Categorized as: Adult Gymnastics

Get Flexible Faster by Trusting Your Gut

– by Felix Leech 

Trust your gut.

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There’s one thing computers don’t have that enables top chess players to beat even the most advanced of machines.

Intuition.

If you’re feeling stiff and sore after a hard workout and think you should stretch, you’re probably right. Your gut is the best guide, and if something is sore, give it a bit of a recovery boost.

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This is why communication is key when stretching with a partner, because your friend can’t feel your gut instinct. If you think you’re going to far, tell them. No need to be macho when you’re lying in hospital with a torn hamstring.

So next time you think you should stretch, ask:
1. Does my body feel sore?
2. If yes, what feels most sore? If you don’t know where to start this is a pretty good guide.
3. What will I get from stretching, and what will be the benefit of that result? What about if I don’t?

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To do anything you need motivation, and this is the difference between doing what you know you have to do and not.

Listening to your body feels off at first, but only because everyone else doesn’t do it – not necessarily because it’s wrong. As soon as you do, you won’t want to do anything else.

 

Join a flexibility class to get flexible quicker with less of the pain, or go even faster with a 1-1 by contacting Felix on:

07504142211

felix@superflexcoaching.com

How Does Balance Get You Flexible?

How Does Balance Get You Flexible?

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Balance is all areas of life, we hear it all the time.

It’s also important in getting flexible, in a slightly different way. Here’s how.

When you want to get flexible the most important thing is relax. You know that already.

The easiest way NOT to relax is to lose your balance. When you’re about to fall over your body kicks off an adrenaline response, tensing up in preparation for a collision with the floor. After all, who wants to fall on their face?

Unfortunately this is not helpful when you’re stretching, especially if you’re a foot from the floor.

 

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The remedy?

– Start with something to hold. This can be a partner, yoga block, sofa, whatever you have to hand. Preferably not your pet cat as it will run away.
– Over time your balance will improve. Balance is a learned skill, like agility or strength. The more you do stretches that test your balance, the less you will need a support.

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Yoga involves a lot of movements that require balance. It not only develops your balance but also makes holding these stretches easier as your balance improves.

So like any smart student, we cheat and copy what works in yoga and use it to get flexible even faster. And you’re well away.

Come to flexibility class for your dose of improved balance for your Crossfit and gymnastics.

Or for even faster results book a 1-1 session with Felix for free on

M: 07504142211
E: felix@superflexcoaching.com

Does Stretching Make You Weaker?

Will stretching make me weaker?

– by Felix Leech

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This question comes up a lot. Will stretching make my muscles weaker ? And if I get flexible, will I decrease my strength?

It’s a great question. And yes, after stretching particularly hard we all feel that jelly like, almost weakened feeling. But there are ways around it.

The first is timing your stretching and doing the right kind at the right time.

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When warming up, keep it to dynamic (moving) stretches and mobility exercises. Now if you’re used to warming up with static stretches, don’t worry, everyone does it.

But there’s a few reasons why static stretches are less effective. Muscles that are over stretched are less able to output power, for a short period.
While they are longer they are also more prone to injury – not so good if you do a high impact sport. Dynamic stretches are better for keeping blood around the body and brain, giving you that ‘buzzed’ feeling.

Save your static stretches for post workout, as well as PNF and partner stretching.

The other secret to staying strong AND flexible is active flexibility. Active flexibility is using your own muscular strength to stretch – for example when a dancer holds their leg in the air.

By doing active stretching after your main post workout stretch, you are engaging the muscles ‘waking them up’ after the relaxed period of stretching.

You’re also training your body to work at that new range of motion. Truth is, we think stretching makes us weaker but in fact we just haven’t built the strength in that range before.

This exercise is for building active flexibility in the legs:

Start out holding a support. Lift one leg out straight in front, hips facing forward. Hold for 10 seconds each leg.

Repeat on the first leg, although this time have a partner hold their hand under your foot while up in the air. Lift your leg out of their hand 10 times, aiming to move about 3 inches.

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Repeat this cycle, first holding then pulsing up and down, on the side and back leg extensions.

That’s it! Do this active flexibility work after you do a deep leg stretch and you won’t feel so jelly like, keeping some of the ‘strength.’ This can be adapted for other body part.

By combining this with some strength work in your new range of motion (eg deep squats) you really can be strong AND flexible.

Felix Leech, Crossfit London Flexibility Instructor

Improve your flexibility,  recovery rate & skillset, drop into a flexibility class this week

Or book a free Get Flexible 1-1 taster session with Felix by contacting felix@superflexcoaching.com / 07504142211