Daily Stretching / Mobility Program

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offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
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!



Yes - this looks like a decent Moon Salutations video. Here is Sun Salutations on the same channel.
Anna,
I may have asked this before so forgive me if I am being redundant... but what style of Yoga do you practice?
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
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 agree. And these are a wonderful improvement over baseball/tennis/golf/lacrosse balls: Self Massage Therapy Balls You can also order them through Amazon.

Anna,
I may have asked this before so forgive me if I am being redundant... but what style of Yoga do you practice?
No particular style, just general stuff and attend a basic yoga class. I do like Ashtanga but haven't delved that deep into it. This is my favorite routine ever: Power Yoga Total Body Workout DVD with Rodney Yee
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Your routine takes you less than 60 seconds? What exactly is that if I may ask?
You may! Two movements, if you please. It will take me at least 10 times longer to describe than it takes to do, and the notes are important.

1. Facing my front porch railing, I put one foot up on it - about hip height, so my leg is parallel to the ground. I keep the other foot at a 45 degree angle for stability. I reach to touch the outstretched leg's toes with the same side hand, then the other side hand, then both hands together. It's your basic hamstring stretch. The "one side, then the other, then both" is an example of "prying", a technique I learned from Pavel and which we teach at Flexible Steel.

Then, foot still on the railing, I stand up straight, turn the other foot to 90 degrees and face 90 degrees away from the outstretched leg, and tighten my glutes and drive my hips forward. This is effectively a 1-legged side split for the raised leg. If memory serves, there's a picture of Pavel doing this, with his foot on a chair (?), in Relax Into Stretch. I make the most out of it by clenching my glutes and driving my hips forward, which is something you need to do in a side split.

And I repeat on the other side.

Important Notes: It is _most_ important that you don't pick a height where you have to throw your leg up to get it there, and even worse would be using your hands to put your leg up. You must pick a height where you can, calmly and slowly, raise your leg above the desired height and gently put your foot down. This is easy stretching, mobility, relax, aaah kind of stuff. I'm often doing it within a few minutes of getting out of bed in the morning, and that's not the time I prefer for hard stretching.

For the raised leg, you _must_ flex your ankle (dorsiflex); you _must_ keep your knee straight. If you don't do both of these things, you won't get a stretch where you want it.

If you want to use spine flexion instead of a hamstring stretch to reach your hands to your foot, or even to touch your head to your shin, you may, of course, but it's good to be aware of what you're stretching. I'm interesting in stretching my hamstring so I try to keep a fairly tall posture and bend at the hip (hip hinge) or at least bend first at the hip and only flex my spine once I feel I've exhausted hip flexion and hamstring stretch.

This also works at different heights, even with both feet on the ground. When the leg you're stretching is on the ground or low, it hits the hamstrings more; when the leg is above parallel, it's already more stretched and you will stretch your back more. I like it with the leg close to parallel best. E.g., my kitchen countertops are higher than parallel for me, still low enough that I can lift my leg and place it there comfortably, but I don't like the stretch I get as much. OTOH, I like this one a lot with both feet on the ground as a hamstring stretch, but you can't do the second part and work on your split unless you're at least close to parallel.

You can also turn the foot on the ground to point in the direction in which you're facing and, if you know what you're doing, you can stretch your down leg's hip flexors this way, just by keeping a really tall posture and clenching the glute on that side.

2. And then I do that things where you swing your arms around as you twist your torso, letting one arm hit you at the back, around the kidney area, and the other arm hit your upper chest.

-S-
 

D-Rock

Level 5 Valued Member
Keeping movement varied and staying in the minimalistic and focused mindset can be challenging.

In this thread
How many moves do you use ?
@Pavel Macek mentioned 2-3 moves for strength improvement and as many movements as possible for mobility and movement work. I wholeheartedly agree!!! How best to do this is a good question.

Focused and minimalistic, I feel like I am neglecting some areas that need improvement. As varied as possible, I tend to have no structure, have very long sessions, and make no real progress because I am jumping from one thing to another and there are many many things I want to learn or improve.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
@D-Rock as for mobility, as many different movements as possible. As for flexibility, pick up 2-3 goals, same as in the strength training. My choice is back bridge, front split, and a side split (in this order).
 

Tobias Wissmueller

Level 6 Valued Member
You may! Two movements, if you please. It will take me at least 10 times longer to describe than it takes to do, and the notes are important.

1. Facing my front porch railing, I put one foot up on it - about hip height, so my leg is parallel to the ground. I keep the other foot at a 45 degree angle for stability. I reach to touch the outstretched leg's toes with the same side hand, then the other side hand, then both hands together. It's your basic hamstring stretch. The "one side, then the other, then both" is an example of "prying", a technique I learned from Pavel and which we teach at Flexible Steel.

Then, foot still on the railing, I stand up straight, turn the other foot to 90 degrees and face 90 degrees away from the outstretched leg, and tighten my glutes and drive my hips forward. This is effectively a 1-legged side split for the raised leg. If memory serves, there's a picture of Pavel doing this, with his foot on a chair (?), in Relax Into Stretch. I make the most out of it by clenching my glutes and driving my hips forward, which is something you need to do in a side split.

And I repeat on the other side.

Important Notes: It is _most_ important that you don't pick a height where you have to throw your leg up to get it there, and even worse would be using your hands to put your leg up. You must pick a height where you can, calmly and slowly, raise your leg above the desired height and gently put your foot down. This is easy stretching, mobility, relax, aaah kind of stuff. I'm often doing it within a few minutes of getting out of bed in the morning, and that's not the time I prefer for hard stretching.

For the raised leg, you _must_ flex your ankle (dorsiflex); you _must_ keep your knee straight. If you don't do both of these things, you won't get a stretch where you want it.

If you want to use spine flexion instead of a hamstring stretch to reach your hands to your foot, or even to touch your head to your shin, you may, of course, but it's good to be aware of what you're stretching. I'm interesting in stretching my hamstring so I try to keep a fairly tall posture and bend at the hip (hip hinge) or at least bend first at the hip and only flex my spine once I feel I've exhausted hip flexion and hamstring stretch.

This also works at different heights, even with both feet on the ground. When the leg you're stretching is on the ground or low, it hits the hamstrings more; when the leg is above parallel, it's already more stretched and you will stretch your back more. I like it with the leg close to parallel best. E.g., my kitchen countertops are higher than parallel for me, still low enough that I can lift my leg and place it there comfortably, but I don't like the stretch I get as much. OTOH, I like this one a lot with both feet on the ground as a hamstring stretch, but you can't do the second part and work on your split unless you're at least close to parallel.

You can also turn the foot on the ground to point in the direction in which you're facing and, if you know what you're doing, you can stretch your down leg's hip flexors this way, just by keeping a really tall posture and clenching the glute on that side.

2. And then I do that things where you swing your arms around as you twist your torso, letting one arm hit you at the back, around the kidney area, and the other arm hit your upper chest.

-S-
Oh, wow! Thanks a ton @Steve Freides ! I have read through it two times now and I cannot believe this only takes 60 seconds. But I will try and find out :) Thanks so much again!

@D-Rock as for mobility, as many different movements as possible. As for flexibility, pick up 2-3 goals, same as in the strength training. My choice is back bridge, front split, and a side split (in this order).
Another gem in this thread! Thank you @Pavel Macek ! I love setting specific goals, but did not think about this point when it comes to stretching. Being able to do a back bridge, front and side split would be great.

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.
I have spontaneously made an appointment with an orthopaedist just to make sure. It feels like there is pressure or tension. Very hard to describe. Its not a real pain. Just kind of tensed or so, maybe sore, maybe too much trigger balling plus still lots of muscle tension. Don't know. Doc will decide. Need to pursue the massage idea as well. Actually, the personal trainer I went mentioned, that this might happen and he had a client that needed a massage because those muscles next to the spine tensed up.

Yes - this looks like a decent Moon Salutations video. Here is Sun Salutations on the same channel.
Wonderful! I like it a lot and will try it as well. Thanks a lot for it!

So many things to learn ... I need to do a list ... Lists and goals and priorities ... :confused:
 

pronounjim

Level 1 Valued Member
@Tobias Wissmueller , I have been on the same hunt as you, and I am interested in adding in some flexibility/joint mobility work as a separate training plan from S&S performed on my off days or well after the KB session so I will follow this thread closely.

One thing I can whole heartedly recommend is looking into Original Strength. I have been doing SMR and rolling/trigger point work that could take hours to feel better, but after incorporating the preset/reset into my sessions I have been able to lay off the SMR and just feel great. So many variations of the rocks and rolls target specific hot spots but even the basics have made me feel like a million bucks!
 

Tobias Wissmueller

Level 6 Valued Member
@Tobias Wissmueller , I have been on the same hunt as you, and I am interested in adding in some flexibility/joint mobility work as a separate training plan from S&S performed on my off days or well after the KB session so I will follow this thread closely.

One thing I can whole heartedly recommend is looking into Original Strength. I have been doing SMR and rolling/trigger point work that could take hours to feel better, but after incorporating the preset/reset into my sessions I have been able to lay off the SMR and just feel great. So many variations of the rocks and rolls target specific hot spots but even the basics have made me feel like a million bucks!
Thank you @pronounjim Started reading the book. Any ad-hoc recommendation for treating the lower back as a hot spot with exercises from the book?
 

pronounjim

Level 1 Valued Member
Well, they are general moves not specific one, but rocking and baby crawling have helped to improve my shoulder/hip alignment and reset the curves of my back. Make sure to watch the videos availible on youtube, they have been invaluable helping me get the movements dialed in and show many sugestions for specific complaints.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Tobias Wissmueller
I fully approve this kind of flow. It is one of the most functional things I've ever done (with kettlebell of course). It is a kind of "soft version of Ido Portal"

They are so flexible than you can change your frame almost everyday, by working what you want to (legs, upper body, shoulders, whatever). There is an infinite number of combinations. Plus, if you do them for 15 or 30 minutes without resting, it also provides a good aerobic work.

As @Pavel Macek
for mobility, as many different movements as possible. As for flexibility, pick up 2-3 goals
Kind regards,

Pet'
 

guardian7

Level 6 Valued Member
If it is right before bed, then a Relax into stretch (RIS) type longer lower body hold with PNF works well. Simply putting your legs up along the wall. I also recommend "yin yoga" (basically the same recommendations as Pavel's RIS, long duration holds until the nervous system gets comfortable in that position). This is very relaxing before bed. It is my evening routine. Another good one is to put a pillow along your spine as you lie down. East Asian narrow and firm ones work best, if you can get a hold of one. Just lie on it and relax. It lets gravity give you a gentle pec and thoratic stretch that is very calming before bed. I got that one from a physiotherapist. It is great for anyone who does too much computer work.

In short, I would distinguish between warmup related routines and morning or evening routines.

From both Pavel's work and Yin Yoga class, I am convinced that the problem is not static stretching but short duration holds. You need a few minutes to really stretch. Five minutes is not too much for Yin Yoga.

Others here have good suggestions for daytime and pre or post workout routines.
 
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