Progression is evident from day 38 to the end of day 69. Every time I film myself, I find it has kept me motivated and inspired to continue every single day. An inch is celebrated because it is just one step further to reaching my goals. This whole experience has become more than just a challenge it has become a part of my lifestyle. I look forward to stretching and I look forward to the way is makes me feel afterwards. I am truly thankful to have started this because reaching my goals feel so much better than the years I spent thinking “I wish I was more flexible.” You just gotta do it and my number one advice is keep inspired and motivated by watching others and review your progress for encouragement.
100 Day Challenge | Contortion Flexibility | Days 1-5
I can say I have become somewhat addicted to stretching, which is a good thing. I crave it, I desire it, I definitely couldn’t say this before the challenge started. About a year ago I read the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business* , according to the author, Charles Duhigg, “there is one rule: a habit has to deliver a reward that you actually enjoy.” Now my body craves to be stretched out or else I start to feel tired and tight, after stretching I feel light, energized and ready for anything. My reward is a body full of light energy to continue doing the other things I love to do. When I stretch I also focus on deep breathing, it gives me the inner strength to continue and relax my muscles in the most strenuous of stretching. I have learned to apply this technique in everyday life., if I find myself in a stressful situation I take a few deep breaths and my inner strength shines.Stretching is so amazing and helpful in many ways.
My favorite de-stressing/ loosening technique is to find my perfect posture by shrugging my shoulders all the way up, bringing my shoulders blades together, and relaxing my shoulders straight down. Now I have my perfect posture and I continue to my favorite simple move, I raise my arms, along with a deep breath, as high as I can reach, I then bring my head all the way back, let it hang, I extend my arms back as far as possible and lift my chest to the sky. This cracks my whole entire chest and back, it’s an incredible feeling and afterwards I feel much looser and ready to stretch. I noticed that if I start to slouch, I have to “reset” my position and repeat. If I kept my perfect posture I wouldn’t have the need to pop. This has led me to a constant awareness of my body alignment and posture. The more mindful you are of your body the more you can create what it becomes. If you focus on the areas that hurt and try to find new positions to make them not hurt you are taking steps to bettering yourself. Stretching is similar to life, we must always keep ourself balanced and aligned to truly progress ourselves.
Another thing I learned was that you must push yourself to the “hurt-so-good” zone to be able to stretch farther, hold it, breath, make faces, grunt, whatever works but also make sure you don’t tense up and tear a muscle. Also if you want to maintain what you just worked so hard for, you need to move your body in every direction possible. Using your full range of motion every day will keep you loose and open and that’s no lie!
I have come a long way in this challenge and I can definitely say this has been a one of the hardest challenges ever. I have learned to control new muscles I didn’t even know I had. I now focus on releasing and engaging specific muscles to move in ways they’ve never moved before. Contortion stretching has been an art that I have wanted to master for some time now. Although I have realized I won’t be as flexible as the girls in cirque du sole in 100 days it is something I can work on throughout my entire life.
Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to film because I was teaching stretch & flex and pole dancing classes almost every night. I also want to note that I occasionally take breaks from deep stretching to let my muscles rebuild. However, I always do light stretching through out the day to stay limber and loose. Using your current range of motion to the fullest everyday can really help keep you stay loose without having to go into deep stretching every day.
I went through my stretching routine, focused on my breaths and embraced the “hurt-so-good”. Since I had been teaching and working out so much I was a little tense and it took a bit more mind power to focus on releasing specific muscles. My hips in particular were much tighter due to all the leg workouts I was putting myself and my students through and alongside that was deep stretches and pole dancing. By the end of each class our muscles were spent, but I wanted to record my progress anyways! It was a beautiful sunlit day and I definitely soaked up as many rays as I could to keep my mind off the middle split pain. It really helps also to “twerk it out” as I like to say. Engage your booty and thigh muscles to forget about the pain, trust me it works 😉
Day 63 I started incorporating the resistance bands that I love so much. I had been using them a bunch in my classes and I noticed major improvements in my students and I figured I should start using them more often in my own challenge. After using them almost everyday in class I was a little bit sore and tired on day 63.
I focused on my scorpion and practiced the rainbow marchenko on the ground. I have a ways to go but I’m hoping at the end of this 100 day contortion challenge I’ll be able to do it no problem . I’m re-realizing everyday that I not only have to stretch but also strengthen my muscles to function in this new-found range of motion. The difference I feel in my back and splits is huge, it feels good to not only feel the results but see them when I edit these videos, it keeps me inspired! This has been an incredible journey!
By day 69 I had loosened up quite a bit. I think a lot of that has to do with the resistance training. The lower body bands really help me strengthen to be able to kick my leg higher as well as trick my muscles into thinking they are super light. It has also been extremely helpful in warming my muscles up properly. Now I’m wishing I would have started these sooner! On day 60 I believe I have gotten my middle split further than I ever have! I also had my scorpion better than ever. It’s a slow working progress but everyday helps.
Upper and Lower Body Combo Set
The Upper and Lower Body Combo Set has all the tools you need to get a total body workout at home or at the studio in half the time. This total body fitness combination includes lower and upper body resistance bands, workout DVD, stunt strap, and drawstring sportpack!
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