Stretching

As I wrote in my first post, one of my intentions for this blog is to share information about health & fitness. For me that includes opening the mind, body, and spirit. I open spirit through meditation, spending quiet time in nature, and connecting with people. I open my mind by reading and inquiring within. I open body through yoga (something that I’m only a beginner at), stretching and using RAD Rollers.

There have been times in my life when I occasionally stretched, then, like many things, I moved away from it. But I’ve learned that it is helpful with keeping the body feeling alive, relaxed, vigorous. Flexibility allows us to move the body with correct, efficient and healthy biomechanics (the movement or structure of living organisms). Perhaps this realisation arises because I’m now in my 5th decade in this life and there are so many changes happening inside.

I’ll preface my description of the photos below by saying that while flexibility can be helpful in daily movement and athletics, over-flexibility can be just as detrimental as lack of flexibility. The required range of movement in the joints need only be as much as is required for your needs. So, if the muscles are too tight or too loose then there’s a high risk of moving with poor biomechanics.

Now, you know that area on the side of your hip just below the hip bone? (BTW, that portion of your hip is called the Anterior inferior iliac spine.) In the group of muscles in the afore mentioned area there are the Gluteus minimus, medius, and maximus as well as the Tensor fascia latae. These are muscles that can get really tight causing poor gait (your manner of walking, running, cycling).

Today I discovered that by using a band to pull my thigh bone (Femur) back and to the side, while at the same time stretching my upper body in the opposite direction, those muscles get a lovely stretch. I keep stress off the knee by keeping my lower leg vertical and rotating my left hip open, as if I’m trying to turn the left part of my lower stomach towards the sky, which as you can is clearly not possible in that position.

After this stretch I find that I need to stretch the back of my thigh (the Hamstring muscles). I straighten the legs, allow the band to pull my Femur backwards, and lift my toes off the floor. BUT I’m careful to stretch only to the point of feeling a ***very*** slight stretch. Muscles protect themselves from tension by first giving in to a tug, but if that stretch becomes too much they pull themselves together to resist being pulled apart. We’re looking for the first part where the muscles are invited to lengthen. We want to avoid forcing them too far. …Hmm sounds just like how we humans work in general, eh?

I hope this makes sense to you. Please always feel free to contact me with questions.

balance & peace,
/howie