Ok so you’ve set yourself a task of improving your flexibility, great!
Maybe you have been trying for a while to no avail or maybe you are planning on starting. Either way you should keep reading as we delve into 3 reasons why you might not be getting the flexibility improvements you are seeking.
1) You aren’t using load
Yep, read that again. There is a principle called ‘SAID’ that is – specific adaptations to imposed demands. This principle basically says if the stimulus is adequate, we will change, adapt so our body can handle the stress.
That’s were load can come in handy, resistance training is actually a very effective way to improve your flexibility!
By adding load, we can elongate or stretch our tissues under load. Having an extra 10, 20, 100kg whatever the stimulus can lead to some pretty nifty changes in our tissues as they must adapt. The catch is to actually improve your range of motion (ROM) in a joint or tissue you require full range of motion. Sorry to the people reading who love using partial reps.
2) You’re relying on static stretches
Static stretching is outdated. Please stop placing all your efforts in this as a means to improve your flexibility hence forth. This isn’t to say static stretching is completely useless, you may use this as a cool down or you may simply just enjoy the feeling but don’t view this and get disappointed when you haven’t changed your range of motion.
Instead, a better approach is to focus on the bone structures and your breath. I go into this in detail HERE.
The gist of it is, that our bones drive our ability to move. If you’re hips are tilted placing you at a specific orientation let’s, say a posterior pelvic tilt. To visualise this image a bowl of water where your hips are and you are spilling water out of the back of the bowl – that is a posterior pelvic tilt. If you are stuck in this predisposition and can’t access the opposite (spilling water out of the front of the bowl or an Anterior Pelvic Tilt) than you are missing a crucial part of hip motion. It would be no surprise that you would be restricted or lacking flexibility around the muscles of your hips.
Focus on learning how to move your body both in isolation and together and watch your flexibility improve.
3) You’re neglecting your lifestyle
Lifestyle changes should be integral to any endeavor to improve your flexibility. Lifestyle may include your sleep habits, what you do majority of the time e.g. you sit 8 hours a day for work or maybe you stand a certain way, place sports that require specific actions and stress levels. This isn’t an exhaustive list but your lifestyle can be a major part of your day, if you don’t acknowledge and take steps to alter or change it, chances are it will be an uphill battle to make meaningful change in your flexibility.
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