PDA

View Full Version : Flexibility


nachan
08-24-2010, 08:15 PM
Any other highly inflexible people out there? It's something I've always struggled with. I've never even been able to touch my toes! My grade school gym teacher always gave me crap about it! "I have long legs," I would tell her! "Then you should have long arms too" she would reply! Hmph. I also seem to be inflexible in my back, since I've always had a lot of trouble trying to do things like back-bends and some other stretches. I would love to get to the point where I'm able to touch my toes from standing up or sitting down, and maybe even work on some splits.

I've tried to work on my flexibility a few times, but it's something that's kind of annoying to do, where you don't see very much progress, and it's easy to fall out of the habit. I did Wushu martial arts one semester and I think I noticed myself getting more flexible from that after a while, but then I quit.

As I'm starting to do more cosplay, I'd really like to become more flexible and able to do a variety of dynamic poses. One of my favorite series is Kaleido Star, which is about circus performers, and I'd really love to be able to do a handstand or something next time I cosplay that series! =) Also, just to feel more in control of my body would feel so cool, and to do something as simple as touching my toes would be a huge improvement! I do have a nice figure, so I'd really like to be able to show it off, haha.

Has anyone here overcome their inflexibility, or have any tips for ways to stick to a daily stretching routine? It's just so boring, and though it's a mostly stationary activity, you kind of have to use your hands and move around occasionally so you can't do something else like read a book at the same time.

Usually I try and listen to music, but one idea I just thought of would be to start a new anime series on Hulu or something, and limit myself to one episode a day, and I have to stretch during the episode. That could work!


Any inflexible comrades out there? =)

Gil <3
08-24-2010, 09:52 PM
Make sure that you're stretching out before you try--makes a big difference. :P If you stretch every day and always get a little farther, you'll be at your toes--and past--pretty fast. I couldn't reach my toes when I started martial arts, and now I can reach past them, and touch the ground and stuff~

Ronnyt83
08-24-2010, 10:22 PM
Here is a tip for you that I use when I run my classes. Start with a light all body stretch followed by 15 minutes of cardio to get the body warmed up then do a series of stretches that focus on the smaller and supporting muscle groups (obliques, gleuts, calves, adductors, abductors), gradually building up to the major muscles (groin, lats, deltoids). I would highly suggest taking a yoga class. There are plenty of good routines that you can do at home to improve your flexibility.

Kasinator
08-24-2010, 10:24 PM
Any other highly inflexible people out there? It's something I've always struggled with. I've never even been able to touch my toes! My grade school gym teacher always gave me crap about it! "I have long legs," I would tell her! "Then you should have long arms too" she would reply! Hmph. I also seem to be inflexible in my back, since I've always had a lot of trouble trying to do things like back-bends and some other stretches. I would love to get to the point where I'm able to touch my toes from standing up or sitting down, and maybe even work on some splits.

I've tried to work on my flexibility a few times, but it's something that's kind of annoying to do, where you don't see very much progress, and it's easy to fall out of the habit. I did Wushu martial arts one semester and I think I noticed myself getting more flexible from that after a while, but then I quit.

As I'm starting to do more cosplay, I'd really like to become more flexible and able to do a variety of dynamic poses. One of my favorite series is Kaleido Star, which is about circus performers, and I'd really love to be able to do a handstand or something next time I cosplay that series! =) Also, just to feel more in control of my body would feel so cool, and to do something as simple as touching my toes would be a huge improvement! I do have a nice figure, so I'd really like to be able to show it off, haha.

Has anyone here overcome their inflexibility, or have any tips for ways to stick to a daily stretching routine? It's just so boring, and though it's a mostly stationary activity, you kind of have to use your hands and move around occasionally so you can't do something else like read a book at the same time.

Usually I try and listen to music, but one idea I just thought of would be to start a new anime series on Hulu or something, and limit myself to one episode a day, and I have to stretch during the episode. That could work!


Any inflexible comrades out there? =)

I am!

Proof! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L__Ag9c4XKM&fmt=37)

Hit the advanced yoga DVDs once a week along with your exercise regimen, taking it as one of your cardio days and you will bend in ways you never thought you would. :)

nachan
08-25-2010, 07:22 PM
Wow! Thanks for the responses everyone =) Super encouraging!

Make sure that you're stretching out before you try--makes a big difference. :P If you stretch every day and always get a little farther, you'll be at your toes--and past--pretty fast. I couldn't reach my toes when I started martial arts, and now I can reach past them, and touch the ground and stuff~


Haha, yeah, I could be doing warm-up stretches or other activities for hours and still not be able to touch my toes after! It's definitely a matter of my body's limits. Thanks for the encouragement to stretch every day!



Here is a tip for you that I use when I run my classes. Start with a light all body stretch followed by 15 minutes of cardio to get the body warmed up then do a series of stretches that focus on the smaller and supporting muscle groups (obliques, gleuts, calves, adductors, abductors), gradually building up to the major muscles (groin, lats, deltoids). I would highly suggest taking a yoga class. There are plenty of good routines that you can do at home to improve your flexibility.

Thanks =) That's good advice. I didn't know the muscles are divided into supporting and major groups! I'll definitely give it a try! And doing some cardio first to warm up seems so important! I think I try to tell myself "Just 5 minutes of stretching a day, that's not so hard!" But really it should be 15 minutes of cardio, plus stretching time. I probably won't see any improvement from trying to stretch cold muscles! Thanks for the reminder =)


I am!

Proof! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L__Ag9c4XKM&fmt=37)

Hit the advanced yoga DVDs once a week along with your exercise regimen, taking it as one of your cardio days and you will bend in ways you never thought you would. :)

Wow! You're amazing in that video! Haha, I really don't have an exercise regimen right now.. I'm naturally thin so I've been too lazy to work out on my own =/ I was athletic in high school, but now I'm totally lazy! I know it's soooo good for you to do a little bit of exercise every day, so I think I'll really start a small exercise regimen and include some tough yoga at least once a week. I already have some DVDs even! Also, I have the Let's Yoga game for Nintendo DS, but it seems better for just relaxing stretches and things like that.

Thanks for your confidence that I'll be able to become flexible! Maybe I'll check back in with my progress when I start working on it =) I hope I can become as bendy as you! It would look so fantastic in a Kaleido Star costume!

HEYOashley
08-26-2010, 09:33 PM
@ Kasinator: Hehe, I love that vid!

I used to be insanely flexible...ballet will do that. Kind of rusty now. The more I work out, the more I see my flexibility increasing. I have been trying to change it up with pilates/yoga/and different types of stretching. It seems to be less painful now and I can reach far past my toes now! It gets better...hopefully it'll get better for you too, Nachan.

I would try Yoga for sure though!

Zucchan
08-27-2010, 04:53 PM
I can stand with my feet on top of my hands and toes buried into my wrist >_> ...but basically, the best thing to do is to stretch out every morning (it seems to be when I'm most flexible, I'm no professional of any sort, so I can't say how well this works) and also have a two more ten general stretching sessions. And don't just count to ten; ease into the furthest you can go, and when you can't stretch any more count to five (after awhile, make it ten) and then ease out of the stretch slowly. Not only do I think it's more effective, but also more comfotable.

Zucchan
08-27-2010, 04:56 PM
*comfortable

DevTehFiend
08-27-2010, 07:55 PM
My advice is just keep stretching. Do it everyday. ^^ I used to do, like, five different types of dancing, in which we stretched before doing out routines, and after quitting I became very inflexible, but you start to notice that the more you do it the better you get and even day by day I see I feel more comfortable touching my toes. I like to stretch in the shower, as the warm water relaxes your muscles a little more and makes it easier. I like to do a small cool down after working out and then finish it in the shower with some stretching.

Cosplay_Kitten
08-27-2010, 08:34 PM
I saw this and HAD to reply cause I love helping people get flexible XD I'm a ballet dancer just started dancing last year and I was one of my most inflexible girls in my class. I can do the splits now XD All it takes is stretching every day for at least 15-30 minutes with a warm up before so you don't hurt yourself. You won't see progress right away, it's slow and gradual but you'll get there! Also even if your sore the next day keep stretching! It feels WAAAY better to stretch when you're sore even if you think it won't. Take a rest like once or twice a week maybe take Saturday's and Sunday's off. But this is my suggestions :3

nachan
08-27-2010, 09:08 PM
Hooray, even more responses and encouragement! I've been stretching every day since I posted, warming up with either dancing or jogging outside, and then doing my own stretches and some leg-focused stretches on Let's Yoga. I tried out my "Yoga for Inflexible People" DVD but it was kind of a joke, haha. The narration track resets halfway through each pose!

Anyway, I'm feeling great about this! I don't expect to see any results for a while, but all of your encouragement makes me believe that if I keep at it, I'll be touching my toes someday! =) Thanks everyone!!


I can stand with my feet on top of my hands and toes buried into my wrist >_> ...but basically, the best thing to do is to stretch out every morning (it seems to be when I'm most flexible, I'm no professional of any sort, so I can't say how well this works) and also have a two more ten general stretching sessions. And don't just count to ten; ease into the furthest you can go, and when you can't stretch any more count to five (after awhile, make it ten) and then ease out of the stretch slowly. Not only do I think it's more effective, but also more comfotable.

Woah, that's mega flexible! I've also heard that the muscles are most naturally flexible in the morning. I also read that morning is the best time to work out because your body temp is much cooler when you first wake up, so it takes longer before you're uncomfortably hot and sweaty! Thanks for the stretching advice too! That's something I have trouble with, if I'm not following a DVD or other instructions, I never know how long to hold my stretch. Having a good specific number like that will help, and it sounds like your ease in and out technique is effective!


My advice is just keep stretching. Do it everyday. ^^ I used to do, like, five different types of dancing, in which we stretched before doing out routines, and after quitting I became very inflexible, but you start to notice that the more you do it the better you get and even day by day I see I feel more comfortable touching my toes. I like to stretch in the shower, as the warm water relaxes your muscles a little more and makes it easier. I like to do a small cool down after working out and then finish it in the shower with some stretching.

Yeah! When I was in martial arts or dance, we would stretch before every practice. Even though practice was only once or twice a week, I still saw some improvement after a few months. Stretching every day should make a huge difference! Stretching in the shower sounds like a great idea!


I saw this and HAD to reply cause I love helping people get flexible XD I'm a ballet dancer just started dancing last year and I was one of my most inflexible girls in my class. I can do the splits now XD All it takes is stretching every day for at least 15-30 minutes with a warm up before so you don't hurt yourself. You won't see progress right away, it's slow and gradual but you'll get there! Also even if your sore the next day keep stretching! It feels WAAAY better to stretch when you're sore even if you think it won't. Take a rest like once or twice a week maybe take Saturday's and Sunday's off. But this is my suggestions :3

That's great that you love to help people! Maybe if I can get flexible, I'll feel convicted to spread the word =) It's sooo encouraging to hear that you've gone from very inflexible to super stretchy! It sucks to be the least flexible person in your athletic group.. I remember talking to the president of the Wushu class about that before I joined, how I was so inflexible, but he was really welcoming and always pushed me during practice to stretch more =) Haha, I agree, stretching while sore is more satisfying! You not only feel like you *need* to stretch, it actually feels like something other than discomfort and pain! Saturday and Sunday breaks sound good =) That's when my husband is home and I don't feel as comfortable dancing around the house to hip-hop music, haha! Thanks for all the advice!!

Cosplay_Kitten
08-28-2010, 08:53 AM
Being flexible is not only good for cosplaying poses for certain characters its really healthy to and helps prevent a lot of injuries in general so good luck ^_^

NiwaNiwa
08-28-2010, 04:18 PM
:\
I wouldn't know I guess it's from all those weird places I end up in...

AelitaHopper17
08-28-2010, 05:51 PM
Any other highly inflexible people out there? It's something I've always struggled with. I've never even been able to touch my toes!

It's odd, I can't touch my toes either, not unless I bend my knees, yet I consider myself quite flexible. I can bend over to pick up something by just bending my side (though sometimes my side hurts after I do this), I can sit Indian-style on a school desk chair, and I find myself often doing a knee-bent arabesque randomly when doing the aforesaid side-bending. I can also reach my arms behind my back quite easily (but then again, I think I have double-jointed elbows, as weird as that sounds). So I guess that happens to flexible people too. I also have long legs with arms not quite long enough to match.

As cool as it would be to show off my flexibility in cosplay, though, I'd still be limited because I don't have great balance. :(

SugarSweetVenom
08-29-2010, 08:53 PM
I want to be as flexible as a rubber band, although right now I'm probably only slightly over average flexibility. I'm a little thick so I was shocked to see that I'm more flexible than most of the thinner girls in my school.

Rhazia
08-29-2010, 09:04 PM
Improving flexibility is fairly easy to do, you just have to keep at it. I do have some advice, though. Never, ever stretch cold; and don't bounce while stretching. A lot of people do this but it's pretty easy to injure yourself. Keep at it but don't push yourself. Pulling a muscle will just set you back.

Also, yoga. I've never tried it but it seems to work for a lot of people!

SugarSweetVenom
08-29-2010, 09:11 PM
Improving flexibility is fairly easy to do, you just have to keep at it. I do have some advice, though. Never, ever stretch cold; and don't bounce while stretching. A lot of people do this but it's pretty easy to injure yourself. Keep at it but don't push yourself. Pulling a muscle will just set you back.

Also, yoga. I've never tried it but it seems to work for a lot of people!
Oooo, I use to love doing yoga! I could almost do crow pose ..

Chirudesu
08-29-2010, 11:53 PM
I did colorguard, and it was stressed that we were able to be able to reach past our toes and do the splits. A requirement, almost. One of my teammates was very unflexible, but she just worked extra hard to stretch and she could drop into the splits by spring. I was very flexible before, but now that I'm out of shape, I have to start all over. It takes patience. Push yourself, but don't hurt yourself! Just keep trying, you'll get there.

ValentineKitty
09-01-2010, 01:51 PM
I'm really inflexible too. Oddly enough, my friend's Wii Fit has helped me out a bit. It has various yoga poses, so when I went over to his place to exercise I'd try them out and remember the ones that I might have enough space to try at home (The largest amount of space I have at home is the area of my bed, hahaha. x_x;).

Also, leg stretching isn't too hard to do while doing other things. If I'm in bed reading a book or using my laptop or something I'll try to stretch my legs (lying down with my feet in the air, leg lifts, little things like that). It's not much, but if you do it often enough for a long enough period of time you really do see results. :)