Flexibility of Hips, shoulders, back, spine. I ran the Annual Men’s Flexibility Workout/ Workshop today. Always a pleasure! I always work with the group that turns up so that it is pertinent and personalised.
LEFT: The ‘Before Photo’
However – there are some essentials I cover and these have held true ever since I first started with body-builders way back in Paris, France right up until today. [Today happened to be in Brisbane, Australia]. It holds true because I draw on Anatomically-based stuff, and because – often – men’s bodies have been encultured into tightness through the hips, legs and shoulders due to the sports and activities they have done when young.
The focus today was centred around the lower back and hips, and ‘lifting tall’ through the spine. My group checked out each other’s spines as to the curves, then sat tall to feel the work needed from the core. Then we moved through forward bends and twists using the lifted spine.
Below: The After Photo – Lift the Spine!
As forward bends create tightness through the front of the hips, we put some yogic thigh stretches in, lying back – or lying back supporting the body on an elbow. Did you know that the knee should stay to the floor for protection of the knee joint, but pushing the hip forward works the thigh more?
Moving up to shoulders we actually tied the wrists together behind the back using a strap, and then worked the forward bends with strong hands, pushing from sternum, through the arm and away from the body with hands.
Little tips like working the lower body when twisting – making sure the hips move in the opposite direction to the shoulders, can create a big difference to the body’s flexibility, whether seated or standing.
We finished with some assistance from each other, in dog pose with the partner drawing back and tractioning the spine. That allowed the bloke in dog pose to lengthen and traction the spine – and to pick up the hips and pelvis alignment once again. It’s harder to wrap your head around this when upside down! Ever done that and noticed how much more it works the legs?
Great work guys! Well-earned Savasana [relaxation] at the end. And – a true bunch of gentle men = gentlemen in the way you worked with yourselves and the guys you were giving feedback and tractioning to. GREAT Yoga today :).
Yoga Programs available, and e-courses available if you are not based locally or can’t attend my Brisbane Yoga Studio at Milton. Susan Wanmer – email@example.com or phone [Australia] 0410 570 441.