Oh, how I wish I were flexible again!
I dropped into the splits as Pretty Woman blared through the speakers. After a few more twirls and leaps our act ended. I felt the contact high of the other dances and the audience cheering in front of us.
I was 11 years old and although dance was not my first choice of extra curricular activity, I loved nothing more than the final dance recital where I got to strut my stuff on the big stage. I was way more flexible and stretchy back then. I was also injury free and my body could move in all sorts of ways we seem to only do well when we’re kids.
Being flexible and mobile means an entirely different thing when you’re an adult. I don’t know about you, but I no longer drop into the splits on command or do cart wheels and back bends across the backyard like I did when I was a kid. Those days might be long gone but that doesn’t mean we can’t do other things to stay limber and mobile.
Although I’ve had to change my perspective and make more realistic choices with regards to exercise, flexibility and my limits as an athlete, there is still so much I can do and it makes a world of difference when I do it!
Want to feel better and move better?
Do you want to feel mobile and stretchy like when you were a kid?
Give these six stretches a try and see how you feel!
If you’ve got back pain, try these:
Child’s Pose (with lateral clock arms)
* kneel sitting your bum onto your heels
* extend arms forward and slide right then hold
* walk hands back to center then to the left and hold
* kneel with arms supporting body, long back
* arch your back up toward drawing abdominals in
* hold for 3-5 seconds, come back down and repeat
If you’ve tight hips, try these:
* kneel, bringing one leg across the body
* extend the back leg out behind
* stretches the glutes and hip flexor region
4 Point Stretch
*in a seated position, preferably on a firm chair, cross one leg over the other
* ensure the foot on the floor is in line with your knee
* gently lean forward so you feel a pull in your crossed hip area
If you’ve got tight legs, try these:
* standing near the wall grasp foot
* keep knees tucked in and pointing toward the floor
* should feel stretch down front of quad
* sit on the floor with legs fully extended
* hinge at the waist and reach for your toes
* keep a very slight bend in your legs
Stretching has not always been something I’ve taken the time to do. But, it is an important part of your day and it’s a movement that helps to prevent injuries, calms the nervous system and helps us feel good in our bodies. We might not get back to doing the fun, more advanced and stretchier movements we did when we were kids but there is lots we can do to keep us feeling our flexiest!
What is your favourite stretch?
If you’ve got back, hip or pelvic pain and want more tips on how to gain strength for your core and pelvic floor, check out my ‘5 tips to Restore Your Core Guide’ HERE.