Last week I saw my daughter was stretching her hip flexors in the living room. I noticed the “traditional” way she was doing it and suggested an upgrade.
“Do you want to learn how to take that stretch to the next level?” I asked.
“I do,” she replied.
“Great. Follow me.”
My daughter and I went outside to the area where I have a 10′ x 10′ mat as well as many other agility props. I demonstrated how to place the front of your foot, ankle and calf on the wall while the other leg is posted on the ground for balance. Within seconds my back was against the wall.
“Now let’s see where you are with this stretch,” I said, guiding her into position.
She got her leg into position and quickly found out that this stretch is no joke. Her hip flexors rebelled. Her back was a good two feet away from the wall.
“Do you think you can put your back up against the wall the way I did?” I asked.
“NO!” she exclaimed.
“Good. That’s what I want to hear. Now focus on your breathing. Inhale and exhale into and out of the tight spots and let’s see what happens.”
A minute later, after she closed the gap about a foot, I had her switch legs. She found herself stuck once again.
“Same as what I told you earlier,” I relayed. “Relax and breathe. Let you body move when it tells you it wants to go further.”
During round two of this same exercise, my daughter was six inches away from the wall. Round three brought her a bit closer.
“Within a few days I think you’ll be touching the wall the way you saw me demonstrate, but we’ll see how it goes,” I remarked.
For the next three nights, my daughter and I got together to work on this stretch. Each night she got a bit closer but still no cigar.
During the third evening it looked as though she would need another day or two to hit the standard. I went inside to grab something and when I returned, was shocked to see her back against the wall.
“You did it!” I proclaimed. “That’s awesome. Both sides or just this one?”
“I did it on both sides,” she said, smiling.
“Great. Let me see.”
She switched sides and achieved the standard on the opposite side.
“Good going,” I remarked. “That’s the way to work. That’s the way to focus. That’s the way to breathe and let your body do what it is capable of doing.”
The truth is my daughter doubled her flexibility in this stretch the first night. She went from two feet away from the standard to less than a foot away.
Going the “last mile” wasn’t as quick as the first, but let me tell you, it was worth it in the end.
When your hip flexors are flexible, you stand taller, you walk softly, you feel energized as you take each step.
Want some of that for your entire body?
Then proceed with my Combat Stretching program, as it delivers the goods.