Improving my mobility improved my life, and it can do the same for yours!
It amplified my energy and led to me saying yes to more adventures on more days of the week. But, I know that sometimes starting is hard. The fear of not being able to do enough to make an actual change can stop you from starting. And if you're an active skier, biker, or runner, knowing that you could be spending time doing your sport of choice instead of mobilizing can make it hard to commit time.
I am going to share with you three secrets to skyrocket your mobility in less time!
Secret #1: Stretching Time is Far Less Than You Think
Secret one is the amount of time you need to put in to improve your flexibility.
Does it take 30 minutes of time per week to improve flexibility? Does it take 60 minutes?
To improve a specific muscle group, you only need 10 minutes per week of time under tension or active time stretching.
In order to get the best effects, spread that 10 minutes out.
Think of your body as a teenager that you need to convince to clean their room. You might have to tell them a couple of times before they actually go and make a change.
If you'd like to make your hamstrings more flexible, stretch them two minutes at a time for five sessions throughout the week. Try tying this stretch to something you already do, maybe to when you brush your teeth or as you're grinding your coffee in the morning.
Once you've started this habit, you're only six weeks away from having that mobility changed forever. And once you've made the improvement, it takes way less time to maintain that physical change than it did to initially make it.
Secret #2: Moving In the New Range of Motion
You can spend hours stretching out your hamstrings and not get a mobility increase in your knees or hips.
The truth is, mobility is strength through a range of motion around each joint.
To increase your mobility and to lock in the changes that you've made with stretching, you need to move actively through the new range of motion that you've made.
Let's go back to our hamstrings example. After you finish stretching out your hamstrings, doing some Romanian deadlifts are going to help you neurally code that new range of motion.
My calves were notoriously tight after spending years in ski boots without doing anything to maintain my ankle range of motion and trying to just stretch them didn't work.
The huge breakthrough for me came when I stretched and then actively used all the muscles surrounding my calves through their new range of motion.
Secret #3: Mobility and Brain/Body Communication
Secret three is the reason why these two stretching hacks that I'm about to tell you work so well for helping you increase your mobility.
The first hack is PNF stretching, which is the idea that a muscle relaxes more fully after it's been contracting.
If you're in a quad stretch, you could push the back of your ankle into your hand for 5 seconds to use those quad muscles before relaxing and letting that stretch deepen.
The second hack is called reciprocal inhibition. All it means is that when you're using one muscle, your body is making the other muscle relax so that this muscle can contract more fully.
We can use this for stretching by contracting the antagonist of the muscle we're trying to stretch. Back to the hamstring example, you could get yourself into the start of a hamstring stretch and then actively use your quad to straighten the leg and relax it to get a deeper stretch through the hamstrings.
The reason both of these tricks work is because stretching isn't just about muscle length, it's also about how much neural input or how much our brain is telling a muscle to contract.
You can get a better idea of what I'm talking about in this mobility video!
What I do EVERY DAY
Check out this video where I talk about the three movements I won't go a day without doing.
Let me know how these secrets worked for you and if you want more support getting more mobile. We have an online 30 Day Mobility Challenge that you can do that will help you set the habit of mobility, every day.
Talk with you all soon and have a WILDR day!