Half way through the challenge, and I am noticing and correcting a lot more these days. I am balancing strength and flexibility constantly, and every muscle has an individual task wether it’s tightening, relaxing, or balancing.
The more moves I try and record myself doing, the more I realize there are a million ways to do each move just by engaging and releasing certain muscles.
I have noticed I have a hard time relaxing my quads and tightening my hamstrings with an engaged lower back.When I was in cobra or a lunge trying to touch my foot to my head; engaging my quads while trying to keep my lower back locked in it’s furthest positions, made my lower back muscles twitch because I was trying to double engage them to bring my leg back. I would watch myself struggle to keep each muscle acting separately, the more I practice the stronger and more flexible I become. 🙂
It is still incredible to me how much strength it takes to perform flexible moves. It also amazes me how adaptable our bodies are and how much habits become ingrained in our movement. This is why practicing good form is so important when just starting out, being unbalanced can cause so many problems.
Before practicing any of these static stretches or poses I made sure to complete my warmup and dynamic stretching routine. It is crucial to warmup properly before attempting any static stretches or poses. You can find my consistent warmup and dynamic stretching routine here.
On these days I did minimal stretching at my desk and around the house. Nothing too major because I wanted to completely recover from last weeks intense stretching and to get ready for the big days ahead! I made sure to drink a ton of water and eat a bunch of fruits, veggies, herbs and spices.
Day 46 was 5 hours of strengthening and stretching at Chic Physique. I spent a lot of time on the pole trying to get maximum flexibility while maintaining my strength. It is very difficult to focus on flexing certain muscles to keep you on the pole while trying to reach full flexibility. All it takes is focus and practice to get better and better and that’s exactly what I am continuing to do.
Contortion class with Shelly Guy is always a good time with all the different mats and apparatuses to play on. There are so many different moves that target specific muscles it’s incredible to see where 1 adjustment can make a whole world of difference. By putting a mat under my arms in a backbend with a split, I was able to to target my shoulders and middle back better then if my hands were on the ground.
Rest and recovery from contortion class. I just did some minimal stretching at my desk ad around the house again. I was really tired!
I was still al little tired and needed to teach classes so I did some basic static stretches, and focused heavily on over splits. I was cautious not to overdo my hip flexor and pay special attention to loosening my quads before attempting the side splits. I also reunited with my favorite tool the split machine! I love the split machine because it helps you relax in your furthest split, whereas if you were doing gravity assisted splits, it’s harder to relax.
I also tried using a foam roller underneath my thigh in the splits to try and use my muscles to pick up the rest of my leg while trying to stretch. It was very difficult but I can see what I need to work on to have a full overspilt in the air with no assistance.
I wish you all flexibility success!
If you ant access to my consistent warmup and dynamic stretches visit The Flexibility Challenge