I was not born flexible AT ALL!! I really wish my mom had stretched my tight ol' hamstrings when I was a baby...thinking it would have been helpful. But sadly, she didn't (no offense mama if you're reading this) soooo it's up to me to work at it if I want it! It has been a constant challenge for me to gain the flexibility I have. I always envied those flexi peeps--until I realized, hmm I can do this too. I will share with you the three things that have helped me get the splits so you can find your flexibility too!
Daily stretching is key. Even though each day is so different, sometimes you can do more than other days. Also, the time of day might make a difference too. Is your body too stiff from just waking up? Give it a few to relax and ease into your day, try stretching a little later in the day after your body is a bit warmer. Studies show we are actually more flexible at night, don't let that steer you away from stretch earlier in the day, just more of something to keep in mind.
Allow time to dedicate during your workouts or at home. Barre classes certainly help but stretching is one of the most important parts of my workouts. I make sure there is always time to stretch afterwards. I personally like the feeling of stretching when my muscles are warm and in a room that is warmer too is a plus. Taking a few minutes (15 or more is awesome) to feel the stretches, allow yourself time to relax in each stretch and feel the work happening.
Patience, patience, patience is so important! If you feel yourself getting frustrated, take a moment and reset. Try to do something else while stretching if you feel that your patience is wearing thin. For instance, put on your fave tv show and sit in the straddle splits (shown above), inching forward to eventually place your palms, then forearms on the floor in front of you. Or read a book, play with your kiddos while holding a stretch.
Here is a guide below to 4 basic stretches I do to help me gain more flexibility in my hamstrings and hips. Let me know what you think! Thanks for reading...