Why aren’t people as flexible as they want to be ? Is it that a handful of fortunate people are simply born flexible, while most of us are doomed to live the life of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz – perpetually tight, stiff, creaky and getting worse with age ?
What is that secret something flexible people just naturally do when they stretch, that special knowledge that’s so obvious to them yet remains a mystery to the rest of us ? What’s happening inside of them that is somehow not happening inside most of us ?
The secret your body already knows :
Contracting while lengthening a muscle at the same time may seem contradictory. But in fact your body does this all the time – unconsciously and naturally. Isn’t that what you do when you wake up in the morning ? Don’t you reach up over your head, elongating the muscles in your torso, shoulders, and arms, and then contract them at a certain point ? It’s natural to resist when you stretch ( and it feels good too ).
Have you ever watched a cat get up after her nap ? She reaches forward with her paws, arches her back, then pulls backward and contracts the same muscles she was trying to elongate by reaching forward. Animals instinctively understand the need to contract muscles when stretching and they do it so well. Lets be as flexible as cats !
Resistance stretching is contracting and lengthening a muscle at the same time, something you were never told to do. You also must maximally contract while lengthening to see your true range of flexibility.
This is the secret to real stretching and permanent changes in flexibility !