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.
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.
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:
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!
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!
– by Felix Leech
Trust your gut.
There’s one thing computers don’t have that enables top chess players to beat even the most advanced of machines.
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.
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?
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:
How Does Balance Get You Flexible?
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.
– 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.
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
Will stretching make me weaker?
– by Felix Leech
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.
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.
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 email@example.com / 07504142211
Ever Feel Like You Can’t Be Bothered to Stretch?
– By Felix Leech
“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.
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?
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.
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.
and, from our early book on crossfit skills..
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.
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
We’ve all bad it. You get to the end of a workout, or a long day and your muscles are tight. You know you should stretch – but life gets in the way. You don’t feel like it.
What do you do?
The answer is accountability.
Having someone, like our Bethnal green Crossfit box to hold you accountable makes sure you get done what you need to.
This can be a coach or a class you go to, or a friend or partner. One advantage of a class is group energy – doing something in an environment where others are doing the same makes it easier.
Whoever it is, tell them what you have to do, send them a message, tell them in person.
It doesn’t matter if they respond or not. I send messages to my accountability partner and just knowing I’ve told them makes me do it as I don’t want to admit I haven’t.
So next time you say you ‘have to stretch,’ tell someone else and give them a date to follow up with you by. See how much YOU can get done.
Get your stretching you know you need done, come along to a flexibility class or if you’re serious about FAST results book a ‘Less Pains, More Gains’ get-flexible 1-1 on:
Our classes are at the fantastic Crossfit London Bethnal green E2
A good way to start the new term is to book your kids into our superb gymnastic sessions in Bethnal Green E2 where we teach 8-16 year olds to tumble. Level 2 youth gymnastic classes restart on Thursday 7th September at 4.15pm. Our aim, here is to build on basic skills ( we assume your child can forward roll, kick to a handstand and cartwheel) so we focus on teaching the drills and skills that will lead to the front and back tuck, the front and back handspring and the round off.
We aim at creating happy recreational gymnasts. Your child won’t be forced to join a competitive team, although we can easily refer on those who want that.
More info here