Flexibility is an important, and often overlooked, aspect of being fit. Being flexible is more than just being able to bend over and touch your toes. Flexibility helps prevent injuries and enhances balance and co-ordination. Below are two quick flexibility tests. Before you begin them, warm up with a short walk or jog in place. Once you feel loose, you can begin.
- Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart
- Bend at the waist, reaching towards the floor without bending your knees.
- Note how far you can reach and write it down. (You may want to try this a few times and record your longest reach)
Verdict: If you can easily touch the floor, you have good flexibility. If you can touch your toes, you are moderately flexible. If you can not reach the floor, you need to work on this.
Next, test how flexible your shoulder are
- Test your right arm and reach down your back as far as you can
- Reach your left hand up your back and try to touch your right hand
- Try switching arms, reaching down with your left and up with your right
Verdict: If you can clasp your hands together easily you have good flexibility in your shoulders. If you can bring your fingers close but without touching, you can bring your fingers close but without touching, you are moderately flexible. If your hands don’t even come close, you are stiff in this area and might experience discomfort.