Post # 1
Hi all! Just wanted to get some personal opinions from others who might be jumping back into the fitness realm. I used to be a runner through all of high school and college, but after graduation I got out of the habit for about 2 years. Now I’m working out again and feeling great, but it seems my flexibility has gone down the tubes! It only took about a month to build my endurance back up to a reasonable level (though it’s still not where it was) but I’m so inflexible it’s not funny! I tried a yoga video, but I don’t really think it’s for me. I don’t have the patience to do a gentle work out, you know?
Has anyone else had this problem? Anyone have and advice on stretches that seem to help most? I’m just so frustrated!!
Post # 3
I totally hear you! I have been very flexible my whole life but in the last couple of years, it’s been a struggle. (I’m 29 now.) The worst spots for me are my sides and hips,but also my inner hamstring. I’ve been to physical therapy for my hip so I have some special hip stretches, but nothing magical for the rest. I think the most important thing is to stretch often and hold the stretches for a full 30 seconds. I’m also considering starting yoga…
Post # 4
I’ve found that simply stretching every day is the best way for me to build back up. If you want, you can heat the muscles beforehand, and spend 15-20 minutes a day just going through different stretches (thigh, hamstring, calf, hip flexors, etc). I did this for physical therapy, and in 6 weeks, my therapist noticed a huge improvement!
Post # 5
Yoga sucks for flexibility. I know a lot of people swear by it, but I think you and me are a little too impatient for yoga, ya know?
Dedicate a separate time to stretching. Don’t do it before and after your workout, because it’ll draw out the workout too much and you’ll lose interest. Just do your basic before and after workout stretches. Every day just dedicate a special, separate time to stretch the muscles you want. I like just before bed because it’s relaxing. Find active stretches for your muscles (provide resistance or poses which force you to use the muscle, then relax it. e.g. when you do the butterfly stretch you should alternate pushing down on your thighs with your arms and pushing up on your arms with your thighs) Active stretching increases flexibility much faster than passive stretching.
Post # 6
I’m a cheerleading coach so I’m constantly getting on my high schoolers about their flexibility. The best way to get back in to it is to stretch every, every, every day. Even if you’re watching t.v., sit in a straddle on the floor and stretch while you watch. And push yourself. If you can lay flat on your legs and touch your toes, try and reach around to your arch. If you keep reaching for toes, you’ll plateau. If you can stand with your feet spread and touch the ground, work on laying your palms flat. If you can do that, work on walking your hands underneath you, past your feet. Stretching, really stretching every day is the best thing you can do. 🙂
Post # 7
I think Pilates would be great for you. It’s a little faster speed than Yoga, and you get a little bit of a workout, but it really helps increase flexibility and posture.
Post # 8
Wow thanks everyone!
Sarahsd: My inner hamstrings are the absolute worst! I hadn’t really thought about stretching my sides though, I mostly focus on my legs. I’ll have to add that into the rotation.
MightySapphire: I tend to do static stretches, so I’ll add in some active ones. I can see how that would work better.
Lilyfaith: That’s a good idea. I’ve never done pilates, but I have a friend who swears by it. I’ll have to see if I can tag along to one of her classes. It does sound like a different tone than yoga…
And to everyone else who responded, thanks for the advice. Tomorrow I think I’ll start adding in 15 minutes of stretching each morning. I have a lot of trouble waking up in the morning, so something like that could help get me going. I know I’ll get back there eventually, I think I’m just more annoyed that I let myself lose it in the first place. But there’s nothing to do about that now, so I’ll just have to work to get it back 🙂
Post # 9
I started doing pilates and I noticed my flexibility went WAY up. You’re stretching actively for the whole hour while your muscles are warm. WHen I feel like taking a hot bath, I stretch afterwards while my muscles are very very warm and I’ll do static stretches.
I’m not super flexible but it was getting to the point that I’d pull something just running b/c of hte lack of flexibility. THings like lunges were becoming hard.