5 easy exercises that will show you how to become more flexible, fast!
How many times have we heard people say that despite all of the stretching they do for their hamstrings, they still can’t touch their toes? To be able to touch your toes (with the knees straight), it takes mobility in other muscles, joints and tissues not just the hamstrings. Our body isn’t separate pieces working by themselves. It’s a network connected together by fascia. Fascia (derived from the latin word for band or bandage) is like a soft tissue skeleton which attaches your muscles and other tissues to one another. Fascia used to be thought of as leftover tissue that wasn’t really important.. but that isn’t the case! When you stretch, you mobilize all of these structures.
Let’s look at the major muscles involved in a toe touch-one at a time. First though, touch your toes. Look at your flexibility. Now stretch or mobilize each of these muscles one at a time for about 1-2 minutes. Re-test your toe touch after each exercise. After your have stretched each area, compare the difference from the first toe touch to the last. Did one stretch make the most impact for you?
Back Muscles: This group of joints and muscles that run up the side of your upper and lower back from your pelvis to your neck. It is tricky to get a good stretch through the back as it is made up of a lot of short stabilizing muscles. Here is one stretch to loosen up the back.
Rolling out the back muscles with a foam roller is also another good
way to loosen these muscles.
Hip Muscles: Various muscles connect your hamstrings to the back muscles. If these muscles are tight, they can tilt your pelvis to make touching the toes harder. Your gluteal muscles are a part of this group. Try the stretch to the right to stretch the glutes.
Hamstrings: Your “hammies" are important because they cross over both your knee joints and hip joints. If they are tight, this can limit your knees staying straight while your hip’s flexing forward.
Calves: These muscles are constantly working to propel us forward. They often can get tight making it difficult keep the heels down when bending forward. Hanging your heel off a step or stretching at the wall are 2 ways to get a good stretch.
Plantar Fascia: This connective tissue travels from your heel to your toes. Place the ball under your arch, put some weight through it and roll it through all the tissue in between your heel and ball of your feet.
Try these stretches for 1-2 minutes daily for 6 weeks and to see how much your mobility changes
Mobility is like anything else in the body. If you don’t use it, you loose it. So keep up with your
stretching, if you want to maintain the gains you made. If you need a little more direction, call us at
Rebalance. We’ll help you “reach” your full potential!
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