Firstly, apologies for not posting in a while…
Anyways. Here goes:
There are so many tutorials on the internet, on how to get flexible, but I had several problems with those. The main one was that all the people (who I found) who were doing the tutorials were really flexible themselves, so it was easy for them to do splits, and other skills. I wanted someone who was having exactly the same problems as me, to show how they were getting out of them. The flexible people never seemed to show how to do something if you aren’t flexible, only how to do something, if you are. It is quite confusing, and I believe I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but hopefully you understand the gist of it. I don’t believe you can just become flexible, unless you are naturally flexible, or trained from a very young age. Unfortunately, if you are reading this post, then the chances are that you weren’t. In making this mountain-out-of-a-molehill-post, I hope to encourage you, and relate to you, and overall show you some tips and tricks on improving your back flexibility, and splits, when you aren’t flexible, and even if you can’t reach the floor over night, then maybe you can get significantly lower over time. (Disclaimer, these tips and tricks worked for me, and helped me to vastly improve, but I can’t promise they will work for you)
Here we go:
1) Just randomly do an attempted Y-balances. This is my attempt (Your leg is supposed to be touching your head:
(Disclaimer: I also don’t ever stretch before randomly doing a Y-Balance, and if you do as I do, I cannot accept any responsibility for any injuries.) Anywhere. In the park, in the hall, in the kitchen. Your leg may end up like this:
But over time it will improve. Just keep it up. You may ache at first, but take rest for a short while, then try again.
2) Randomly just go into an attempt at splits. You should hopefully find that everytime you are improving. Personally, I prefer box splits (middle splits), I just cannot get my legs right in front splits, but try doing either, whatever you find easier. I am advising you now, if you attempt front splits, try to practice even amounts on both legs. You may have a better leg, but if you work on it, you can train it to be as good as your good leg.
3) Whatever you do, do not compare yourself to others. I know this is very hard, but if you compare your progress to that of a flexible person, then they are likely to naturally learn the skill faster. It doesn’t help. I have already compared myself to someone, and they were naturally flexible, and they learned their splits in a couple of weeks, but I am still trying to get them.
4) Time. It is so important. As I said, and I will probably keep saying, it takes time to learn a new skill, so let yourself have time. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t completed them in a month, or two months, or three. I still haven’t got front splits, and I have been practicing since September 2016. And I will admit, sometimes when I have a bad day, I do beat myself up about it. No matter how hard you beat yourself up, it won’t make you any closer to getting your skill. Only time, and repetition will help you get closer to your goal.
5) When you have some free time, practice stretching. I find the best time is while watching a film. Just sit on the floor, and stretch. Don’t do anything which hurts too much, especially if you haven’t warmed up. See below for some good stretches.
6) When you have half an hour or so of free time, then you can do a full out stretching routine.
I like to start with 60-100 jumping jacks, just to get your blood pumping. You can do a short jog, but I find jumping jacks easier to do at such short notice (instead of getting into running gear).
Work down your body, starting with the head, and ending at the toes. Do harder stretches on the skills you want most (i.e. splits), then just do light stretches on your remaining muscles (i.e. arms)
Here are some good stretches for leg and back flexibility:
Straddle Fold (Japana Fold)
Try and get your chest to the ground.
Try and get your head on your knee.
Try and get your chest on your knee.
Push your back leg straight, and your hips into the floor
From a lunge, bend at your hips, and try and get your head to the floor, and your side in line with your leg, if that makes sense?
Dropped Knee Lunge
Start with your chest and back upright, then fold down, for two different stretches.
Push your hips into the floor.
(Apologies for the odd one out, I frantically took it just now :))
Dropped Knee Fold
Try to get your nose on your knee.
Bent Knee Sit
Sit back on one of your feet.
Bent Knee Fold
Get your nose to your knee.
Sit upright, with both legs straight out in front of you and together, toes pointed.
From pike sit, bend at your hips, to get your nose to your knee.
(Apologies, it looks appalling 🙂 )
Overall, keep at it. It is going to take time, but just roll with it.
I really do hope I have improved your flexibility. Apologies for the inflexibility on my part :p
Thank you so much for reading!