Are You Strong Enough To Be Flexible?
You may remember an earlier flexibility info piece which illustrated how there are no muscles that run from one leg to the other across your hips.
In fact, there aren’t any tendons or ligaments that do this either – see below:
Therefore, if you can raise one leg up in a position resembling as shown below, then you should be able to do so on both sides to resemble a side split:
However, the reality for most of us paints a different picture – one leg up on a chair in a side split position on one side somehow can’t be mimicked on both sides to turn into a full-blown split.
The answer in the previous piece as to why this happens was revealed to be fear and tension. Your muscles tighten up and resist lengthening because of your previously accustomed positions — e.g. sitting all day or performing limited range of motion modern lifestyle tasks.
These day-to-day common occurrences have caused your nervous system to get comfortable with the norm and select a narrower range of motion as the favourite and seemingly safest length for all your muscles.
Whenever you reach past these self-imposed standards, the stretch reflexes react by reining in your muscles in an attempt to keep things normal and safe within your body.
These self-imposed inhibitions make positions like the side splits quite hard.
You’re battling against in built programs that have become hardwired into you via constant repetition.
However, the ability to relax beyond your ‘software restrictions’ are not the only thing you have to worry about in your quest for deeper stretches like the side split.
The other missing piece you need to concern yourself with is strength!
You need to have enough strength to slide in and out of these positions safely.
How do we know this? If you have you ever tried to slide down into a side split only to start tensing up hard and even shaking through the stretched muscles, then this is one sure sign.
Apart from your nervous system not being used to spreading both legs at the same time, your adductors (muscles of your inner thigh) are likely weak and want no part in the side split either.
Weak and tight adductors tense harder and stop your legs moving sideways earlier than stronger more flexible adductors.
The wider your legs travel apart, the less efficient is your adductors become due to leverage.
The weaker you are in these muscles in extended ranges of motion, the harder they tense up to protect you from sliding your legs further apart.
And how do you overcome weakness? With strength!
There is no better way to acclimatise your body to new ranges of motion than strengthening them.
But how do you overcome your inbuilt nervous system inhibitions and strengthen your adductors and side split positions exactly?
You can spend a whole lot of time experimenting, deep diving into a Google search rabbit hole or simply keep doing the same thing and hoping that your results will get better with a stroke of luck.
OR you can ask an expert directly to find out straight away!
Put this question to myself and my coaches and discover exactly how to strengthen your adductors and start sliding into a deeper side split faster!
Reach out to an experienced Performance Revolution coach and you will not only learn the fast-track to the side split, but also whole body flexibility as well.
No matter what level you’re at, the techniques we will share with you have application across all stages of flexibility.
Send us a message today and we will get your flexibility training working for you instead of against you.
Save yourself a lot of pain, frustration and wasted time & effort – talk to us today and get the flexibility and strength that you need!: