Pick Lower or Upper Body.

Lower Body

Pick (1) Dynamic Stretch Routine, and (1) Static Stretch & Pose Routine.

  1. Warmup
  2. Dynamic Stretch Routines – Strength & Flexible Movement
  3. Static Stretches & Poses

…More Poses & Stretches

Time: 1 hour


Upper Body

Pick (1) Static Stretch & Pose Routine.

  1. Warmup
  2. Dynamic Stretches – Strength & Flexible Movement
  3.  Static Stretches & Poses

…More Poses & Stretches

Time: 1 hour

Upper & Lower Body

Pick (2)  Dynamic Stretch Routines, and (2) Static Stretch & Pose Routines.

Ideal Combinations:

  • Side Splits & Backbends
  • Side Splits & Middle Splits
  1. Warmup
  2. Dynamic Stretches – Strength & Flexible Movement
  3. Static Stretches & Poses

…More Poses & Stretches


Step 1. Warmup

It is so important to warmup up in the beginning of every single routine. If you do not warm up properly you will not get the full benefits of the whole routine. You must be as warm as possible before going into any static stretch or pose to avoid injury.

Choose 1 or do them all and eliminate poses for a more relaxed 1 hour routine.

Cardio Warmup (recommended)

Breath, Form & Posture

Basic Muscle Awareness & Isolations


Step 2. Dynamic Stretches

If you have dedicated 1 hour to stretching, I suggest focusing on either lower body or upper body.

Side Split Dynamic Stretching Routine

Middle Split Dynamic Stretching Routine

Backbend Dynamic Stretching Routine

Dynamic stretches are the best way to increase flexibility and strength with the least chance of injury. They are an extension to the warmup and an important way to gain strength in your new range of flexibility.

Dynamic stretches also help you achieve flexibility without external force or gravity, meaning you can lift your leg into a split rather than have to push into the ground. This is useful on apparatuses or jumps where your muscles are the only thing that can bring you to a full split in the air.

If you have dedicated 1 hour to stretching, I suggest focusing on either lower body or upper body, this way you can focus and go slowly. When you are done with the dynamic stretches you will also only focus on either lower or upper static stretches and poses.

If you have 2 or more hours dedicated to stretching go ahead and do both.


Step 3. Static Stretches

Just like dynamic stretches, if you have dedicated 1 hour to stretching, I suggest focusing on either lower body or upper body.

If you have 2 or more hours dedicated to stretching, go ahead and do both.

 Side Split Routine

Middle Split Routine

Backbend Routine – Shoulders & Upper Back Focused

Feet to Head Routine – Lower Back & Hip Flexor Focused

Static stretches are more beneficial after warming up with cardio and dynamic stretches. Static stretches are normally prep stretches for various poses. They help you to target certain muscle groups. It is important to focus on your muscles and breathing anytime you perform a stretch.

Alongside static stretches are techniques to help increase the effectiveness of a stretch. You may have heard of isometrics, PNF, passive, and/or resistance training, these are all helpful techniques to learn and apply.

Read more about Flexibility Techniques

To keep it simple here is what I do in a static stretch. Breath integrated with muscle contraction and relaxation.

  1. Once proper form is achieved begin; Inhale and contract all of your muscles.
  2. Exhale, relax all muscles, and gently sink into the stretch.
  3. Inhale, slightly come back out of the stretch, straighten or elongate necessary muscles and contract.
  4. Exhale, relax muscles and gently sink into the stretch.
  5. Repeat until you reach 10.

The main focus is to breath deep; the next major focus is form. No matter how flexible or inflexible you are it is important to work on form, which normally consists of elongating every limb, squaring hips, or slightly turning, twisting arms, and legs; all depending on the stretch.

When you achieve good form, squeezing or contracting all the muscles will build muscle memory, so when you are up in the air without gravity’s assistance you will remember what good form feels like and which muscles need to be activated.

If you study the shapes you’re imitating and then watch the shapes you are making, you will start to see the adjustments you need to make, this is also the invaluable part of having a coach or instructor.


Extras. Poses

Pick 5-10 poses to focus on.

Hold each pose for 4 sets of 30 seconds.

The pose guide is where you can find your goals, the shapes and lines that you want to achieve. Static stretches are pose preps, poses are just more intense static stretches. Accordingly you can list static stretches as your goals.

The same techniques as static stretches applies to poses. Most important focuses are breath and form.

The poses are categorized into splits, backbends, balancing and contortion moves. Depending on what you are working on,lower body or upper body, determines which poses you should focus on.

Splits

Backbends

Balancing

Contortion

Focus on these core goals first, than you can work on some of the more advanced poses.

Core Goals

right spilt

left split

middle split – knees facing forward

straddle split – knees facing up

bridge

forearm stands

handstands – hollow body

forward bend – flat back

Edit Goals


Total Time Lower Body Focused: 1 hour

Total Time Upper Body Focused: 1 hour

Total Time Lower & Upper Body Focused: 2 hours


Expectations

You’ll want to set yourself realistic goals, the more obtainable goals you achieve, the better you’ll feel about moving forward.

I like to celebrate even the centimeters of success, because it encourages me to obtain more centimeters, and they add up trust me. 🙂

If you are here.

Don’t expect to be here in 100 days.

There is no guaranteed timeframe in which you’ll achieve your flexibility goals. Performance depends on how many days and hours you commit to stretching. It also depends on how much effort you put into the routine and how comfortable you were during the routine.

When you are uncomfortable it is hard to focus on breathing, form and muscle control, and performance suffers. But don’t worry the next time, when you are comfortable and you put in maximum effort, you’ll be more flexi than ever!

Flexibility is also a a journey of bonding with your body. It is essential to be mindful of your muscles and breathing. Try to be as silent in the mind as possible while you are performing your moves. To silent the mind just focus on breath and muscle contraction and relaxation.

You could also try to visualize yourself doing the move.

When you consistently perform your routine with proper form and techniques, continue doing it and each time you be one step closer to reaching your goals.

There is no shortcut, or fast way to gain more flexibility, it takes time and hard work. The stronger you become in your new range of motion, the less painful stretching will be.

Happy Stretching!!


Professional Instruction

Nothing beats professional instruction, if you are lucky enough to have access to a flexibility or contortion coach it is always best to add one to your routine.

They will also have you doing flexibility routines at home, which can coincide with your flexibility schedule. When you go to your class you can print out a flexibility goal worksheet to show your coach, so they have a better idea of what your goals are.

Source: Version: 1.18, Last Modified 94/10/12 Copyright (C) 1993, 1994 by Bradford D. Appleton

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.

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2 Comments on "Stretching Guide"

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djonker

Hey! I am new to this 100 day flexibility challenge. I started the 1st of September. When I practise my middle splits there is what I think is a muscle hurting in my butt. Doing your dynamic stretches before reduces this, but doesn’t eliminate it. Any idea what it may be?

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