Flexibility is something I don’t work on enough. I mean, I can move well enough to do all the lifts and exercises that matter to me, and I tell myself that’s all that really matters. But then I see people who have obviously worked on their flexibility, and the things they can do just amaze me. Maybe this month we can take a page from their book?
Longtime readers will remember that we did a flexibility challenge in March of 2018 as well. Back then, you were on your own to choose your stretches, while this time we’re going to be a little more focused. But it’s still worth reading those old posts, since they bust a few myths about stretching and give you some extra pointers for getting started.
To name an important myth: stretching does not seem to prevent injury. But it does help you increase your range of motion, which can make some movements easier. We’re doing this for the challenge of getting a bit more flexible for flexibility’s own sake. Many people also find stretching to be relaxing or to just plain feel good, so let’s explore that possibility.
First up, let’s try some backbends (wheel pose if you know these from yoga). When I was a kid, I remember being able to pop up into one of these any time I wanted. Now, it’s, uh...a lot harder.
Fortunately you can work your way up. You can lie down, arching your back while your hips and shoulders are still on the floor. Or, kneel and reach back to grab your heels. Here are a few steps on that progression, which can also act as your warmup when you’re ready to finally do a full backbend.
Or if you think you’re getting close, try backbends on a wall. Try these for the first time with a friend to spot you, and with some cushions by the wall in case you slip. The idea is to reach back until you can put your hands on the wall behind you, and then slowly walk them down as far as you can keep control.
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Repost: @bringmeyoga • Wheel pose + the wall= A match made in heaven!???? . If you’re working on the wheel pose you must try this! ???? Though let me warn you, if it’s your first time trying it have someone with you who will support you and ideally place cushions right on the edge of the wall ???? . You took your safety precautions? Good, let’s move on. So when it comes to intense back stretching the wall will be your best friend! . 1-To start your dropback stand about an arm distance away from the wall. 2-Slightly arch your back and start bending backwards. (If you can’t go down any further that’s okay, remain there) 3-First place one hand then place the other one. Keep them shoulder distance apart. Press onto the wall firmly. 4-Lift your belly button up and crawl down the wall. While crawling down walk forward a couple steps. If you feel any sharp discomfort stop and crawl back up and warm up better. 5-Once you are in a wheel pose push your chest to the wall and bring your feet closer. 6-Crawl back up very slowly in order to avoid dizziness???? . ????Before you start practicing warm up with the beginner back stretches you’ll find in my page ???? . . #wheelpose #backbends
Flexibility isn’t built in a month, so don’t despair if these moves are challenging at first. Keep working on them, and eventually the results will pay off. So let’s give these moves a try this week, and see what happens.