Maryann Ashley

SHEC Media

 

We should all know by now that physical activity plays a very important role in having a healthy lifestyle. Judging by the overflow at the gym for the several weeks after New Year’s, I’m guessing that most of us realize that we should probably be making a regular appearance there, or going outside for a brisk walk, or something.

But when we think about exercising we tend to get obsessed with either getting skinny, or getting bulky, or something similar. It’s impressive to see people lifting twice their body weight, but when I really stop and stare is when someone is able to go down into a perfect split or they’re able to contort their bodies and their heads are almost touching their butt. How often do we focus on our flexibility at the gym?

As a woman, and having been a dancer for many years, flexibility is important to me. Back in high school, when I would bend myself in half, all of my male friends took this as some sort of sign of my freaky ability to do wild kinky things in the bedroom.

I never really understood it until I saw the Seinfeld episode “The Gymnast.” Jerry starts dating a former Romanian gymnast and after watching a videotape of her competing (which the audience never gets to see) Kramer tells Jerry that he has to sleep with her because she would be very “flexible.” So maybe this is the kind of thing my friends had in mind, and they’re definitely not the only ones.

All you have to do is go to a Google image search and type in flexibility and look at the different motivational poster memes and you’ll notice that there is a common opinion on just how sexy flexibility can be.

If flexibility is so sexy, how come we don’t see everyone at the gym lined up in front of mirrors trying to casually spy on the person beside them to see who can lift their leg the highest? And how come this sexual flexibility stigma really seems to be one-sided; why don’t we expect men to do crazy bendy bedroom tricks?

In fact, some would say that being flexible is more important for the man because he needs to be able to have a lot of movement in his hips, climb over and around his partner, and do a lot of pumping motions. Essentially, when your flexibility goes, so does you sexual luster.

So, what is flexibility and how can you get it? Flexibility or limberness is referring to your absolute range of movement in your joints and length in muscles that cross the joints. Flexibility is very individualistic, you can only do so much with what you’ve got.

Your flexibility can be improved through exercise and stretching, but don’t hurt yourself by trying to stretch as far as your friend, some people are just more naturally flexible than others.

Your gender, age, genetics, muscles, skin, and even your body temperature are just a few aspects that play a role in your stretching abilities.

Now that you’re reading about how important stretching is, you shouldn’t just start doing in right away. Stretching should only be done when your muscles and body are already warmed up.

You’ll be able to stretch farther and you won’t be as likely to hurt yourself. When you are stretching try and hold your stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. The expression “No pain, no gain” does not apply here. You want to feel the stretch, not a searing pain.

Stretching is usually grouped into four different categories: Dynamic (e.g. low lunges), Static-Active (e.g. controlled leg lifts), Static-Passive (e.g. the splits), and Ballistic (this one is a little more demanding and should only be done by professionals and with the help of a trainer). Good flexibility can have many positive rewards such as reduced muscle soreness, improved posture, increased blood flow and nutrients to body tissues, and improved muscle coordination. Plus it might also mean that you could attempt some of those crazy looking Kama Sutra moves you’ve always wanted to try.

Want to get more flexible but don’t know how? Try going to a yoga class, or a dance class, or going to talk to a trainer to ask about some stretches that might work for you.

Sounds like too much effort? Go to Google. Type in “flexibility exercises” and you’ll get over four million hits, and there’s videos on Youtube aswell. So get out there, get warm, and get stretching. Your health and your sexual reputation will thank you for it.

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