Week 4 in the 100 day contortion challenge was focused towards shoulders and hip flexors again. It was also a week focused on rest and recovery. When I say rest, I just mean no heavy contortion stretching.
When I say recovery, I mean giving your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs through fresh whole foods, drinking tons of water and letting my muscles repair themselves. When you are fully recovered you should not feel sore. Stretching with sore muscles can result in injury. The only activity I suggest doing when sore is a warmup and dynamic stretches that use your full range of motion.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from last year’s contortion challenge was to listen to my body, if I am tired, I rest. If I am sore, I rest. If you don’t listen, your body will make you listen. Injury happens when we don’t stretch and recover properly.
These past 3 weeks I had been going hardcore, with 2 hour training sessions at least 4x per week. I was excited and ambitious, I still am but I have had to slow down a bit in the lower body progress because I feel tightness in my hip flexors when I try to do the middle splits. I know that I have been really pushing my middle split because I am so close, just an inch away, but slow and steady wins the race. If you go to fast, muscles are bound to be pulled and progress will come to a halt.
My upper body was surprisingly stronger than ever and ready for action. So this week I focused on split maintenance and lots of shoulder and back flexibility.
Day 22-25 | Rest, Recovery & Food
I had 5 bags of salad mix in week 4, and teas with many different herbs and spices, because I’m serious about my recovery!
I also had a lot of fresh fruits and veggies from the farmer market. I am so thankful that winter is over!
Taco salad comes out tomorrow!
Day 26 | 2 hours | Warmup ->Static Stretches -> Upper and Lower Body Poses -> Nature Hike
Day 26 I had a contortion class where I focused on middle splits, this backbend thing down below and a really cool front walkover split combo, I’ll have to get video of it this week!
My hips flexors were so sore when I was in my middle split I could hardly do it. I still managed to get about an inch away, so at least I’m maintaining. Now to conquer that last inch!!!
I also have to keep reminding myself to keep my neck away from my shoulders, I know this but it’s such a bad habit I’m trying to break.
After contortion I had to spend some time in nature because it was such a beautiful day. Dominick, Chico dog and I all went to the lake by our house and played around on some trees while overlooking the beautiful sunset. I love to meditate in nature and become one with the trees 😉
Day 27 | 30 minutes | Warmup ->Dynamic Stretches ->Static Stretches
You’ll see in the video below all of the shoulder stretches I did with the use of a fence. You could also use a wall or a pole to achieve the same effect, it’s a lot easier to grab onto something. The goal is to squeeze your back muscles and straighten your arms, while pushing your hips forward.
Day 28 | 4 hours | Warmup ->Dynamic Stretches ->Pole Static Stretches -> Pole and Flexibility Classes
Day 28 was a great day at the Chic Physique studio. I went in an hour early to warmup, get ready and play on the pole for a bit. I then taught a pole and flexibility class and trained for a bit with the fabulous David Owen. What a way to end week 4!!!
It was a fabulous week in the flexibility challenge and I look forward to more progress next week, as I’m hoping my hip flexor will be completely recovered.
Good luck to all of you participating in the challenge and I wish you the best of luck in continuing your flexibility journey!