What Is The Best Workout For Increasing Flexibility?
“Why stretch? It’s just another addition to my already lengthy routine. I never stretch and I do just fine.”
In some form or another, that phrase is stuck into many weightlifters’ heads. They believe stretching is for gymnastics and yoga freaks looking to contort their bodies in weird shapes.
Stretching is overlooked by weightlifters because it seems to decrease muscular size. You’ve just finished an arm workout, your biceps and triceps are pumped and are an inch bigger, you look like a pit bull. The last thing you want to do is rid yourself of that feeling by stretching, right?
As we all know that pumped feeling doesn’t last, the blood and lactic acid leave your arms. Because of the intense workout with no stretching your arms stay in a semi-contracted state for hours. This in turn, very slightly decreases the range of motion in your biceps and triceps. Multiply this by 500 arm workouts and imagine how much range of motion you lose.
Five years ago you were able to scratch your middle back; nowadays you rub yourself against a corner. It isn’t because you’ve gained muscle, it’s because you lost flexibility.
So you start stretching right? Nah, I bet half of you are thinking “So what, five years of stretching is a big price to pay compared to $3 for a back-scratcher.” Well, what if I told you stretching would increase muscle growth, would you do it?
If you consider touching your toes as a far-fetched fantasy that will never come to fruition, know this: The exercises in your workout combined with nutrition, hydration, and lifestyle choices can have a huge impact on your flexibility. That’s right. You don’t have to set your body in pretzels or bent-over toe-touches for hours a day to will some flexibility into your limbs.
The average human has an eight-second attention span–less than that of a goldfish, according to a 2015 study from Microsoft. That number has shrunk over the years due to our digital connectedness and the fact that the brain is always seeking out what’s new and what’s next.
“No matter what environment humans are in, survival depends on being able to focus on what’s important–generally what’s moving. That skill hasn’t changed, it’s just moved online,” writes Alyson Gausby, consumer insights lead for Microsoft Canada.
So what do you do when you need to focus on work–and not what’s moving around you? For most people, the first and most important step to increasing focus is to change the way you view it, says Elie Venezky, author of Hack Your Brain.
How you pay attention will either help or hurt you on a day-to-day basis. This is because attention plays a critical role in what you think, feel, remember, and how you act. It affects your motivation and ability to hit your goals and in particular, goals that are meaningful to you. Attention affects the accuracy of your decisions and how they snowball into purposeful living. It will clarify who you are and the person you want to be and help you build the scaffold to get there. And all of this grows into your life’s story.
Good attention is controlled attention guided by good choices. Funny as it may seem, your first job as chief executive of this mechanism is to pay attention to how you are paying attention. The wider the variety of circumstances you are able to do this in the better.
The 10 Best Muscle-Building Triceps Exercises?
Building a pair of sleeve-stretching arms is on the brain of many gym-goers, but nobody approaches it the same way: Some guys head straight for the cables to perform all manner of push-downs, while others embark on a 90-minute tour of every exercise they know. Alas, the result of either method is lackluster growth.
Never confuse activity with achievement. The best intentions can be undone first and foremost by making poor exercise choices. So let’s be perfectly clear: Some movements are better than others when it comes to building muscle. If you want to build titanic triceps—which make up roughly two-thirds of your arm mass, by the way—then you should check out the 10 exercises below. They’re the best for building solid back-arm mass.
Why it’s on the list: The guys who literally wrote the book on how to optimize training with EMG-based exercise selection point to this as the best overall triceps activation exercise.1 While this move—also known as a French press or lying triceps extension—doesn’t necessarily isolate the lateral or long-triceps head more than the other exercises, the arm position perpendicular to your body combines the activity of the two heads to catapult this movement to the top of the list.
Lie on your stomach on the ground. Keep your legs together and straight out behind you. Put your palms flat on the floor next to your shoulders, fingers pointed forward. Your forearms should be approximately a shoulder-width apart.
- Support your body weight with your toes and forearms.
- Keep your torso level with the floor.
- Your elbows should be bent, pulled in close to your body and pointed back.
As you can see, when each of the three heads become pronounced, they form the distinctive “horseshoe” shape.
You can also see that the lateral head is the largest of the three and this is the one that both develops the fastest and most determines the overall look of your triceps.
In short, when people think of “big triceps,” they’re thinking of big lateral heads.
That said, if you want the full, “3-D” look, you want to make sure all three heads are well developed.
Fortunately, that’s pretty simple to do.