Why is that? Is it because everybody says you should?

So what can you do about it? Is it out of your control? Or are there simple tips and tricks to get you past that plateau?

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Muscle-strengthening activities help maintain the ability to perform everyday tasks and slow down the rate of bone and muscle loss associated with ageing. Such exercises can also help reduce your chances of falling.

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For example, in our flexibility course there are sample routines for people that are stuck at a desk all day at work and want to counteract that posture and improve their hip and back flexibility, and for runners that need some extra work to keep their running technique perfect and efficient.

Stretching before exercise or as part of your warm-up is great, but pre-exercise stretching is not meant to improve your flexibility; its purpose is simply to prepare you for exercise. So if you want to improve your range of motion, when is the best time to stretch?

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BESTBesides strengthening your core, Pilates also keeps you limber. A University of Iowa study found that participants were an inch closer to touching the floor with their fingertips after two months of weekly Pilates classes.

In them, you'll learn how to stretch properly and improve your flexibility and fitness quickly so you can become loose, limber and pain free. Plus, you'll discover little known stretching secrets that will revolutionize the way you think about stretching and flexibility.

Tip #4: Long hold static stretching and PNF Stretching are the most effective forms of stretching for improving your flexibility quickly and permanently.

All of these things are common symptoms of poor flexibility.

Well, the four steps outlined above will help you get to where you want to go. Here’s a quick review:

Homeostasis and the set point theory indicate that our bodies like the status quo.

And that’s why getting a baseline assessment of your abilities is important for creating a program that is fully customized for you. Create Your Customizable Stretching Routine

And big swings away from your current condition can set off alarm bells. It’s one of the reasons behind yo-yo weight changes where people lose or gain a bunch of weight only to revert back to their previous condition again.

Our stance on flexibility work at is that “if you cannot actively attain a position you’d like, then you need to find a way to get to that range of motion.”

You’ll start by working on those primary restrictions, as resolving those tends to help everything else as well. It’s like untangling a rope – once you find the primary knot, the rest unravels pretty easily.

Exercises should be performed to the point at which it would be difficult to do another repetition without help. A repetition is one complete movement of an activity, like lifting a weight or doing one push-up or one sit-up.

One thing that won’t work is doing nothing.

No, time spent doing strength exercises does not count towards moderate aerobic activities. Aerobic activities such as walking or cycling do count towards your 150-minute weekly target.  

There are many different types of stretching (or ways to stretch), and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages. Some are more suitable for warming up; some are better for injury rehabilitation; while others are great for athletic improvement.

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It can be difficult to know where to start with flexibility training. There’s a tremendous amount of information out there, and much of it is conflicting. Do this, don’t do that, it’s enough to stop you before you even begin.

How to improve flexibility

It's a good idea to do muscle-strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on two or more days a week. No specific amount of time is recommended, but a typical training session could take less than 20 minutes.

You may discover that, where you thought flexibility was your biggest issue, actually it’s a lack of motor control. Practicing targeted locomotive patterns will help you address the specific areas you need the most work on.

If so, that’s not a very good reason. Maybe you don’t have to spend so much time on your flexibility after all.

Our clients who’ve gone through our Elements course have seen tremendous gain in their flexibility, even though it’s not a stretching course, because putting your ranges of motion into, well, motion, reinforces your new movement patterns.

The gains from this plan build up from session to session and that’s a matter of consistent practice and giving your body a chance to adapt to those gains.

I took my time and really focused on Jarlo’s advice about not pushing. Toward the end I began to feel how my muscles would resist straight pushing but relax into softer rhythmic pushing cycles letting me get deeper. A very nice session.

If so, don’t panic. This is quite normal. In fact it’s very common with all aspects of physical fitness, not just flexibility. Athletes and sports people often talk about reaching a “plateau,” where one aspect of their fitness seems to get stuck.

Across the board, clients that have listened to this advice are achieving much better success.

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If you are getting through your day and your recreational activities without sensations of stiffness or tightness in your muscles, then you probably don’t need to make flexibility training your top priority.

In this article the author eventually comes to the conclusion that stretching is only good for improving flexibility… and it “feels pleasant.”

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WORSTIt's an amazing calorie killer, although the short, repetitive movements can put hamstrings, glutes, and even your chest on a fast track to tight. Stretching afterward is key; if done regularly, it could even help you run stronger and longer.

First of all, let’s clarify why you want to stretch and work on your flexibility. There are a lot of reasons floating around out there as to why you should stretch.

Sure you do, but do you know what you muscles you need to stretch? All of them? Well, that would take a pretty long time!

WORSTYou may feel bad-ass powering through spin class, and it's great aerobic activity, but your muscles are stuck in a shortened position—your knees rarely straighten, your hips don't extend, your back stays hunched over. Happily, all it takes is a good post-ride stretch to limber up again.