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Flexibility might seem like an irrelevant skill if you aren’t doing high kicks on the regular, but having good flexibility helps you sink deeper into your squats and improve your performance across all kinds of athletic pursuits. Not to mention, you’ll reduce your risk of injury and generally move a little easier when you have better flexibility.

Yoga devotee and stretching queen Erin Ng shares how she deepens her practice and increases flexibility in these 5 easy ways.

 

  1. Stay for the cooldown. When you can, always take the few minutes at the end of class to stretch with the instructor, and even stay a little longer. Your muscles are warm at this point, so you can stretch deeper more easily.
  2. Multitask while you stretch. It gets easier to work on stretching when you are watching TV or waiting for food to cook. Multitasking when you can makes working on your flexibility an easier commitment with a busy schedule.
  3. Take short 1-2 minute stretching breaks at work. This will not only give you more opportunity to stretch, but will help wake you up and get your blood pumping during the work day.
  4. Go to a yoga class. Talking to a yoga instructor will help you identify specific stretches for any muscles you are trying to work on. You also can pick up some great poses that you can do at home to help increase your flexibility. A trained instructor will help make sure your alignment is correct for perfect form.
  5. Get creative. Find some inspiration on Instagram and YouTube for some new stretches or combinations that will help keep things fresh and work new muscles groups.

 

The biggest thing you need to do when it comes to increasing flexibility is give it time. Don’t rush a pose or stretch and risk injury. Just take it a few minutes, a day at a time.