How To Improve Your Flexibility Without Stretching

More and more research is coming out supporting the notion that strength training is probably more effective than static stretching for increasing range of motion in the short term and certainly more effective for facilitating improvements that stick [Link to Study]. Want to improve ankle, knee, and hip mobility? Squat! Want to improve hamstring flexibility? Perform more hip hinge strength movements! Want to build healthy and strong shoulders? Prioritize safe pressing and pulling movements.

To put it plainly, “Your hamstrings aren’t tight, they’re just weak!”

Now I’m not saying you need to completely throw static stretching out the window, but I am saying that if you only have an hour in your day to train (and your goal is to get fit), touching your toes for 30 min probably isn’t the best use of your valuable time. Instead, perform full range of motion squats, presses, lunges, and pulls to not only improve your mobility, but also get strong, lean, and fit at the same time. Save the static stretching for a rest day or after a training session to help improve recovery and reduce soreness between workouts.

Prioritize strength at length, and you will become more flexible and resistant to injury. Getting stronger literally makes you better at everything… including mobility.

Afonso, J., Ramirez-Campillo, R., Moscão, J., Rocha, T., Zacca, R., Martins, A., … Clemente, F. M. (2021, January 14). Strength training is as effective as stretching for improving range of motion: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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