Flexibility is an interesting thing. Everyone seems to want more, but they don’t always know why.

I’m all for flexibility, but I believe there should be a reason to have it if you are going to worry about getting it.

Those reasons could be anything; I just want you to have one. Maybe being more flexible will prevent injuries in your sport or your current flexibility is limiting your range of motion in a movement you need to do. Perhaps you just want to do the splits to know you can and have a cool party trick. The reason truly doesn’t matter.

Once you decide the reason, establish the areas that are tight. If I want to work on opening my chest to improve my rolled in shoulders, I wouldn’t need to work on my splits. There are thousands of stretches out there, and if you spend your time trying to do them all or finding the best one, you are not going to get very far. Figure out where you are tightest and come up with 3 to 5 specific stretches that will help you reach your goal in that area.

Eventually, you’ll have the flexibility you need. At that point, work to maintain it, but don’t invest more time than you need to further develop it. Remember you had a specific goal and reason for becoming more flexible. (“More” is not a goal by the way.) Once you achieve your goal, celebrate and come up with new ones.

Flexibility is a wonderful and often necessary thing. But know why you are spending the time and effort to have it.

Happy stretching!