MANUAL & MOVEMENT
Insider Secrets About Increasing Flexibility
To Stretch? Or Press?
Motion Is Lotion. Right?
People will often tell me that they’ve ALWAYS been tight or inflexible since they were a kid.
I’d like a donut for every person that tells me how they have tried time and time again to stretch their hamstrings, their pecs, their quads, their calves, their neck, their what-evers …. and it makes no difference.
Most people are very good at pinpointing their own tight spots. They feel like knots that are hard or ropey to touch … (if you come to our clinic, you may know them as trigger points!).
However, some muscles get cranky and they become so disillusioned with the way YOU have been treating them, that they will resist ANY extra work. The problem is that your muscles see ‘lengthening’ or ‘stretching’, as work and they will resist it - and they will resist it strongly.
What if I was to tell you that there is something that you can do BEFORE you stretch, that will increase your flexibility?
Read on ....
Some people even tell me that the more they stretch, the tighter they become.
So it stand to reason that if you have a made a big effort to increase your flexibility and it hasn’t worked, well, then we look for other reasons that you’re not getting more flexible. That means that you’ve have had a red-hot go at targeting one or more of your muscles and you’ve stretched them for 3 or more days, but, your flexibility hasn’t really changed.
There is a couple of possible reasons why your flexibility is going nowhere.
- ... the tightness maybe related to your nerve structures rather than your muscles.
- ... your muscles are so bunched up, they recoil whenever they’re stretched.
- ... your muscles are firing out of sequence … instead of firing 1, 2, 3, 4, they may be firing 1, 4, 3, 2 or any variation of that … the bottom line is the they are not firing in their optimal pattern … 1, 2, 3, 4 …
- ... muscles maybe weak (inhibited) or overactive (facilitated) (but which ones!)
If really doesn’t matter. Most of the reasons above are interrelated anyway. Although, it is important to say, movement … any movement, is a function of muscle control and muscle control relies on nerves firing in patterns.
So, in this short article, I’m going to let you in on a little secret …..
Some muscles respond better to compression (being pressed) before they are stretched …. there, I said it.
In order to get muscles to work together we need them to get back to their 1, 2, 3, 4 pattern of firing. In order to get them to fire, we need to give them the best opportunity to work together and fire 1, 2, 3, 4 …
When you are able to locate those tight, taut, hard, ropey, twangy, spots in your glutes, or shoulder blades, or calves, compress them before you stretch them.
Some tools that you can use to compress these muscles - before you stretch them - is by using
- a tennis ball
- two tennis balls
- a golf ball
- a foam roller
- a door knob
- another part of your body
- a thoracic rack …