Daily Stretching / Mobility Program

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Tobias Wissmueller

Level 6 Valued Member
Dear Girevichkas and Gireviks,

am confused. One reason why I like "Simple & Sinister" is its simplicity, its easy to understand and follow. Plus, it is super effective.

Is there something like "S&S" but for stretching / mobility only? Something that lasts maybe 30 minutes that can be done before going to bed for example? I enjoy my morning sessions with the Kettlebell and would like to have something for the evenings before going to bed. It would also help me unwind from the day.

What is the StrongFirst-approach to this? I see people on the forum here using different approaches, like @Steve Freides writes a lot about "Flexible Steel", whereas @Strong Rick is doing "Original Strength" stuff.

I went through the following books:
- "Supple Leopard" - Kelly Starret
- "Flexible Steel" - John Engum
- "Super Joints" - Pavel Tsatsouline
- "Convict Conditioning II" - Paul Wade (-> Trifecta)

Am half through
- "Original Strength" - Tim Anderson & Geoff Neupert

Still to read
- "Relax Into Stretch" - Pavel Tsatsouline
- "Functional Movement Systems" - Gray Cook

There are also very interesting threads on the forum, but this is where I get overwhelmed and my head gets kind of foggy ...

The basic question for my case: What is a good 30 min plan for general stretching / mobility maintenance?

When there is a part of my body that needs more attention, right now its my lower back that is tensed for example, I use the foam roller or trigger ball to help it. This is where "Supple Leopard" helped me so much already. So am curious how you guys approach this topic. Do you have a certain routine to improve your overall flexibility and mobility on a regular basis, something that you return to from time to time or even do on a regular basis?

Thanks for any points into the right direction.

Kind Regards,
Tobi
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Tobias Wissmueller
All the ones you listed above are proven effective. They are all a solid approach.

Another good option (IMO) is Scott Sonnon's FlowFit. It works functional flexibility (get down, up, twist...). I enjoy the fact that is really free : you learn some basic moves, and then, you can either follow some progression he offers, or create yours. It is based on transition between yoga stances.

I do it both after a training session. Sometimes I also do it before going to bed, to vary a little from breathing techniques.

It is my 2 cents about stretching because for that I am very instinctive. I still progress using that so...

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
My blueprint:

- Super-Joints/Flexible Steel Mobility 101 every morning = joint mobility
- S&S move prep before my S&S practice = S&S move-prep
- when I teach (and I teach daily) OS Resets in the beginning of the class together with my students = movement
- evening - S&S stretches, plus my stretching sequence, based on Relax into Stretch/Flexible Steel Power Stretching = stretching
- plus various "mobility/movement snacks" throughout the day, walking, and my martial arts training = life
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Pavel Macek
You perfectly integrated Pavel's mobility / flexibility work through your daily practice.

I enjoy my morning sessions with the Kettlebell and would like to have something for the evenings before going to bed
The basic question for my case: What is a good 30 min plan for general stretching / mobility maintenance?
What would you "chose" in @Tobias Wissmueller 's case (evening) ?
=> Your evening stretching only ?
=> Your evening stretching + something else (because you use various methods) ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
If I was as disciplined as Pavel M, I would do what he outlines above... But I'm not. :)

What I really do is more ad hoc, as needed, and whatever feels right. Some OS resets, some stretching, a yoga class once or twice a week, a lot of movement prep before kettlebell training based on what I need and feel that day.

I think that flexibility/mobility is a lot like strength in this way: When you get started with it, you really don't know what current state or weakness are, and you really don't know your potential either. So working on any/all is good and you will see gains. Finding a routine you can do is a good idea. (My first daily routine that helped me was doing 12 sun salutations every day for many months). As you get further down the road, it becomes more important to evaluate areas that are limiting you and put some additional focus there.

The most important part of the flexibility/mobility journey is listening to your own body -- what feels right, what feels good, what feels restricted on a given day.

The most important part of the practice is BREATHING. Relax and exhale. That's the magic medicine.

It also helps to have movement baselines. I learned this from Karen Smith. A great example is the "Thoracic Three" that she teaches, the first one you are lying on your side with your hands stacked, and you glide the top hand forward and back. If you know your "normal" amount of movement, you can determine if you are a bit restricted that day and need more mobility work such as SMR or Brettzels before pressing or doing something else overhead or where mobility is required. It also helps you see if you are making progress over time.

I've always had good hip mobility and flexibility in the lower body, but being a desk worker for so many years I've had to work a lot on the T-spine. And I still have a lot of work to do on the shoulders...

Some good stuff in this thread: Super Joints - minimum effective dose

Anyway, just some thoughts... hope that helps.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Tobias Wissmueller, we are interested in Strength here - do whatever you need of all the rest in order to remain healthy and moving well. Pick and choose. I have a couple of things I do every morning because they work for me, take me less than 60 seconds to do, and they make my machinery ready for strength training and the rest of my day. I cannot tell you what you might need. I do some things only once or twice a week because, while I value them, I don't seem to need to do them every day in order to reap their benefits.

@Anna C nails the spirit of this, IMHO. And a big "+1" for breathing work - I do my 60 second mobility/stretching before I do my daily Buteyko-based breathing practice, and both those things start every day for me.

-S-
 

Jan

Level 4 Valued Member
I practice the Morning Recharge complex from "Super Joints" in the morning before my S&S session, and the S&S stretches followed by a round of the tactical frog exercises of "Flexible Steel" in the evening before going to bed. The Morning Recharge complex is great for joint mobility, the tactical frog exercises are a nice hip opening exercise.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

As @Pavel Macek said, you have to vary your stretching.

Knowing that, you have several options (I assume you will do "cycles"):
=> use of various methods : method A for day 1, method B for day 2 and so on
=> mix different methods from the very beginning to find your own stretching protocol (which has to be as complete as possible)

Of course, if you feel pain or whatever, you have to adapt the daily stretching. Stretching aims for well-being.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Tobias Wissmueller

Level 6 Valued Member
Wow, so many great answers. Thanks to all of you! Don't know where to begin ... :eek:

Let's start from the top then.

Another good option (IMO) is Scott Sonnon's FlowFit.
@pet' Thanks a lot! Had a quick look at it. IMO a bit too dynamic for my evenings. Need something more steady. It looks like a nice warmup though.

My blueprint:
- Super-Joints/Flexible Steel Mobility 101 every morning = joint mobility
- S&S move prep before my S&S practice = S&S move-prep
- when I teach (and I teach daily) OS Resets in the beginning of the class together with my students = movement
- evening - S&S stretches, plus my stretching sequence, based on Relax into Stretch/Flexible Steel Power Stretching = stretching
- plus various "mobility/movement snacks" throughout the day, walking, and my martial arts training = life
@Pavel Macek Thank you, too! There is a lot to take from this answer. Specifically the Flexible Steel Joint Mobility that I would like to do in the morning, either before my S&S session or stand-alone on non-training days. For the evenings I will take a closer look at Relax into Stretch and Flexible Steel.

What I really do is more ad hoc, as needed, and whatever feels right. Some OS resets, some stretching, a yoga class once or twice a week, a lot of movement prep before kettlebell training based on what I need and feel that day.

I think that flexibility/mobility is a lot like strength in this way: When you get started with it, you really don't know what current state or weakness are, and you really don't know your potential either. So working on any/all is good and you will see gains. Finding a routine you can do is a good idea. (My first daily routine that helped me was doing 12 sun salutations every day for many months). As you get further down the road, it becomes more important to evaluate areas that are limiting you and put some additional focus there.

The most important part of the flexibility/mobility journey is listening to your own body -- what feels right, what feels good, what feels restricted on a given day.

The most important part of the practice is BREATHING. Relax and exhale. That's the magic medicine.

It also helps to have movement baselines. I learned this from Karen Smith. A great example is the "Thoracic Three" that she teaches, the first one you are lying on your side with your hands stacked, and you glide the top hand forward and back. If you know your "normal" amount of movement, you can determine if you are a bit restricted that day and need more mobility work such as SMR or Brettzels before pressing or doing something else overhead or where mobility is required. It also helps you see if you are making progress over time.

I've always had good hip mobility and flexibility in the lower body, but being a desk worker for so many years I've had to work a lot on the T-spine. And I still have a lot of work to do on the shoulders...

Some good stuff in this thread: Super Joints - minimum effective dose

Anyway, just some thoughts... hope that helps.
@Anna C Thanks so much! And also thanks to @Abdul Rasheed for providing the link. Also here so much that I can look into. Will take me a while. The key take-away is breathing and yoga. Did Yoga a couple of times when I was a student but the instructor was too esoteric for me. The sun salutations is supposed to be done in the morning. Is there a equivalent for the evening?

@Tobias Wissmueller, we are interested in Strength here - do whatever you need of all the rest in order to remain healthy and moving well. Pick and choose. I have a couple of things I do every morning because they work for me, take me less than 60 seconds to do, and they make my machinery ready for strength training and the rest of my day. I cannot tell you what you might need. I do some things only once or twice a week because, while I value them, I don't seem to need to do them every day in order to reap their benefits.

@Anna C nails the spirit of this, IMHO. And a big "+1" for breathing work - I do my 60 second mobility/stretching before I do my daily Buteyko-based breathing practice, and both those things start every day for me.

-S-
@Steve Freides Thank you, Steve! Key point: "Pick and choose". That I do already. Whenever I feel a hot spot, I will get my foam roller or whatever and work on it. Additionally am looking for a wind-down routine. That would also generally help for keeping mobile and flexible. Your routine takes you less than 60 seconds? What exactly is that if I may ask?

For me.... same as and/or variations of the above. But some form or parts thereof almost daily of SJ/FS, RIS.
I also do Tai-Chi practice almost daily.
But to Steves point... all in the support of being strong.
@offwidth Thank you as well! Tai-Chi was always high on my list, but there were no options at the places I lived so far. Generally, would love to take Tai-Chi or also Yoga classes. Right now, no way of incorporating that into my schedule. But the time will come.

Keep your strength training simple (& Sinister), and your mobility and movement practice varied.
@Pavel Macek This qualifies for my quote of the week :). A real eye-opener and puts things into perspective. Look what I have found "Flexible Steel Minimum". This would be one module of a varied mobility and flexibility progam.

I practice the Morning Recharge complex from "Super Joints" in the morning before my S&S session, and the S&S stretches followed by a round of the tactical frog exercises of "Flexible Steel" in the evening before going to bed. The Morning Recharge complex is great for joint mobility, the tactical frog exercises are a nice hip opening exercise.
@Jan Thank you very much! Have tried the tactical frog last night. Let's put it this way: There is a lot in this exercise for me, a lot to work on. I think it will come down to a combination like this. Going through all the replies something like that is the most frequent combination.

Will focus now on finding my wind-down mobility/flexibility routine with starting to look more into "Flexible Steel", "Relax into Stretch" and "Super Joints". I especially need to work on the lower back. It is troubling me and am unsure on how to proceed. That thoughts I will take up in my training log again.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Tobias Wissmueller
I will get my foam roller or whatever and work on it
A baseball / tennis / golf ball is also good if you want to get some trigger point very accurately. However they require more "control" than the foam roaller.

I think the best is to do first the foam roaller as a "general" massage, and then the ball to fix some points.

Good readings ! ;)

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Tobias Wissmueller

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,
A baseball / tennis / golf ball is also good if you want to get some trigger point very accurately. However they require more "control" than the foam roaller.

I think the best is to do first the foam roaller as a "general" massage, and then the ball to fix some points.
I do, I do. Am using most of the products from Blackroll-Orange. I use the roller for big areas and then I focus on specific spots with the bigger and then with the smaller ball that they offer. Maybe I overdid it last night with my back, that why it feels kind of sore now :oops:
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Look what I have found "Flexible Steel Minimum".
Thanks for that link! I think I saw it once before, but that is gold. It also answers one of the questions I've had lately, and that is the position of the shoulders in the bent arm bar press (Should the shoulders be stacked vertical, or move the chest as far towards the floor as possible, like the arm bar? Looks like vertical is the answer.) I'm going to start doing the hip switches, too. I can do splits when I am nice and stretched like at the end of a yoga class. but the hip switches looks like a good way to work towards having it accessible all the time, and open up the hips for mobility and movement prep. Awesome!

The sun salutations is supposed to be done in the morning. Is there a equivalent for the evening?
Yes - this looks like a decent Moon Salutations video. Here is Sun Salutations on the same channel.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@tob
In that case, only one solution: a true massage ;)

All kidding aside, it can be a trap: too much pressure make the point painful shortly after.

Thanks for the link ! There is also plenty of very interesting videos :)

Kind regards,

Pet'
 
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