We’re always looking for ways to get more flexible in less time. Over the weekend I listened to an interesting podcast of an interview with Pavel Spetnaz by Tim Ferriss. He’s a physical trainer for world class athletes in all sorts of genres and has trained Spetnaz (the soviet special forces) as well as the US Navy Seals. One of the topics of the podcast was flexibility and I was interested in his idea of “finding space” in order to increase your flexibility. To find space as we stretch, we wouldn’t just get into our stretch and then freeze there and hold it for whatever length of time we are stretching. Instead, we would get into our stretch and then use movement to find more space within the stretch. For example, when stretching in a pike stretch, we would get into our stretch and then we might move our torso from side to side within the stretch, and also try and move our hips up and down, forward and back, as we stretch. The movements aren’t large or extreme but they change the nature of the stretch, and according to Tsatsouline, will make your stretching more effective.
After listening to the podcast I decided to give this idea a try. When I was at the gym working on my flexibility today, I focused on doing these movements and making space in both my pike stretch and when working on my calf muscles. Swaying my upper body back and forth is something that I’ve naturally done when stretching, but finding extra movement in my hips was something new to me. Focusing on both today really made a difference in my stretch and allowed me to go farther than I would have been able to otherwise. It was an easy thing to do and well worth giving a try next time you’re working your flexibility.
If you want to get more in depth here is the link to the full interview: WARNING there is some profanity.