It’s not unusual to want to be more flexible, after all flexibility improves your posture, lengthens your muscles and decreases the risk of injury. Victoria and I are often asked how to get the leg higher/do the splits/touch your toes (without bending your knees!) and so on.
Much of our flexibility is down to the genetic capability and the proportions of our own bodies. So for most of us, achieving flat “box’ splits or touching the tip of our nose with our shin in a grand battement will always be a ’stretch’ too far! But you’d be wrong to think you cannot improve your flexibility, no matter what level of suppleness you feel your body is at. Understanding and achieving the correct shape of a stretch is a great place to start. So I’m going to talk you through a break down of one challenging but rewarding stretch for your body; Shoulder The Leg.
Watch my video here
and then add these tips in to improve your flexible Sleek physique even further.
Flik’s Flexibility Tips
1. When it comes to stretching, you want your body to be warm to minimise injury and maximise the stretch, so after barre
, between focused sections and/or at the end of your workout is the best time to do this.
2. Feel free to put a radiator on so your room is warm. Personally I hate working out in a cold room anyway!
4. The ‘Technique’ part of Sleek Technique is there for a reason – stretch with correct alignment and you will avoid injury and improve muscle suppleness and function at the same time.
5. You often need to stretch more than one muscle to achieve flexibility in the area you are working on. So with Shoulder the Leg
try getting your hips and hamstrings prepped before hand. Try this short floor stretch prep sequence:
-Sit crossed legged or stack the knees one on top of the other
-Lower your body forward over the legs while keeping your tailbone planted into the floor and hold for 16 counts
-Recover and stretch both legs out in front of you keeping the back of your knees pulled up.
-Lie your chest over your thighs aiming to reach your noes to your shins and hold for 8 counts
-Cross or stack the other leg on top and repeat on the other side.
This sequence opens the hip joint, lengthens the hip flexor, stretches the hamstrings, thighs, gluteals and piriformis muscle, extends the groin and psoas. As a bonus it also helps alleviate lower back pain and stiffness. It preps you to stand up and shoulder that leg with even greater results.
On a final note…
Flexibilty decreases with age so as we hit adulthood we need to keep on top of it. Maintaining and enhancing one’s flexibility is a life-long process but one that should be something to embrace and have fun with. So make a Sleek and supple body part of your weekly hit list and you will feel fantastic all round.