You see these people who look lean and mean when they’re all dressed up, but beneath their long sleeved shirts and dress pants, they might be flab-city.
Looks and the clothes they are wearing can be deceiving.
Then there are people who look fat on the outside, or from a distance, but you’d better not go toe-to-toe with them because they can haul ass. Beneath their outer layers of flab, is an abundance of functional muscle, bone and sinew.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to fitness is thinking that a person’s outer appearance dictates his or her abilities.
If someone’s body fat percentage is low, we assume that person is flexible, even though reality shows that he’s as stiff as a statue.
If someone is muscular, it’s easy to assume the person is really strong as well as inflexible. Neither may be true.
But flexibility, mobility and strength have far less to do with how your body looks than you might think.
Flexibility, like strength, power, speed and endurance, has a lot to do with what exercises you are doing, what plan you are following and how much time you are investing in it.
I recall the first time I tried to do the front splits. It’s not a pleasant memory. I thought I was going to tear a hamstring.
Similar story holds true with bridging. Thought I was going to break my neck.
At that point, it would have been easy to think that the key to getting looser was to change how my body looks, or to go on a special diet.
But surprise, surprise… the reason I wasn’t flexible in these positions was due to other factors.
Here are three of them:
1. I never trained the stretch, so my brain-body didn’t know what to do.
2. I lacked strength in the direction the muscles were being stretched, which caused a myotatic reflex that held me back.
3. I wasn’t breathing in a way that commanded my nervous system to relax.
The keys to making progress, then, are the opposite of the above.
First, you train the new stretch regularly and you devote a lot of time to it.
Second, you focus on methods that cause the muscles to get stronger as well as more flexible.
Third, you integrate your breathing with each stretch.
The results I got from following the above, amazed me as well as those who watched the transformation take place.
I went from stiff and creaky to limber and slinky.
And I’ve never looked back.
Stretching your body stretches your mind.
Experience how to do it yourself with Combat Stretching.
Here endeth the lesson.
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