Flexibility?

Yoga, Pilates, Body Balance and variations, general stretching and flexibility discussion.

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Flexibility?

Postby Imogen » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:36 pm

What are your best techniques for improving flexibility? In particular I'm looking to work on straddle and square splits, but even general flexibility improvement would be good.
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Re: Flexibility?

Postby mo! » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:56 pm

well....fucking. 8)
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Re: Flexibility?

Postby Imogen » Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:54 am

Does anyone have any sensible suggestions?
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Re: Flexibility?

Postby mo! » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:20 pm

well, anything that stretches the right region, no?! :roll:
http://www.wikihow.com/Gain-Flexibility-in-Your-Hips
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Re: Flexibility?

Postby Imogen » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:07 pm

mo! wrote:well, anything that stretches the right region, no?! :roll:
http://www.wikihow.com/Gain-Flexibility-in-Your-Hips


As suggested in my original post, I am looking for slightly more than just stretching, which I am doing already, and particularly people's personal techniques that they've used for improving flexibility, rather than looking up basic stuff on a google search.

Also, I would appreciate it if you could leave the sarcastic comments and faces out.
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Re: Flexibility?

Postby mo! » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:49 pm

ah sorry, ive used those stretching poses i copied right there and fucking for my hip inflexibility. It might sound strange, but im dead serious about that. It wasnt too much of sarcasm in my posts to react as if there was a stick in the wrong place ....I apologize if you felt offended.
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Re: Flexibility?

Postby Linnéa76 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:38 pm

Hi Imogen, you seem to be practising some sort of acrobatics or gymnastics? Maybe you could try adding some other kind of training
which would benefit your main sport, like climbing, yoga or olympic lifting. With all of those you're training both strength and mobility,
especially hip flexibility. It's certainly more fun than stretching routines! But I suspect when it comes to splits, you kind of have to train
that specifically and gradually get deeper into them?
-Talk is cheap-
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Re: Flexibility?

Postby Imogen » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:16 pm

Linnéa76 wrote:Hi Imogen, you seem to be practising some sort of acrobatics or gymnastics? Maybe you could try adding some other kind of training
which would benefit your main sport, like climbing, yoga or olympic lifting. With all of those you're training both strength and mobility,
especially hip flexibility. It's certainly more fun than stretching routines! But I suspect when it comes to splits, you kind of have to train
that specifically and gradually get deeper into them?


Great suggestions, thanks. A few people now have suggested yoga so I'll be looking into what's around in my area! I'm learning aerial acrobatics (mainly static trapeze and aerial fabrics at the moment) and am trying to undo some of the inflexibility which has come about from years of my main fitness having been cycling and horse riding.
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Re: Flexibility?

Postby Linnéa76 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:18 pm

aerial acrobatics (mainly static trapeze and aerial fabrics at the moment)
Sounds awesome! :D

I've been getting into acro yoga lately and also do some climbing and powerlifting, which at least for me has been a very good combination.
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Re: Flexibility?

Postby silver » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:58 pm

I trained for 9 months at circus school, they instilled a good routine into us.
I mainly did doubles static trapeze, but did a bit of everything. It's usually a fair stretch workout of itself.
Where/who are you training with?

I don't want to make any assumptions on your knowledge, as you haven't given any clues as to what you already know, so i'm going to repeat basics.

Daily stretching routines are essential.
Warm up and cool down before excercise. It alleviates any stiffening. You want to be looser not stiffer.
Stretch AFTER excecise, tired muscles put up less of a fight! (Stretched muscles are also more likely to suffer damage during excercise.)
Don't stretch when you have a cold.
Take it slowly, torn muscles result in the production of less stretchy scar tissue. That soreness you get from over stretching, that's probably microtears in your muscle structure. :(
There are probably a few glaring omissions there, I'm sure someone will jump in and add them.

There are so many poses and stretches that will increase your flexibility, it's hard to know what does what to what without a guide. It's also impossible to reccomend specifics over the internet without knowing where you are with your flexibility.
Sample a few classes and ask your aerial teachers (careful of the ones with a gymnastics background, as an extreme, I've seen the traumatic results of some truly brutal second hand russian coaching, what works on a very young girl, doesn't work on a twenty year old man it would appear! )

For aerial work, alongside yoga for flexibility, I would reccomend pilates for balancing your body posiion, giving you body awareness and strengthening your body core.

Good luck.
It's not what you do occasionally that makes a difference, it's that which you do everyday that brings progress.

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Re: Flexibility?

Postby Imogen » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:15 pm

Thanks for the detailed reply Silver :)

I've been training with All or Nothing ADT (http://www.aerialdance.co.uk/) once-twice a week for about a year and have just spent two weeks at the Irish Aerial Dance Festival (http://www.irishaerialdancefest.com/).

I'm pretty good with stretching and so on mostly, although I really need to get into the habit of trying to do some stretching after cycling as well as before. I didn't know you shouldn't stretch with a cold, do you know why that is?

I've had a fair bit of guidance during the daily stretching at the IADF so I feel I've got a good idea of what to work on now in terms of that.

I think my local gym offers reasonably priced pilates classes so I will check them out too :)
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Re: Flexibility?

Postby silver » Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:07 pm

The cold thing is recieved wisdom, and may not be 100% reliable.
It's recieved from gymnasts and profesional circus performers, so I don't feel the need to experiment.
Take it with as much salt as you require :)

And yes, stretching comes AFTER cycling, rather than before. Proper research* has shown that staic stretching before excercise reduces muscle power output. Further, it provides no protection against injury. However, you still need a good warm up to get the best out of your body.

* An example: http://www.setantacollege.com/wp-conten ... ffects.pdf
It's not what you do occasionally that makes a difference, it's that which you do everyday that brings progress.

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