To get super flexible, one must do three things.

RELAXING MUSCLES WITHOUT MANY REFLEXES.

Reflex in our body’s automatic response to some stimulus. The stretch reflex that contracts our muscles in response to stretching is not voluntary (it just happens). And also, blinking in response to fast movement near our face is a reflex that protects our eyes. The human organism plays many such reflexes that make our life easier by responding to various standard situations.

The reflexes form a natural arrangement where some may override others because they have more divisions. Relax into Stretch teaches you how to inhibit the stretch reflex with other higher up in the food chain.

BOSTING OUR NERVOUS SYSTEM TO A NEW LEVEL OF SAFETY.

The first step has taken us halfway. Once our muscles are relaxed, the stretch reflex will think the muscle is longer, but it hasn’t ripped in half! At this time, one has to make sure that progress is slow and pay constant attention to a safety judgment in stretching to keep the nervous system relaxed and happy. If one felt unsafe in some doubtful position, then muscles will

refuse to relax.

Building strength in the stretched position will also go a long way towards confidently releasing muscles into a super stretch.

BUILDING HABIT.

There are two ways to create a new habit:

  1. Extensive learning at a stretch refers to holding the final stretched out position for as long as one can stand it. Repetition will reset the standard of length.
  2. The intensive method calls for concise but intense stimulation with powerful techniques that involve severe muscular contraction.

To get results, both extensive and intensive methods are employed. Once you built all three scenarios, then full splits are yours.

DOES FLEXIBILITY COME FROM STRETCH?

To answer the point why we do stretch is to prevent the muscle from shortening and stiffening of the tendons and ligaments are certain. There isn’t an exercise that can prevent the aging of connective tissues, so stretching is not a painful process but full of fun with less hazard.

WHY SHOULD WE DO STRETCH?

Ligaments and tendons are made of collagen, which gives them strength, and elastin, which, as its name implies, provides elasticity because the elastin/collagen ratio changes in favour of collagen or scar tissue. If one relies on tissue elasticity for flexibility, then get ready to say goodbye to flexibility. So can’t change the mass builders’ mechanical properties of muscles, tendons, and ligaments overnight as it will bring more injuries than flexibility. Be mindful that if you stretch to be flexible, you are wrong.

WHY ONE CANT STRETCH OR DO A SIDE SPLIT OR DEAD SPLIT?

Listen, there are no short muscles, as our legs boast independent suspension, which means one can split legs without stretching the other. And the cause of stiffness is fear/tension, which tightens our muscles and limits lengthening, known as antagonist passive insufficiency.

Now with today’s lifestyle sitting all day or performing monotonous labour, or exercising incorrectly—one’s nervous system has picked the favourite length for every one of their muscles and prefers to keep it that way. Whenever one reaches too far compared to this standard, the stretch reflex kicks in and reins muscles. An aggressive stretch reflex panics and stiffens up your muscles. So to be factful that it’s the nervous system that brings stiffness.

So the main point is to Master the muscular tension, and anyone can be flexible at any age.

To Illustrate, compare your muscle to a telescopic antenna. Conventional stretching damages the outer tube in a vain attempt to elongate it. In contrast, relax into stretch methods; pull the inner tubes out to the antenna’s full length!

THE SCOOPED UP TOE TOUCH

Illustrated By Pavel Tsatsouline, Master of Sports

Slowly bend forward as far as it is comfortable for you—no need to get ambitious yet. Keep your knees locked or close to it and your weight balanced between your toes and your heels. Keep your head down, and do not look up at all for the duration of the stretch. Inhale—into your stomach if you know how—without popping up like a hydraulic jack. Squeeze your butt as hard as you can—imagine pinching a coin with your cheeks if you have trouble with that—and make white knuckle fists. Stay there for a second.

Release! —both the tension and the air at the same time. Remember the popped tire effect. If you listened like a good scout, your body will drop down a little and stretch your backside: your hamstrings, your glutes, but mostly your lower back.

To fight hyperventilation and dizziness, wait a few moments before you inhale again. Repeat the drill until you cannot go any deeper, or some discomfort—dizziness, a heavy head, strange sensations in your back, or whatever—hints at a specific time.

Once you have reached your current limit or you have had enough, bend your knees and go into a semi-squat before standing up straight. It is essential for your back safety!

Scientists found that when your spine is hyper flexed or very rounded, the lower back muscles check out and leave all the work supporting the spine to the ligaments. It means two things for you, Comrade. First, you are likely to get hurt if you try to get up from the extremely bent over position using your back while keeping your legs straight. Second, you will not spend much time hanging relaxed between the contractions because you are too smart to stretch your ligaments.

THE SPINAL DECOMPRESSION HANG

Illustrated By Pavel Tsatsouline, Master of Sports

An acquaintance of mine, the chief detective of a police department in one of the former Soviet republics, was self-conscious about his height—or rather lack of it— and took up daily hanging from a pullup bar. His taller wife would wrap her arms and legs around his waist and hang on to him until his grip gave out.

The eccentric exercise paid off: the chap gained over an inch in height after a while.

Sandwiched between the vertebrae, your spinal discs act as shock absorbers. They hold water like sponges to do their job. Unfortunately, never-relenting gravity keeps squeezing the moisture out of them. The discs eventually dry out and get thin and brittle. Your spine shrinks, stiffen up and becomes more injury-prone.

When astronauts return to earth they are a couple of inches taller than before the space flight, thanks to zero G. If NASA is not hiring, decompressing the spine by hanging from a pullup bar, head up, or upside down—as was the rage in the Bee Gees era—will allow the disks to absorb more moisture. It will not only help you reclaim your youthful height but will do a lot for your spinal health and mobility.

Plain old pull-up bar hangs alright, with or without the added weight of your spouse. Throw Contrast Breathing in the mix—and you will be blown away by the difference!

Hang from a pullup bar. If you are not strong enough to support your body weight, use one of those health club lat pulldown machines. If you cannot stand health clubs—you are not alone—hook sturdy bungy cords to the rafters in your basement, kneel on a folded towel, and hold on to the rubber bands.

Inhale deep and tighten every muscle in your body, ensuring that you do not pull yourself up (Hang A).

Hold your breath and the contraction for a moment, then suddenly let all the air go, along with the tension. You will drop and ‘get taller’ (Hang B).

Repeat. Alternate your grips every time you perform the exercise—palms forward one time and palms back the next. (Hang C).

Ideally, it would be best if you did this stretch every day throughout the day.

Still, twice a week is better than a slap on the face with a wet fish.

The spine extension and hip flexor stretch—and the splits— will groove a lot smoother if you precede them with hanging back traction.

Make sure to hang out after lifting weights. A set of hangs after every stage of deadlifts makes a healthy addition to the Power to the People! Strength program.

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