Getting older, wiser, and much less flexible?
As we get older, we lose muscle mass and flexibility. Have you ever woken up, lifted something, or moved in a way that used to be easy and all of a sudden… you realize your body’s not as forgiving as those childhood years.
This morning I woke up with a sort of stiffness that slightly impairs function. My body feels crotchety. Tightness in my lower back, pains in my neck, sore shoulders. Descending the stairs, I heard small cracks coming from my knees.
the snap, crackle, and pop of age…
Um, no. I know I’m getting older, I can accept aging gracefully. But I know there are things I can do each day to counteract this lifestyle that is causing this loss of flexibility and elasticity in my joints and ligaments.
It’s not just because we are getting older, people, stop blaming age. It’s how we live. If you are not proactive, you will slowly lose mobility, range of motion, and balance (speaking from personal experience). For example, this man who has more range of motion in his chest, ankles, and Achilles than most people half his age (thanks to The Happy Body for the pics).
GOOD NEWS. there is something you can do about it.
5 flexibility hacks for beginners
1. HYDRATE – I poured myself a big ol’ glass of water with lemon. Like, 24 ounces within an hour of waking up.
2. STRETCH – I did about 10 minutes of stretching, incorporating yoga poses to help the areas I felt most tense (standing side stretches, standing cat/cows, forward bends, backbends, and a few malasanas (really low squats to open up the hips). Stretching can decrease risk of injury and increase your performance at the same time.
3. SELF MYOFACIAL RELEASE – Foam roll, tennis/lacross/golf balls – spent about 10 minutes on my back this morning with the lacross ball working out some knots in between my shoulder blades, and I’ve scheduled some time to roll out my (focusing on the IT band and legs), do some pec and glute ball exercises
4. EXERCISE – For me, Sunday is a mobility/stretching day. Like this 10-15 minute yoga video….
This was my first time filming yoga videos. Can you tell that I’m nervous?
This is a 13 minute beginner level yoga video with a focus on core. It’s important NOT to skip past the beginning and end (I always try to skip straight to the actual workout, which starts at about 2:00 minutes). Getting your mind right and bringing your awareness inside your body will benefit you more than skipping the 2 minutes.
If you are a beginner, drop to your knees in the planks. It is easy to do planks wrong, and I would rather you work on tightening your core throughout the chaturanga. Don’t forget to breathe. Breathing is so important.
I know the core section isn’t fun, but power through it and it goes by quickly. If your wrists hurt, go on your forearms. If they are tough, skip the knee to fore head and just work on the transition from downward dog to plank.
Start where you are at, as comparison is the killer of joy.
- Hamstrings & Calves
- Lower Back Stretching and Strengthening
- Hip openers
- CORE!! CORE!!
- Arms & Back (Plank, Downward Dog)
- Mountain Pose
- Forward Fold –
- Downward Dog (Inverted V)
- Tripod Downward Dog
- Warrior 1
- Warrior 2
If you are more advanced, do this video at your own pace. Watch it twice, maybe speeding up the pace the second time, or adding an extra vinyasa or two. Make it your own.