According to Kelly MacGregor of the Houston Chronicle, becoming flexible requires constant practice and stretching exercises, which may take months of work. People who are naturally flexible need less time to improve flexibility, while those who are naturally tight may need to put in more time. Improved flexibility can help with sports performance and everyday comfort.
A warm-up is important before beginning to stretch for flexibility, according to MacGregor. If a person's muscles are warm, she gets more out of a workout. A good warm-up is a cardio activity, such as jogging or jumping rope. A stretch to improve hip flexibility is to sit with legs out in a V shape. Open them as wide as possible, bend over each leg for a few seconds, then stretch straight in front. A stretch to loosen hamstrings is to lie down on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold the pelvis as far off the ground as possible, then extend the legs at 90-degree angles from each other. Pull legs one at a time into the chest. Alternate legs 8 to 10 times.
According to MacGregor, even people who are born with natural flexibility are at risk of overstretching if they over-exercise or do not warm up properly.