Stretching classes have been changed. The Thursday at 8pm class has been switched to Wed at 8pm. We will also have a new teacher: Nina. She is new to the gym by a few weeks, but she is not new to the fitness industry. Here is an article written by her:
The Mystery of Stretching and Flexibility:
-Written by Nin
People that I hear comment seem to have a black box perception of stretching.
I suppose that is due to very flexible people making it look effortless and very immobile people making it look excruciating and awkward.
Possibly I have a good view of both sides of these two having been somewhere in the middle of these two camps. I decided doing the splits was mandatory at the late age of 30. Then I tackled the back bend in my 40’s.
There is a large gap between reading about PNF and the Golgi reflex and struggling to reach your toes when it comes up in random conversation after being away from exercise for 10+ years. A good understanding of stretching is somewhere in that gap. The brain is designed to operate a complex system of moving parts, a myriad of sensory receptors, emotional interference as well as preconceived expectations often far off base. It juggles all this information when it allows a joint to move through a range of motion.
My most commonly used analogy is an owner giving a dog leash length. If you can’t trust the dog to behave or control itself more than arms distance from you, you buy a short leash and never replace it. Now if the dog shows self control, you might consider a retractable style leash and give the animal a bit of lead. For a joint, the brain has to register that all the straps that position a limb can each manage themselves at every potential position.
If there is one errant mutt in a pack of dogs that a single pet walker has on a handful of leashes, then everyone gets pulled tight.
So let’s examine the hip joint for an example. Tight hamstrings, pulled hamstrings are a common complaint. Most people just avoid dealing with them or making them worse. Personally, my split would not touch the ground until my chiropractor showed me pigeon.
I was very surprised that my outer hip was inhibiting my groin length. Seeing Jean-Claude Van Damme suspended in a center split on two chairs stuck in my head way back from Bloodsport.
Seeing the Cirque De Soleil ribbon performers drop and lift in all 3 split positions suspended only by their feet taught me even more.
Your body will allow you to move in ways that you demonstrate adequate strength and control. The brain will approve travel to regions from which you know your way back. Plus if all adjacent tendons, ligaments and muscles are not equally on board, chances are “no more leash for YOU!”
The good news is it is not a final verdict. Anyone can improve. I have observed that individuals with a greater pain threshold or a compensatory grit of drive are better suited to making significant gains. However, basic consistent more gentle proper technique can show results also.
Passive stretching is nice for relaxation and maintenance. Active load bearing in fully extended positions is far more suited to gains in mobility. Don’t be surprised if traveling into realms that you have never experienced before feels at first like crumbling petrified wood or dry brittle and feeble at first. Rest assured that many other parts of you will free up for every increment of mobility that you reclaim. The rewards are well worth persevering the obstacles.
Good Luck and Happy Enduring the Learning Curve!
AMRAP 20 min
12 KB snatches RT arm (53/35)
12 KB snatches LT arm (53/35)
8 pistols RT leg
8 Pistols LT leg
CrossFit Mean Streets
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