Flexibility training isn’t one size fits all. If your training is very one-note, you probably aren’t getting as much out of it as you could be. Our bodies have an incredible ability to adapt. If you train flexibility the same way you were a year ago, you may not be challenging yourself enough to make meaningful change. Remember, what is challenging is individual. For example, you may find end range isometric holds challenging, while others find sustained supported holds more difficult. The point is, you will make the most progress by working on your weaknesses and the aspects of flexibility training you find most challenging.
At the moment, I have a lot of people asking me to train ‘active flexibility’ with them because they feel this is what they need to become more flexible. Yes, ‘active flexibility’ is an integral part of any flexibility training program, but it isn’t everything, and it may not be what you need more of. Different flexibility styles/practices/programs come in and out of vogue. For a while it was Bikram, then everything PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) was the rage. More recently, FRC (Functional Range Conditioning) has re-invigorated end-range isometrics and active joint physiological movements. Now, more practitioners are offering stretch therapies as a solution to improving flexibility.
There is no doubt that these practices/styles/modalities help improve flexibility. Still, none cover all aspects of flexibility (a topic for another day), and you may be missing a key ingredient in your training if you lean too heavily into one.
At AirSpace, we have developed Flexibility Training Principles that influence how we train and coach, focused on getting the best results for every client.
AirSpace Flexibility Training Principles
Consistent, frequent practice
Consistent, frequent practice allows your body to adapt to training requirements, increases your confidence, and reassures your body that the training is normal, and doesn’t pose a threat. Consistent, frequent training gives you more opportunities to experience successful training sessions and develop skills to tolerate discomfort and distress.
Being goal specific is a key difference between flexibility training and Just stretching. Your goal should drive your flexibility training and your training, in support of this goal, needs to be as specific as possible. For example, foam rolling won’t get you a split; stretching your split won’t get you a suspended split, and a suspended split won’t get you an inverted split. You will only achieve what you work towards.
It’s important to listen to your body and make changes to your training accordingly. If training is feeling good, up the intensity. If you are feeling flat, tight and sore, modify. Pushing through has no benefits; it will only increase your sensitivity and prolong your sub-optimal training. This is how injuries happen. Be flexible with both your training and recovery. No training program should be so rigid that it can’t be adapted according to how you are feeling.
It’s human nature to want to train what you enjoy and are good at, rather than what you find challenging or uncomfortable. If you continue to train how you always have, in ways familiar and comfortable to you, any progress will be slower than it needs to be. If you want something different, you must do things differently.
Your body adapts to the demands you place on it if the input is both challenging and consistent. To progress, you need to work on what’s limiting you with intensity. For example, your limiting factor could be; end of range strength, overtraining, neural sensitivity, pain, stretch tolerance, flexibility beliefs, training consistency, or poor recovery ect. While your priority will change as you develop or your goals change, your intention to increase your capacity in areas of weakness by challenging yourself should remain.
AirSpace Flexibility Training Principles Summary
Consistent & frequent practice- Let your body know you have a plan.
Goal specific- Achieve what you work towards.
Responsive- Listen to your body and make changes to your program.
Priority focused- Train your weaknesses.
Adequate loading- Challenge yourself to make a change.
To learn about this in much more detail check out the AirSpace Flexibility Mastery Online Training course
This course is not just about improving flexibility. Instead, it will empower you to take control of your flexibility journey.
This course will help you find your way. Step by step, you will be guided through establishing workable goals, developing skills around active recovery, calming your nervous system and intuitive programming.
You will learn to challenge unhelpful biases and nurture beliefs that will improve your training. You will discover your flexibility priority and how best to schedule your training for optimum results. You will come to understand why these things are essential and how flexibility training works.
The course is six modules that run over a minimum of six weeks. You can take as long as you need to complete this course, and you will always have access to the course content. Workbooks are specially designed to help you implement and personalise the content in a user-friendly way. Quizzes at the end of each module ensure that you understand the implications of the content.
Your coach will review your workbooks and the answers to the quiz and provide feedback to ensure you can individualise and implement the content. Your coach is there to help you get the most out of this course. 1;1 in-person or telephone consults are also available.
To start AirSpace Flexibility Mastery Online Training course now: airspace.vipmembervault.com/products/courses/view