“My Pilates Instructor asked me how how flexible I was…..I said I can’t make Tuesday’s or Thursday’s.”
Hello, I’m Shannon and I’m excited to help you on your journey to a healthier, happier you! The focus of my blog is about the importance of flexibility to our bodies. Coming from a professional dance background I love working on flexibility goals with my clients! Hamstring flexibility is usually what most of us think of when we hear the word flexibility. Many people can relate to a lack of flexibility in the Reformer Pilates exercise, Front Splits. You may have seen a fellow member in class with a completely straight front leg, hips low and parallel and thought “I could never do that!” But flexibility is not something we are usually born with, it’s something we need to work towards.
As we get older our muscles naturally lose strength and become less supple and stiffer. It’s the loss of tissue elasticity that can cause muscles and joints to tighten up. One of the most common ways to check your Flexbility is to see if you can touch your toes whilst keeping the legs straight. If you find that you feel stiff, and suffer from bad posture then flexibility training is a must. Pilates consists of gradual movements that can really help to achieve greater flexibility throughout the body with noticeable changes in a short time with the correct technique.
So how can you become more flexible? The best way to become more flexible and maintain it, is to stretch daily. Stretching increases the range of motion and reduces regeneration of the joints. The more flexible your pelvic muscles, hamstrings, hip flexors and quadriceps are, the less stress to your lower back and this will help to enhance enjoyment of other exercise and make things like tying your shoe laces easier!
If you would like to improve your Front splits in class it’s important to work on stretches for your hamstrings and hip flexors. A lying hamstring stretch is a great one for improving leg flexibility. If you don’t have a resistance band you could use a towel or old t shirt around the ball of foot. Focusing on pulling the leg towards your chest, keeping the leg being stretched as straight as possible. Hold for a minimum of 30 secs.
If flexibility is one of your goals this year then come and have a chat with me. I’d be more than happy to help you get the most out of your stretches and get the Front Splits that you’ve always dreamed of!
By Shannon Tella