Flexibility Assessment

I know that one of my HUGE issues is flexibility, I don’t think I’ve ever really been “flexible”, and until I got educated about physical fitness, didn’t really put much thought into it.

Until I started hurting…

I’m sure that I’m like many of you, I would commonly hear “stretch before you ___” or “make sure you stretch after you ___”,  but for the most part, I would pass because I’m trying to get on with my day.

I WAS SO WRONG!

First: Stiff & Short Muscles and Joints with Restricted Movement DON’T WORK WELL

Tight muscles can cause pain and imbalances in the body. When a muscle isn’t working properly, another muscle make take over it’s function. Chicken or Egg: the muscle in pain may not be the origin of the problem.

Tight muscles can restrict movement, which increase your risk of injury or impact your ability to do daily activities. Problems with shoulder flexibility? How does it feel to reach for items on a high shelf? I can tell that my left ankle issues impacted my ability to step certain ways when I was on my South Dakota hike, stressing my left knee and hip more because they needed to pick up the slack.

Tight muscles can restrict blood flow. Proper blood flow is important for recovery after activity. Or maybe a hint to the answer of: It’s Thursday, why am I still so sore from Mondays workout?

Second: Flexibility Naturally Decreases with Age

Certain parts of my body feel 20 years older than others…I guess it’s celebrating birthdays without me and this is the hangover? Not Fair!

Third: Flexibility does not always equal Stretching

I will do more detailed posts on specific Stretching, Flexibility and Mobility activities, but here are a couple of Flexibility Assessments that I did recently:

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Finding my Limits

One of the best things to come out of my hike in South Dakota is a real test of my hiking training program.

Unfortunately the Chicago area is very limited for hills, and stair training can only do so much – so now I’m adding additional exercises to improve my functional strength, stability and mobility in three areas of limitations:

Ankles, Hips and Wrists!

Ankle and Hip limitations are almost self-explanatory – just look at this terrain:

SoDakUp2

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Lions and Tigers and Stairs, oh my!

I’m using Stairs to train for hiking because of the severe lack of hills where I live, that and the loathing I have for stair machines…

My intent is to work my way up to 1,000 feet in elevation change over the 10 weeks of the program, all in a single session…

This means roughly 100 floors climbed for 1,000 feet in elevation change.

This is a small portion of my workout program for strength, endurance & flexibility- all with the goal of increasing my running speed & hiking endurance.

Stair Workout W2

These workouts will include a variety of movements, check out the video to see me in action!

Why am I using different methods for stair climbing, wouldn’t you like to know?

Comment to find out!