A few stretching tweaks that can get you past a flexibility plateau

Figure Fo'

Hey guys,

I’m hoping to get some pics up soon (especially since I got an awesome new bluetooth clicker thing that enables my iPhone to snap photos from across the room, holla!), but basically, I’ve started taking flexibility classes at B&P that have been GAME CHANGING.

I know, I know, I was all “lol I can stretch at home, why would I pay for this” too, but trust me: the prompts that you will receive from a good teacher in these classes are everything. Here’s a few key, simple things I’ve learned so far that have my flexibility game on serious fleek.

(Accompanied by pictures I stole from the internet for explanation purposes)

upper back bend
Photo: popsugar.com

1. In back bends: think of opening your chest, NOT about crunching your back

Not only did this make back bendy stuff feel so much safer and more comfortable, focusing on opening my chest and getting it up and over my back activated all the muscles in my upper back–which are what make that nice, rounded, SAFE (have I said safe enough yet?) shape in a backbend instead of that “hinged at the lower back” look.

2. In hamstring stretches: pop your booty out and arch your back

hamstring
Photo: http://shannonmiller.com/

This creates that nice burn of opposition, making the stretch so much deeper and more effective, while keeping it totally in your control.

3. In lunge stretches: think 360

lunge side bend a
Photos: https://elsieyogakula.wordpress.com

lunge side bend b

lunge back bend arms down
Photo: www.twofitmoms.com

It’s easy to just cycle between lunges and hamstring stretches, but if you’re struggling with splits, hitting those hip flexors from new angles may be just the thing to get you into deeper territory.

A few things to try:

-Back bends in a deep lunge stretch (just make sure you’re squared off to get the most out of it). And try arm circles: sweep into them with one arm at a time, up and over, front to back, side to side.

-Pushing the inside of the front knee away in a deep lunge stretch (so that your knee opens and the weight shifts to the outer edge of your front foot). Turn away from the front leg for a little added opposition.

-In a bent over hamstring stretch (one leg straight in front, the other kneeling): turn the front leg out from the hip (so that the pinky toe is closest to the ground), and turn your body to face it, planting hands on the outside of your extended leg as you lower your torso to meet it. (You can allow your kneeling leg to pivet into a “knees together” position). You should feel a deep stretch in the inner thigh.

Do you guys have any flexy tricks up your sleeves? I’ve honestly made so much progress in my back in a few months that I think I’m going to attempt a crescent again! (For the first time since failing at it and swearing off it forever 2 years ago).

And huge shoutout to Emily Sanderson at B&P who teaches flex and is fabulous. Just saying.

XOXO

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