New Rule 16 Lifting by itself may increase your flexibility

As a general rule, active people are more flexible than inactive ones. Put another way, anyone who gets up and moves will have better range of motion in his joints than someone who doesn't. Sitting—whether at work, in a car, or in your cell on death row—will tend to lead to a shortening of two muscle groups: the hip flexors (the strips of muscle on the front of the pelvis) and the chest and shoulder muscles involved in pushing exercises. Your hip flexors are always shortened when you sit, and the front-torso muscles surrounding your shoulder joints tend to shorten when you slump forward, or reach out to hold the steering wheel, or type on your laptop.

Conversely, the muscles on the back of your body tend to get overstretched.

Almost any form of exercise requires good posture, which means you pull your shoulders back. And almost any sports- or fitness-related movement involves long strides that will help your hip flexors reach their optimal length.

Thus, most people who exercise are at least a bit more flexible than those who don't.

Weight lifting used to get a bad rap when it came to flexibility. The idea was that all those icky muscles made someone "muscle-bound" and thus less flexible than the admirably nonmuscular population. Of course, that's total horsecrap.

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