Becoming more flexible can help you become better at whatever sport you participate in because your body is able to move through larger motions. For example; if you needed to take a long step to be able to reach and intercept a ball in lacrosse you would need flexible legs; or if you wanted to be able to easily complete front/back walkovers or handsprings you need a flexible back to be able to arch and complete the skill properly. The more fluently and effortlessly your body can move through large motions, the easier and faster you can move around and the best part is, you can do it without risking getting hurt because your body gets used to being able to bend so much so when you need to take a large step or arch your back a lot, it won’t be a major shock to your body!
Try this challenge at home every day and within only a week you should see a noticeable difference in how flexible you are! Make sure to try your hardest to do your stretches correctly because incorrect stretching places your body under stress in the wrong places and can result in injuries or cause you to move the wrong way while trying to complete actual sports skills. Most importantly make sure you hold your stretches without wiggling or coming in and out so that your body can maintain the stretch you give it – think of your muscles like springs on a trampoline; if you take a hard jump on the trampoline the springs stretch out to bring you down but then they quickly close back up and spring you upwards; BUT what if you left your trampoline outside in the winter and a lot of wet, heavy snow sat on top of it all winter long; next spring when you go to jump on it you will see it doesn’t bounce you up so quickly – why is that? It is because all that pressure stayed on the springs for so long that they got used to being stretched out and then when the pressure came off they didn’t close back up so much – they got more flexible!
1) Sit in a pike with your feet together, toes pointed down, and legs straight & reach forwards grabbing your ankles or as low as your can get and use your arms to pull your body down to your legs. Make sure to keep your knees straight and your head down – HOLD FOR 60 SECONDS
2) Sit in a pike with your feet together, feet flexed against a wall, and legs straight & reach forwards grabbing your ankles or as low as your can get and use your arms to pull your body down to your legs. Make sure to keep your knees straight and your head down – HOLD FOR 60 SECONDS
3) Sit in a straddle with your legs apart, toes pointed and legs straight and arms up above head – bring your right arm down towards your belly button and reach over to your right leg with your left arm which remains up by your head. Try and pull with your left arm to bring your head down to your knee or in front of your knee to the floor. HOLD FOR 30 SECONDS and repeat the same but opposite on the left side
4) Sit in a straddle with your legs apart, toes pointed and legs straight and arms up above head and reach down to the middle trying to bring your belly button flat to the floor. HOLD FOR 60 SECONDS
5) Go in a kneeling position on both legs and straighten your right leg out in front of you. Bend your front knee placing your hands on top of your knee and pushing your back hip down towards the floor until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip on your leg that is behind you. Make sure to sit up straight and arch backwards slightly – HOLD FOR 30 SECONDS
6) Followed immediately by step 5, straighten your right leg and reach down towards your right foot with both hands trying to put your belly button on your right leg. Make sure to keep your right leg completely straight – HOLD FOR 30 SECONDS
7) Placing one hand on either side of your front leg slide into a right leg split as low as you can while still keeping your front leg straight and your back knee cap directly on the floor (don’t let it stick out to the side) – HOLD FOR 60 SECONDS
-REPEAT STEPS 5,6,& 7 ON THE LEFT LEG
8) Go in a kneeling position with your legs together placing both hands directly in front of you. Stick one foot directly out to the side in a straight line with your hip followed by the opposite foot directly out to the other side while keeping a completely straight line front foot-to hips-to foot. If you have space you can do the directly in front of a wall – start facing away from the wall and when you put your feet out to either side keep your heels against the wall as well as your bottom and then you will know your body is in a straight line for your middle split. If you can get your hips low to the ground try lowering yourself on to your elbows or sticking your arms straight out to the side so you lay on your belly. HOLD FOR 60 SECONDS
9) Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet together while bending your arms above your head so you place your hands flat on the floor right next to your ears and shoulder with your fingers pointing towards your shoulders. Push your belly button up to the ceiling by straightening your arms and legs at the same time while trying to keep your feet together and keeping your eyes focused on your fingers when you are upside down. Try and push your shoulder backwards over your wrists. HOLD FOR 10 SECONDS 3 TIMES.
This will only take you a little over 10 minutes total! That is all you need to start becoming more flexible each day!!