Category

Adult Gymnastics

I don't want to do that, it's too hard!


I don’t want to do that, it’s too hard!
Whenever we face something we’ve never done before, that’s often the response we get in our heads.
This is our comfort zone.
After all, who doesn’t like to be comforfable? This is an instinct that has been wired into.our brains to fullfil the human body’s one purposes – to stay alive.
Trouble is, being comfortable doesn’t get us great abs, PBs and cool gymnastics pictures for our Insta account.

The fun stuff is OUTSIDE our comfort zones. So to be better in ourselves, we need to Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.  And reap the rewards of more confidence, pride and a shot of adrenaline that gets us hungry for more.
So how do we get to that place of Euphoria when we have to climb a mountain first and where we are is actually pretty cosy and comforting thank-you-very-much?
First step is to start small. One of the last articles on scaling will help with this.

Find someone who knows what they are doing to support you, such as a Crossfit coach or gymnastics instructor. They can guide you through, give you tips and they will keep you from doing anything stupid.
The key is to test your limits but not go outside of them – no prizes for jumping out of an airplane without a parachute.

Finally, learn to enjoy that butterfly feeling when you’re treading into the unknown. The more you anticipate it as the next step, going upside down or bringing a heavy bar over your head will be all part of the fun of it.
For more chances to break out of your comfort zone and get the flexibility you need to do so, jump into one of our flexibility classes.
Or, if you want to get flexible quicker or avoid pain and injuries, try a 1-1 by booking a free session here.
 
Felix
Flexibility Instructor, Crossfit London, Bethnal Green E2

Does harder faster stronger mean better flexibility?


Keen to get flexible? Really keen? Then listen close.
All the time I people stretching and making one simple mistake. They want it TOO BAD.
Now enthusiasm isn’t a bad thing, nor is intensity. They’re both great. They just need to be used in the right way.
Intensity is something you have to be very careful with. When doing a stretch it’s important not to go too far too soon. Muscles, much like a rubber band, will tear and break of taken beyond their limit too quickly.

As you may have picked up from earlier articles, the key is to relax. Focus your INTENSITY on relaxing as much as you can. Once you do that, apply the following things:
1. Listen. If it hurts in a sharp stabbing sensation, back off slightly. Your body is the greatest teacher.
2. When stretching with a partner, keep talking. They can’t feel your pain so speak up if they’re applying too much pressure. Stubbornness won’t help when you get hurt.
3. Go slow into and slow out of a stretch.
4. Be patient. Great results come but only by allowing your flexibility to take the time it needs to.

Remember that all good things take time, and only with that time will they really be amazing- flexibility is certainly one of them. Not only will you make gains in your range of movement and cut out the injuries but you’ll also then grow your patience – double win!
Enjoy the beauty of watching your flexibility gains grow over time in one of our flexibility classes.
Or if you keen to get results quicker and with less mistakes try 1-1 training- book your free 1-1 kickstart session at
https://10to8.com/book/qwzphv-free/191921/
Felix Leech
Stuntman and Flexibility Instructor
Crossfit London / Crossfit SE11

Does harder faster stronger mean better flexibility?

Keen to get flexible? Really keen? Then listen close.
All the time I people stretching and making one simple mistake. They want it TOO BAD.
Now enthusiasm isn’t a bad thing, nor is intensity. They’re both great. They just need to be used in the right way.
Intensity is something you have to be very careful with. When doing a stretch it’s important not to go too far too soon. Muscles, much like a rubber band, will tear and break of taken beyond their limit too quickly.
 

 
As you may have picked up from earlier articles, the key is to relax. Focus your INTENSITY on relaxing as much as you can. Once you do that, apply the following things:
1. Listen. If it hurts in a sharp stabbing sensation, back off slightly. Your body is the greatest teacher.
2. When stretching with a partner, keep talking. They can’t feel your pain so speak up if they’re applying too much pressure. Stubbornness won’t help when you get hurt.
3. Go slow into and slow out of a stretch.
4. Be patient. Great results come but only by allowing your flexibility to take the time it needs to.
 

 
Remember that all good things take time, and only with that time will they really be amazing- flexibility is certainly one of them. Not only will you make gains in your range of movement and cut out the injuries but you’ll also then grow your patience – double win!
Enjoy the beauty of watching your flexibility gains grow over time in one of our flexibility classes.
Or if you keen to get results quicker and with less mistakes try 1-1 training- book your free 1-1 kickstart session at
https://10to8.com/book/qwzphv-free/191921/
Felix Leech
Stuntman and Flexibility Instructor
Crossfit London / Crossfit SE11
 

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:
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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!
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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.
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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