A pattern of daily mobility will prime and nourish the entire muscular system, keeping the whole joint nourished.
First, let’s get over the stigma of what it means to be “flexible.” Do away with any unhelpful terms that may be holding you back from picking up a yoga mat, like “bendy, or “limber.” None of these things have anything to do with flexibility. In fact, I’d like to shift the conversation from flexibility, to mobility!
As we begin to develop daily habits in our muscle use over weeks, months,
or years, these could be blocking the pathway of our entire kinetic chain of movement. This could lead to weakening of certain muscle groups and misfiring of others, overtime, causing injury and unbalance.
Remaining open in the body allows for deeper connective communication with your whole muscular system and helps us move towards our goals.
In truth, there are many physical restrictions that could limit someone performing certain deep stretches—everything from poor skeletal structure, stiff connective tissues, or nerve reflex warnings. Moving away from these “feats of flexibility” and towards a daily practice that focusses on range of motion can provide a better outcome and a health- ier outlook on what our bodies are capable of.
When you are inflexible or limited in your range of motion, the muscles will not fire in the appropriate order. When an inflexible person goes in for the “big stretch,” they end up bypassing the prime muscle movers and call on the smaller secondary muscles to do the heavy lifting. Now, these muscles have two jobs: to stabilize and initiate full movement. This is because the body will always find another, more efficient way to get to an end result. Over time, this will weaken the overall muscular system, potentially causing injury.
A pattern of daily mobility, however, will prime and nourish the entire muscular system, keeping the whole joint nourished, and allowing the muscles to fire in an appropriate, sequential manner. The primary muscles will be able to do the heavy lifting, so that the smaller muscles can do the stabilizing work they need to.
When you are restricted by movement, you are blocking the pathway to the entire kinetic chain of movement. But by staying limber through mobility movements, you will keep the whole line connected and happier doing the jobs they are meant to do.
Begin by increasing the body’s temperature, like I show in this warm-up video to try my 30 second yoga warm up video, or warm up using a foam roller, taking a brisk walk, or another exercise to warm the muscles. Then, follow these poses that can literally be the lotion for your motion.
More Inspiration: Check out these 5 cool stretching exercises from Ann as well.
Author: Ann Green is a former heptathlon competitor, certified yoga instructor, and owner of BLiSS Ann Green Yoga in Barrie, ON. She is a regular contributor to our sister magazine, Optimyz .www.shineology.ca