4 Stretches to Improve Flexibility
Flexibility has never been easy for me. Strength may come naturally, building muscle might be genetic, but my body is TIGHT–and I do NOT mean that in any positive way. This frustrates me to no end. I cannot perform at the athletic ability in which I should be able to perform all because of mobility issues with my body. I’ve seen three different physical therapists over the past five years and they all say the same things: “your hips are the tightest I’ve ever seen in a girl,” “your chest is too tight and you have no flexibility in your back,” or my favorite: “do you have steel rods in your hips?” Nope. Once, I was attempting to stretch my quads in PT and the therapist said “pull your heel all the way to your glute.” And I thought, Um…how? I soon discovered that my quads, along with everything else, were so tight that I couldn’t even stretch my legs properly. (I actually ended up laying on the floor, have the therapist PUSH my heel to my butt, and it STILL wouldn’t touch.) Unfortunately, this lack of flexibility is always leading me to injuries. I’ve strained my quads, overstretched my chest, inflamed my back, you name it.
So one of my biggest personal goals is to become more flexible–especially since I’ve gotten back into CrossFit and I’ve taken up a new passion of obstacle course racing. The last thing I want to do is get injured because my muscles aren’t ready for a new, surprising challenge. So for me, the best way to get flexible is to gradually add in some mobility stretches to my daily routine. I found this video by Eric Cressey, co-founder of Cressey Performance, a highly sought-after coach for healthy and injured athletes alike. Cressey has helped athletes at all levels – from youth sports to the professional and Olympic ranks – achieve their highest levels of performance in a variety of sports, and I’ve been following him for years so I trust what he says. I added these four stretches to my routine this morning and I loved the challenging feeling on my muscles. It felt SO GOOD! And since there are only 4 stretches, it’s perfect for saving time while improving my ability–PERFECT. I am now on a mission to do these every day until I’m ready to advance further.
Take a look at the video and try adding some of these stretches to your routine! What could it hurt?
Click here for more information on Eric Cressey.
Another GREAT place to find mobility exercises, stretches, and drills is mobilitywod.com. Check it out!