View Full Version : Flexibility Training?

Harra Arial
09-10-2010, 04:31 PM
Well, what with all the threads about weight-loss, here is something different.

For a far-off-in-the-future (say, when I have more resources) Cosplay, I would like to do Voldo from Soul Calibur (http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee208/LD_Nightmare/Soul%20Calibur/Voldo.jpg). Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, until you account for the fact his motions are very very difficult for the average person to pull off. Besides that, I'm not very flexible to begin with.

To give you guys an idea of what I'd have to do:

Linkage to videos here. (Nothing too explicit, save for the fact he's decked out in straps and a codpiece. And some people think his 'voice' (hissing) is creepy.) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfwO-OMwKKM)

Now, I'm going to be realistic and know for fact I'll never get to all those crazy somersaults and flips without professional training, but is there anything you lovely people could tell me to improve basic flexibility for all the other delightful freaky-motions this guy does?

09-10-2010, 04:41 PM

That's all.

Seriously. People who take yoga and put into practice more than just a weekly event have fantastic flexibility and look younger in my experience. Running I think would also aid this as it makes you limber and loose.

Harra Arial
09-10-2010, 04:49 PM

That's all.

Seriously. People who take yoga and put into practice more than just a weekly event have fantastic flexibility and look younger in my experience. Running I think would also aid this as it makes you limber and loose.

Ooh, didn't think of that~ my Dah's been taking up yoga, actually, so I'll have to steal his tapes sometime~ Thank you muchly!

09-10-2010, 05:00 PM
I recommend plyometrics as well.

Harra Arial
09-10-2010, 05:02 PM
I recommend plyometrics as well.

Plyometrics? Forgive me, I don't think I've ever heard of this type of training. By the name alone, I assume it involves making your body much more plyable, but what is it, praytell?

09-10-2010, 06:31 PM
Plyometrics? Forgive me, I don't think I've ever heard of this type of training. By the name alone, I assume it involves making your body much more plyable, but what is it, praytell?

Plyometrics (also known as "plyos") is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in sports. Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder, depending on the desired training goal. Plyometrics is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, providing explosiveness for a variety of sport-specific activities. Plyometrics are useful for several sports - notably soccer, rugby, basketball, track and field athletics, racket sports and martial arts.

In a nutshell it's basically explosive muscle training. Thrusting, jerking, and sudden explosive movements, probably clapping push ups are a good example, or jumping and lunging on one leg from a box holding a super mario stance =)

09-13-2010, 10:09 AM
On the same topic, does anyone use a yoga DVD that they really recommend? I've been going through the ones at my local library and a couple I bought from the bargain bin, and so far I'm having trouble finding one that really works for me.

So far all the DVDs I have tried suffer at least one of these problems:
-Poorly produced (For example, narration track resets halfway through the pose, so I have to watch and figure out on my own instead of being instructed)

-Pose order is non-sensical (sitting pose, to pose utilizing a wall, to pose needing a chair, back to another wall pose, to a laying down pose, to a pose that uses a resistance band. Annoying to have to keep moving equipment around and going to different places in the apartment. Also sucks when I have very limited floor space and the only empty wall space is far from the TV)

-Too spiritually-focused (I would love something that I can just pop in after my aerobic warmup that really works on my leg and back flexibility right away. Most of the yoga DVDs I've found are really focused on the spiritual balancing merits of yoga, and start off with a lot of deep breathing and focusing on the inner soul, etc. etc., which I have to fast-forward through. From there, they still seem to move really slowly. I want something that will really stretch me out!)

-Poor narration (Some narration assumes I know the names/phrases of yoga, and explains things in a way that does not clearly communicate what I'm supposed to do. The best narration is one where I can basically figure out what I'm supposed to do without having to stare at the screen the entire time. One of my DVDs has the following narration for one section, imagine less than a second of pause between each comma: "Inhaling, standing arch position, press with your feet, lift through the crown of your head, draw your shoulders back, exhaling, step back, and lower through chadoranga (?), up dog, inhaling, pressing with the hands, spreading your fingers, and pressing through the tops of your toes." This means nothing to me. Maybe it could have said "While bending at the waist, straighten your legs and stretch through your lower back. Now, place your hands on the floor, step back, and lower yourself into a push-up position. Bend your arms to lower yourself to the ground. Now, point your toes and let the the tops of your feet rest on the ground. Push up with your arms, and arch your back." Instead, the narrator just rattles off a bunch of vague phrases and commands that don't make sense without keeping your eyes glued to the screen. It's all in present-tense, spoken in kind of an anticipatory tone, as if to say "do this, and this, while doing this, but don't get too comfortable because I'm going to ask you do to something else in just a second" I understand that it's a DVD, and I'm supposed to watch it, but if my head is supposed to be between my legs, it would be nice to be able to figure out what I need to be doing just by listening.)

So my ideal yoga DVD would be well-produced, wouldn't run me back and forth between the wall and a chair, would be light on the spiritual and breathing stuff, and would have sensible and clear instructions. It would also be really great to find something that had different "chapters" which split up the stretching into different muscle groups so I could do a whole bunch of leg poses right off the bat.

So... any recommendations? =)

09-13-2010, 10:59 AM
^ This.

My mom got a Yoga DVD set for her birthday. It's supposed to be beginners Yoga, but uses a lot of fancy phrases and the poses are quite complex...

09-13-2010, 05:59 PM
Yoga >w<
You can try dancing too.. and bending/stretching.. Pilates [although in my experience it's
?disturbing? how many old ladies there are >.> <.<]

09-18-2010, 01:27 PM
I took my first class yesterday and omgosh I stretched muscles I didn't know I had, and I'm already fairly flexible! about 45 minutes of our 2 hour class was stretching (half hour before, 15 minutes after)

09-20-2010, 02:19 AM

I...couldn't resist

09-20-2010, 06:13 PM

yoga X from the p90x DVDs really is the only one I've tried. and the order and narration makes the most sense to me. It sort of builds up the poses as opposed to sparatically changing to a wild card pose. it teaches you to breathe through the pose and helps you develop big time.

again the only DVD I've tried but it definitely worked in my favor at anime north! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L__Ag9c4XKM)

Just make sure you look out for grass stains. Yuk.

09-22-2010, 04:47 PM
I know nothing about yoga I'm afraid (I did a couple lessons when I was at school but yeah... I know nothing XD) however I can say that doing normal stretches daily for 30mins (I often do this in front of the telly, you get bored otherwise!) really does improve your flexibility in the long run.

Look up various stretches (normally just on the floor) and in a couple months you will notice a big difference so long as you keep to the daily routine. Take a break like every Sunday or something to relax but yeah.

If you do this along with yoga like everyone else has suggested then you'll get amazing results~ : D

(I just wish I could follow my advice as I only ever stretch once a week max ROFL. I'm so lazy...)

09-22-2010, 09:30 PM
I've been doing the Bar Method Designer Sculpting DVD 2-3x a week for about two months now and I am getting more flexible. Nothing dramatic, but I've noticed an improvement when I stretch.

09-24-2010, 08:25 PM
:dance:Take Capoeira along with Yoga. :dance:

09-26-2010, 03:46 AM
well, all I have to offer you is my experiences for our flexibility training in my dance class

Back bridge/back bend-
do it every day, at the least. lay on the floor with your hands by your ears and push up.
if you cant do it, remember you need to push hard, once your up, your up and its not as much as a struggle
hold it for as long as you can each time you try, and you will become more used to the position and be able to keep it longer, although at the start it will seem impossible.

if you get too uncomfortable in the position remember to point your face towards the floor, it helps allot

Back bridge from standing a good start is to do it with a wall, just bend back and walk your hands down the wall and back up

then to do it without the wall remember to squeeze your abs, and the key is to bend your knees allot, and to not be afraid, you will fall on your head, it will hurt, but one day you will be able to do it if you keep trying

and remember you can always get someone to spot you so you feel more confident. Just have them stand next to you and lightly hold your waist, then if you start to fall they can help support you :)

Standing back up from back bridge I cant quite do yet, but the key is to both push off the floor very hard and to squeeze your abs

if your a boy its a little different, as your center of gravity is more in your shoulders

Forward flipping into the back bend, get someone to spot you, and squeeze everything, and go slow try to swing over one leg at a time so you dont land too hard, I recommend learning this on the grass.

for the the scorpion thing he does

I recommend a stretch (you need a spot for this one too)where you face the wall and have someone grab your leg and help you stretch it backwards. have them try to touch your foot to your head. Arch your back as much as you can and it will help reach your head back to meet your toes.
It's a great feeling to feel your foot touch the back of your head, and its worth all the pain and hard work.

have them hold your leg with one hand just above the knee and one hand near your foot

Stretch your calves
A good way to do this is to sit on the floor with your feet flexed, and touch your toes.
and to go beyond that grab your flexed foot and lift it up from the floor. dont bend your knees. it kills but it stretches them really good

For general flexibility
touch your toes- sitting, or standing
try to put the whole palm of your hand flat on the floor (if your standing)
the splits- a good way to do it is to get like two heavy things, like a chair, and a heavy box (something that wont budge against your body weight) and put your feet against them on ether side, and schooch forward whenever you feel as if you can go a little more. try to touch your elbows on the floor, and to lean forward to get a better stretch
side splits- just split your legs and let gravity do the work

its important to turn out your legs and toes while you do these. its safer, and puts a whole lot less strain on your joints

you need to stretch every day, the more often the better

dont push yourself too hard, remember to take it easy or you will most likely pull a muscle
it takes about 6 months of everyday stretching for people to be able to do the splits completely, dont get discouraged. it takes time

you will be sore
keep stretching, the stretching will actually help with the soreness, believe it or not

while you are doing your back bends your back is going to hurt pretty bad.
if it gets bad, just take like a five minute break, and it will help allot with the pain.
A good stretch to help your back hurting form back bends is to touch your toes from standing, and also to get on your hands and knees and arch your back upward, like a cat.

is sorry this is so long, but I hope its of help to you:)

10-02-2010, 12:04 AM
If Yoga isnt working for you do Pilates! I don't like yoga, most of the moves are silly and require that you 'meditate' plus it's just uncomfortable! But I really enjoy pilates, and it's made me a very limber person! If you wanna be epic as Voldo, you could practice doing a gymnastic move called a back walkover.

If you know how to make a bridge (i.e; lay on the ground and lift yourself up so your back faces the ground but you're arched as high as you can) you're already half way into making a back walkover. From there (I would recommend doing this on carpet, a mattress (thats not on a box spring), gymnastic pads; or at a professional gym if you can, because it HURTS when you fall, and I guarantee you will fall at first) and bringing one leg as high up and towards you as you can. Once you can balance with that, take your 'bracing' leg and kick back, so your body moves over your head and arms. The proper way to land is with both feet together and standing where your hands were, but since it took me MONTHS to actually do that, I'd say just achieving it is impressive!