fbpx
Category

Adult Gymnastics

I'm too inflexible to try Yoga or a flexibility class!


“I’m too inflexible to try Yoga / a flexibility class.”
It sounds backwards doesn’t it. Surely that’s why you need to come to a class?
But I get this statement a lot.
And yes, with good reason. If you can’t touch your toes isn’t a splits class going to be out of your depth? Or a bridge class knowing your tight shoulders?
Fortunately not. This is where scaling bears it’s fruit.
Crossfitters reading this will know scaling well. You do a workout with 100 pullups but know that with your max 4 reps completing in several minutes is an impossibility.
So you scale. Make it easier so it’s something you CAN do.
Those who are willing, will find a way.
Luckily fhe same works in flexibility.
Lets take the bridge as an example. A mean fear when your shoulders force nothing less than a 90 degree bend in your elbows. While your hear practically sweeps the dust off the floor.
So we scale:
1. Firstly you will need a partner. For sole traders out there, a chair can work depending on the shape, but a breathing obstacle works better and can be recruited with a suitable dose of chocolate.

2. Warm up suitably and do some preparatory stretches of your shoulders (find some examples in our flexibility class)


3. Start your bridge position lying on the floor, heels tucked to your backside withe feet on the floor
 
4. Your partner stands facing you with feet at your shoulders either side of your head
5. They then walk out at a 45 degree angle from your shoulders, starting 1 foot away
6. You grab hold of their ankles, elbows pointing up

7. Your partner supports underneath your shoulders, while you push off your hands and feet into a bridge
8. If unable to lock out your arms, bring your head to your chest and lower down, have your partner walk out a bit more from your shoulders then try again

9. Stretch out your back after you finish
10. Scaling like this you can hold and work on a proper locked out bridge, and work towards doing it solo
 
Come to the flexibility class for a full breakdown of this and more shoulder stretches.
Or  if you’re keen to get flexible quicker or prevent pains and injuries, try a 1-1 by booking a free session here:

https://10to8.com/book/qwzphv-free/191921/

Member of the Week: 18 February 2018

This week’s Member of the Week goes to

Sean Woodlock

You might have noticed Sean at the gym for his beautiful long hair that even a L’Oreal model would be proud of. However, I’d like you to take note of him because of his concerted efforts to improve himself. Sean has been training with us for a couple of years now but he has really made some big changes in the last few months in an effort to be the best he can be for The CrossFit Open. Sean gave up alcohol and as a result has lost a ton of weight. He’s the leanest I’ve ever seen him which will help him immensely with his goal to get a muscle-up. Currently PTing with Coach Joe, he’s diligently going through all the drills and working hard on his own on top of all the CrossFit and Olympic Lifting classes he’s attending. Sean is testament that consistency and dedication gets you results.
Well done Sean and get that muscle-up!

What if it's not possible for you to get flexible?

 
What if it’s not possible for you to get flexible because of your bad genes?
This quick article is about how to beat the impossible.

Possibility is largely a mindset.
What happens in January in the gym world? Hundreds of people swarm into each gym for the first time, with the aim to change their health and fitness for good.
A week later, they quit.
Why?
Because they don’t believe it’s possible to change. Their thoughts are, I’m out of shape, I’ll never be fit, I’ll never lose this weight.
Guess what? They don’t. Because they don’t believe they ever will.
The first step in achieving anything is you have to BELIEVE it’s possible. When you do, you’ve won half the battle.

Then you have to get creative.
A wise man once said – whose name I forget –
“Those who are commmitted will find a way. Those who are not will find an excuse.”
If you look for a way, it will show itself.
Let’s take the straddle as an example:

Hips too tight so you can’t hold yourself upright?
Just by putting a block underneath you it raises your hips up to let gravity hold you forward. Thus making what might seem an impossible move, possible to work on.
There’s always a way to work around something if you look for one.
Try this process not just in your stretching, but all your training,  and you’ll be surprised how far it will take you.
– Felix Leech
Flexibility Coach, Crossfit London
Join a flexibility class to see how far you can go by finding a way.
Or if you want to get flexible even faster, avoid injuries or get less pain from your workouts, book a free 1-1 taster session with Felix here.

License to Watch TV Over Christmas

Merry Christmas to all!
This is going to be a short article to help you get the most out of your holidays.
By no means am I dampening anyone’s fun – as they say, train hard, party harder! This little tip will help make your Crossfit and gymnastics better while out of the gym, and set you up for an amazing month in January.
I’m telling you to watch TV.
Confused? OK I’ll explain. See, in the holidays you can take some time off from training and your strength and fitness will be fine for a week. Sadly not so for flexibility – even a few days off stretching can set you back a lot.
The fix? Get your stretching in while getting your fix of Xmas movies and TV catchups.
Choose a stretch you can do for a long period with your eyes on the box. I chose the straddle stretch as an example as it ticks all the boxes:
20171220_213305
1. Sit down on the floor
2. Have your legs out in front, knees locked
3. Open your legs as wide as they will go
4. Now kean forward while keeping your chest and head up
5. If it’s hard to balance like this you can sit on a small cushion to raise your hips
6. If you like you can also have a foot stool in front to hold and pull yourself gently forward – though make sure it doesn’t block your eyes from the screen!
20171220_213259
So that’s it! Eat, drink and be merry, AND catch up on the flexibility you know you need while catching up on Breaking Bad. And if anyone asks – you’re being productive!
Happy holidays!

Get Flexible Faster by Trusting Your Gut

– by Felix Leech 
Trust your gut.
20170731_210900
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.
20170619_210440
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?
20170426_211916
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?
20171018_214422
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.
 
20171018_210115
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.
20171016_213300
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

20170927_210713
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.
20170717_212352
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.
20170925_214044
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

Ever Feel Like You Can't Be Bothered to Stretch?

Ever Feel Like You Can’t Be Bothered to Stretch?

– By Felix Leech

20170920_211947
“I know I should stretch more. But I don’t.”
Sound familiar? We’re all guilty of this from time to time. So where does this motivation come from that enables us to do the stretching, that we know will do us good?
Let’s look at why we do Crossfit inherently. There can be a multitude of reasons. Feel the buzz atmosphere of everyone working hard around you. Get fitter, stronger, in better shape. Learn new skills. Gain confidence. The social side.
20170830_210108
When looking at each individual session we don’t question it – we just go because that’s when the Crossfit is on. But key fact is, there’s a reason behind it.
Purpose. Purpose is the different between sitting on the couch watching TV and doing something amazing with your body. Purpose fills you with excitement, with energy, a lust to do more.
What’s your reason to stretch?
20170913_213341
Maybe you want to get flexible. Maybe you want to stop picking up injury after injury. Help recover from the ones you’ve got, the day to day pains. Make your everyday Crossfit movements less of a struggle.
Whatever it is, it’s YOUR reason. Know your reason. Hold it with pride at the top of your mind. Repeat it to yourself every time you stretch, or DON’T feel like stretching.
Stretching in itself is painful and boring. But you’re not stretching. You’re working towards a goal. One step closer to the better to the better Crossfit, the injury resistance, feeling 15 and not 50.
What is your Why?
Whatever it is, it’s your pathway to becoming an amazing new you – or wishing you had.
20170826_141159

The L sit. Part 4

Today its the last part of our racy 4 part guide to nailing the L sit. The ab exercise that spanks the bottom of all other ab exercises. Can you crunch? Can you do a twisty thing while squirming on the floor?  Who cares. My cat can do those moves and he died 3 years ago.
Almost everything is easy compared  to the L sit. Read what Greg Glassman, the Crossfit founder said about the l sit
So,  HOW TO DO IT
Building on parts 1, part 2 , part 3   push yourself up and stick both legs out. You can do it on a chair, or with  dumbbells when you are learning, but aspire to do it on the floor.
Voila
The L sit
 
and, from our early book on crossfit skills..
Lsit
 
Anyway:  learn more about life, how to get great abs, and how to learn and master a tonne of effective training methods at Crossfit London in our amazing Bethnal Green E2 gym. We have special gymnastic strength classes to help you learn cool stuff like this. See you there.
Thanks to www.ATHLETTIS.com for the sketch.

Drills for the back handspring

At Crossfit London in Bethnal Green E2, our gymnastic programmes teach both adults and kids how to back handspring.
As our clients are recreational gymnasts ( doing it for fun and excitement)  dancers and cheerleaders, we need to make sure our trainers have a comprehensive range of progressive drills and skills to help you master the full move. Some of the moves we use are featured in this useful video.
Many people learn through a mix of methods. The approach is often called VARK ( visual, audial, reading and kinesthetic) by publishing video’s  with the skill break down, it helps our learners learn. You will get most of the moves we teach  by hard work and patience, but we will make sure you have the drills and pathways to  achieve your goals.
Some of our clients achievements are on this facebook group.
We offer adult and kids gymnastic  classes and PT sessions in  our gym in Bethnal green, London E2. In the meantime, check out this great video and start the learning process