... is something I struggled with for years.
• glutes and
...because, well, that’s what you’re taught to do.
Chances are you find yourself stretching similar areas and no matter how much you stretch, you can never seem to loosen any of your muscles.
Thankfully, there is an answer!
It only takes one look through the window at a Yoga Class to see that you’ve been approaching your flexibility the wrong way.
The principal behind flexibility is simple.
The ability to move properly.
Instead of stretching each muscle, work and exaggerate the movement over and over again, until you become flexible enough to do it.
Although this may seem overly simplistic... yet it's far from what I see in the gym.
So, how can you maximize your flexibility, with little to no time stretching?
Easy, practice these simple things:
Think of your muscle as a piece of string. If you had a piece of string with a knot in it, and kept pulling it tight, what would happen?
The knot would get tighter.
Foam Rolling removes the knot, before you do any form of stretching. It’s key to your flexibility, so I’d focus on it at the start of every session.
If you suck at squatting for example, it might be best to practice movements that make squatting patterns better:
• bodyweight squats,
• goblet squats, and
• plié squats
With a light weight, work to the extent of your flexibility (enough that your form is perfect).
Then, each time, try and stretch it a little bit further. The more you ‘grease the movement’, the more flexible you can become.
And, practice the heck out of that too.
For squatting, your opposite would be the hip hinge. Try exercises like: Kettlebell Swings, Romanian Deadlifts and Back Extensions are perfect for this.
The idea here is not to hurt yourself or feel a deep stretch. It’s to work a movement until you find yourself more flexible.
Only push as far as you can comfortably go. This should feel uncomfortable, not like you’re about to surgically remove your femur.