I don’t know about you, but I want to lift heavy shit, be lean and also be able to bend my spine in half.  So yes, I WANT IT ALL.

No really I want to do this

No really I want to do this

 

this not so much....LOL

this not so much….LOL

Flexibility is defined as the range of motion possible around a joint.  So basically your flexibility level is specific to each joint and the muscles that surround that joint.  Tight muscles around a joint limit its range of motion and then BOOM you can get injured-NO BUENO.

I always found it funny that everything you read describes factors that cause you to lose flexibility as, inactivity, weak muscles, and muscle imbalances.  Well for those of us that lift NONE of those describe us.  The way I see it we should all be contortionists by now.  I almost feel like the stronger I have become the TIGHTER and MORE INFLEXIBLE my body as gotten (especially my hamstrings).  Even as my back has increased in strength my back bending ability has diminished.

I’m going to have an AL Bundy moment here and tell you that back in High School, I could fall into the splits, right, left and center splits without even a warm-up.  It was quite impressive if I say so myself.  You can chalk it up to age, but I truly believe had I kept up with stretching I could still be impressive today.  That being said I have made it a habit to stretch and try to regain my former contortionist abilities. Aside from lack of stretching and old age there are factors that can limit your ability to be a circus act, that are out of your control such as:

  • Bony and connective tissue structure  (sorry you can’t change what you’re born with-I know it’s sad)
  • Quality of connective tissues:  your ligaments, fascial sheaths etc. (so basically some people are born with more elastic fibers in their ligaments and are therefore more “naturally” flexible-I secretly HATE these people!

But just because you’re not born a freak doesn’t mean you don’t stretch and try to improve your flexibility a bit.  I mean who wants to get to the point where they can’t bend over and pick something up off the floor for fear of their spine or hamstrings retaliating!?

OMG my hamstrings r SO SO SO TIGHT. Why isn't my chest on my thighs??

OMG my hamstrings r SO SO SO TIGHT. Why isn’t my chest on my thighs??

I can ALMOST reach my ankles!

I can ALMOST reach my ankles!

Clearly my spine health is better than my hamstring health-maybe that’s why my squat is lagging?!?! Here’s to staying bendy and running off with the circus freaks!