Let’s take a look at all the gifts we give our bodies by making them more supple.

1. Better posture plus sexier looks. We’ve all seen people who’ve lived their lives without stretching. They shuffle stiffly, slouch, and appear to have grown smaller. Avoiding their fate takes some tough love on any dangerously shrinking muscles in order to bring them back into line with those around them.

A good stretching program today targets typically tight muscles around our hips and lower back. Your resulting flexibility will beautify the way you walk. Strong, elastic hips, thighs and back will make your legs look longer and your abs look flatter. Mobile hips will also re-align your glutes to sit higher on your rear, giving your walk an extra dash of youthfulness and energy.

2. Greater Strength, Performance and Body Awareness. All strengthening and no stretching definitely make Jack a muscle-bound boy. His muscles contract inward but don’t easily expand outward. Strong as he might look, he’ll be pretty clumsy and inept if asked to play football or tennis. Think of kicking a football, swinging a tennis racket or maneuvering your skis around moguls.

Professional athletes know they’ve got to stretch in order to gain full use of their muscles’ power to move. They also know that stretching will help increase the range of motion over which they weald this power as well as gaining better control of this range. Athletes aren’t the only ones entitled to enjoy enhanced performance and coordination. The heightened body awareness that comes from balanced stretching shows through in the style and grace of your everyday movements.

3. Health. Balanced flexibility protects the blood vessels, bursa and other organs and tissues around your joints and lubricates your joints themselves. Stretching also makes your muscles less prone to injury and your body more likely to stay active and thereby free from the diseases associated with physical inertia.

Some Surprising Scientific Evidence on Stretching. So is yoga is the best exercise you can do for becoming more flexible? Researchers around the world have tested the benefits of various types of stretching and have come up with some surprising results. In Part III of this series, we’ll look at findings from studies on stretching that were conducted at universities in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

With 23 exercise studios and exercise DVDs (Accelerated Workout and Change Your Body!), The Bar Method is becoming one of America’s favorite workouts. To buy the DVDs or to find a exercise studio near you, go to: http://www.BarMethod.com

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