Flexibility improves joint range of motion. Although being more flexible can be a valuable performance attribute for all types of athletes, and flexibility can be developed through training, it remains one of the least appreciated aspects of fitness. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows how easily your flexibility can be improved.
Scientists from Chapman University in California had subjects stretch their hamstrings 3 times a week, holding each static stretch for 30 seconds. This modest program increased hamstring flexibility, and improvements remained 4 weeks after the program ended.
True Strength Moment: It turns out that women are generally more flexible than men, although both genders can realize about the same degree of improvement with this static stretching program. Even though enhanced flexibility can be maintained for quite a while after you stop stretching, working regular static stretching into your routine is the best way to optimize flexibility.