There is an overload of information on the best stretches for flexibility all over the net. Rest assured I am pulling from my three decades experience as an international flexibility coach to top athletes: from beginners to Olympians, professional dancers, Cirque Du Soleil performers, established actors, UFC champion Victor Belfort and Carlson Gracie Team and more! I have contributed over 30+ articles to the Huffington Post and many other publications.
My intention is to eliminate all the confusion and misinformation around stretching and flexibility. Just showing stretches for flexibility without necessary details of how to implement them will not take you where you want to go.
How to Stretch to Increase Flexibility Correctly:
Do the Best Stretches for Flexibility in this Sequence:
The reason my system works is
because the magic is in all my details, sequence, and highest use of
breathwork. To maximize the results of these 5 stretches please follow all the
details in my descriptions carefully:
All you need is a doorway to open your chest, shoulders and improve posture. Relax shoulders down then bend arms in line with the shoulders and make sure that all fingers are together inside doorway including the thumb. Inhale deep through your nose and exhale out of the mouth as you allow the weight of your body to fall forward until you feel your heart and chest open.
Photo credit: Angela Yap Healthy Living Mountain News
Hold the wall or chair to balance. Then make sure your knee is in line with the knee of the supporting leg and not in front of knee. Then grab foot with hand and bring it towards bottom, while tucking hips under.
If it feels completely locked up drop it right back down to floor and immediately repeat until the quad starts to release and allow the foot to come up higher.
Use a stretch strap if it’s too difficult to grab with your hand.If you are having a difficult time, use the Stacey Stretch Strap to help pull leg up.
Alternative using strap from "Flexibility @ Any Age" course
Start by sitting on a chair then cross one leg over (keep the foot flexed to protect the knee) There are 3 stages to this stretch for beginner, intermediate & advanced
Put your foot up on chair, bench, or step stool. Make sure both feet are pointing straight ahead, and hips are square (meaning even both hip bones aligned evenly pointing straight ahead) Inhale through the nose as you exhale out of the mouth reach one hand toward floor and the other hand can be used by grabbing below the chair to pull yourself further down.
Breathe is Energy:
This can keep us in flight or fight mode which depletes you on every level. The best way to get on track is to slow down and deepen your breathing when you inhale through your nose, feel your lower belly push out as it fills with air (oxygen) and allow a long exhale out of your mouth.
Now add the power of the mind by setting a clear intention to feel and see yourself exactly the way you wish to be calm, peaceful, joyful, feeling all your needs are met with deep love and appreciation that the old pain and wounds have come up to healed and now give yourself permission to release them. Let it all go.
As you breathe deeply, you increase your energy levels and allow fresh oxygen and nutrients to be distributed to your cells. This helps the brain and organs function at an optimal level.
Not sure which program to choose for your exact needs
How do I know if I am doing the stretch correctly?
It should feel like a deep moving massage as locked areas start to let go which enables you sink further into each stretch. When done properly you will experience a nice release happen where you previously felt locked up.
Just stretching on your own is not the best way to increase flexibility. Even if you stretch daily, you may be wondering why you feel stuck. There are countless outdated generic stretching routines out there and random people on YouTube showing stretches that will not bring you the solutions you are seeking. Very few utterly understand the art and science to legitimately increase flexibility.
Results during my private flexibility session via Skype with Rhythmic gymnast Anna
How long do I hold each stretch?
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Setting up your own flexibility training sanctuary: