Updated: Jun 3, 2020
If improvement is indeed your goal, then you may sometimes find yourself feeling frustrated at your non-linear progress, or when comparing your results to the results of others. Why should you not do that?
Well, let's take a look at just some of the factors that affect your flexibility and mobility:
1️⃣ HOW YOUR BODY IS DESIGNED
- your joints may naturally have relatively small ranges of motion
- your connective tissues may lack elasticity and plasticity
- your age can play a role (flexibility and mobility decrease the older we get)
- ...and so can your gender (females tend to be more flexible than males)
2️⃣ WHAT YOU DO IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE
- spend most of your awake moments in one position (hello, office workers)?
Your muscles may be weak and/or short, both of which will be a hindrance
- lift weights at the gym? Your big muscles can literally get. in. the. way of your joints' range of motion
- got injuries? Needless to say, these can also be a limitation
3️⃣ OTHER FACTORS
- weather: humans tend to be more flexible in warmer weather
- attitude: ever heard of a mental block?
- consistency of your practice: stretching once and forgetting about it ain't going to get you results.
The point is, there are lots of factors to consider when analyzing someone's flexibility/mobility or lack thereof.
However, NONE of the factors above should be used as an excuse not to stretch, unless your medical professional has advised you not to.
You might be 10 years younger than the next person but have really tight hamstrings. The next person may have great flexibility in the hamstrings but have tight hips from spending 8 hours in a chair 5 days a week.
Spend time exploring your body, learn its natural tendencies and limitations, and then see how far you can stretch your body, your mind, and with them your limits!