Listen to your body.
It’s the one thing we athletes hate to hear.
“What do you mean I have to take a week off training?”
“Training too hard? But otherwise I’ll never make the comp next week!”
But there are some times when listening to your body, and with the partner you work with, will send your results sky flying.
Getting flexible is a perfect example. You’ll remember in a previous post we talked about how ego is your worst enemy in flexibility. If you want to get flexible, you need to ignore that voice in your head saying, “just push a little further, we’re almost there.”
That’s where listening to your body is a great help. Here’s what you do:
- Go into your stretch, hopeful, optimistic, expecting to go further than before – but not worrying if you don’t. Not being ATTACHED to a result.
- Keep calm. Carry on. If your body wants to move, let it move. If not, just go with it, relax, wait until you get that signal.
- If you’re going into a deeper stretch and your body tells you to stop, listen. Slow down, ease off, stop, come out if you have to. Remember it’s not just doing things that make us flexible but not doing things that make us inflexible.
Same goes if you’re the partner stretching someone else. Your partner might look calm, in control, making good progress. You want them to go further, for their sake as much as anything.
This is where communication is key. You as the partner doesn’t know how they are feeling. Get them to talk with you, give you feedback. If they reach their max, go with it. Calling quits saves injuries, pulled muscles and leaves you both fighting for another day.
- Flexibility, or any gains in training, come bit by bit. Millimetres in a stretch add up
- Go with the flow. Listen to your body. If your body wants to move, that’s great, if not, that’s OK too.
- Communicate with your partner. If it hurts, tell them. If they’re going too fast, tell them. Sometimes it’s what you DON’T do that get’s you furthest ahead