Welcome to our series featuring calisthenics expert Al Kavadlo. This week, Al tackles flexibility, an area of fitness that enables you to develop all other skills more fully and keep moving painlessly.


Whether you stay limber through stretching sessions, mobility work, or some other means, the importance of flexibility is undeniable. Here are five flexibility standards you should be able to meet:


  1. Without bending your knees, touch your toes with your fingertips. If you really want a challenge, try to put your palms flat on the floor.
  2. Squat all the way down so that your hamstrings touch your calves, keeping your heels on the ground. This tests your ankle and hip mobility.
  3. While lying face up on the floor, reach your arms over your head and place them on the ground without moving your back or bending your elbows.
  4. Rest the outside of your foot on an object near waist height, then rotate your hip so that your knee also rests on the object. (You should be able to do this on both sides of your body.)
  5. Reach one arm over your head and the other below your waist. Try to touch your middle fingers together behind your back, relying on shoulder flexibility.


There is no need to be a contortionist or push your range of motion excessively. Simply grease the groove of your joints and other soft tissues regularly, and your body will thank you for years to come.