Often, people try a stretch, and find they “can’t get into it,” and either try to force it or give up.
Flexibility varies from person to person. We all can agree that there are people that can do the splits and there are those than cannot. Stretching is an exercise that you can do even when your body isn’t sore. This idea is not intuitive at first, however it is said that daily stretching can loosen up your limbs, gaining flexibility.
For e.g. there are many exercises to choose to stretch your hamstrings. But if you are unable to sit up straight, working on a stretch like the forward fold can be challenging. You are fighting against gravity, making it difficult to relax.
A simple way to overcome this is to sit with your butt higher than your feet. From this position you can start using gravity to help you stretch forward. One alternative is to perform the kneeling single leg hamstring stretch, using gravity to relax into the stretch.
To Perform Kneeling Single Leg Hamstring Stretch
- Begin in a kneeling position with one leg straight out in front.
- Flex the toes on your front leg and place them against a wall.
- From here, make your body as long as you can and hinge forward at the hip.
- Using Focused Flexibility methods, push the heel into the ground, whilst hinging at the hip. After 10 contractions, relax and try to pull the upper body further over the leg.
The key point is to modify stretches as needed, so that you are allowing gravity to pull you in the direction you’re trying to go. By working with gravity, you allow your body to relax into the stretch, giving you a greater range of motion.
Oxygen is the fuel of life, and the more oxygen you can deliver to your muscles, the easier it is to lengthen them, meaning the more flexible you’ll become.