
The reason protein is so important for strength building is that it contains amino acids, which help to maintain and repair muscle tissues. The best time to consume protein is just after a workout when your muscle tissue is most in need of amino acids for growth.
- Be consistent and persistent
Many fitness experts argue that consistency is one of the most important factors in the process of building strength—or reaching any athletic goal, for that matter. Without consistency, any progress you make may become lost, rendering your efforts null and void.
To really reap the benefits of strength training for better flexibility maintenance, you need to commit to a long-term strength-focused fitness regime.
The more consistent you are with your strength-building exercises, the faster you are likely to feel results. With consistent exercise, your body will adjust to the level of intensity, making difficult movements easier, and allowing you to progress much faster.
Why is it important to develop strength during flexibility training?
If your exercise regimen focuses too much on flexibility and not enough on strength training, it can inhibit your potential for increased mobility—and put you at greater risk for injury.
This is because flexibility training exercises concentrate on stretching and pliability rather than strength and support. That means when you do attempt strength training exercises, your muscles and joints may not be able to withstand the pressure, leading to injury.
Without proper strength training to go alongside your flexibility training, you put your body at risk and stunt your potential for growth in the flexibility range.
Finding fitness practices that help your muscles grow bigger and stronger while supporting your flexibility journey is essential for maintaining a balanced and well-rounded relationship with exercise.
Loosen up and lift more
As with any aspect of health, balance is critical for long-term results and success. Instead of focusing purely on flexibility training, further your athletic potential by making sure your muscles are being sufficiently worked on for enhanced support.
If tense, damaged, knotted or immobile muscles are standing in your way of strength and flexibility, a remedial massage Adelaide specialist can help. Our team can help you to loosen up and get you on track to reaching your goals. It’s never too late to start working on your strength.