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Michael Wolf

Impossibly inflexible

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Michael Wolf

I would love to try Gymnastics Bodies.  I'll buy Foundation One and Handstand One if it makes sense.  My issue is that I'm impossibly inflexible and always have been.  As a kid in Kindergarten I couldn't sit cross-legged.  As a ten-year-old with baseball dreams I tried for months to learn to squat like a catcher (proper squat with heels on ground) and never got anywhere.  As an adult I religiously did yoga for a couple of years and improved precisely zero.  I've had two different personal trainers over the years tell me that the only clients they had who were less flexible had metal parts in them!  

 

If this program requires people in the second percentile of flexibility or better to achieve results, well, I'm in the first percentile.  I feel like a dyslexic entering a speed-reading program.

 

Yet, I know that for me it's probably more important than for everybody else to maintain and improve my mobility and strength, to the limited extent possible, so that I'm not stooped over at age 80.  But I'm already 53 and I'm not stooped, though I not surprisingly also have some lower back degeneration -- not a ton but I'm not on a good course the way I"m going.

 

SO, anybody have any experience with this or any thoughts of whether this program is either perfect for me or just out of my league?

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Murray Truelove

I know where you're coming from. Though I'm only 27, I hope that some of what I say helps.

My flexibility has been similar to what you describe (squatting/sitting cross legged). I did karate for 3 years, over this time my flexibility improved precisely zero, my kicks never even reached hip height.

I've probably read most of the material out there (Pavel, Kurz, Fury, and Swenson, to name a few). I've spent years frustrated trying to find something... anything... that worked.

Finally, for the first time I'm making progress. Sometimes it's slow and it's always hard work but it's still progress. I attribute this to Coach Sommers Foundation/Handstand series and Kit Laughlin. I can't recommend them both highly enough, the integrated mobility work in F1/H1 is exceptional.

That's my £0.02 anyways. Best of luck to you.

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Michael Wolf

Thanks Murray.  My fear, based on past experience, was that even the most basic stretch or exercise would be unrealistic for my flexibility, and I wouldn't know where to start.  If you couldn't kick above your waist and you're still finding value, then it sounds like this may be valuable for me.  I'm not afraid to work hard, if that's what it takes.

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Douglas Wadle

Well if you're too worried to try, you won't ever make any progress  ;) .  Remember, a lot of flexibility is in the mind, so start working your foundation mobility, but also stop telling yourself you are not flexible.  You need to start believing you're flexibile.  As kooky as that sounds, it is actually quite true.  The stiffest people, when under anesthesia become very flexible.  You need to train your nervous system as much as your muscles.  The active stretching (ie mobility) aspect of F1 is what makes it so much better than a stretching program.  

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Douglas Wadle

And you need a new name, by the way, as your self esteem is going to remain poor as long as you call yourself  "TheOppositeOfAGymnast"!  Cheers, mate.

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Jonathan Pettit

I can vouch for MT Nordic's claim.  I have met some people in the martial arts who almost take pride in being inflexible.  "I'm the stiffest person I know, and so was my father!  We're a family of immobile rocks."  This becomes a point of identification, almost self-worth, and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

I can also state that much of martial arts and even yoga is more about demonstrating flexibility than creating flexibility.  Most adults make modest gains in hip and hamstring flexibility, but it's common for someone to train for a year or more and still struggle to touch their toes.  This makes sense, because 95% of our 'flexibility' training is to do more kicks.  So if you want to kick higher, you just need to kick a lot until it starts getting higher.  Works great with kids, not with adults.

 

At some point Coach will release a stretch series, which I really look forward to and may be the perfect answer for your situation. 

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Cole Dano

My wife it this type of person as well, and she finds that the type of active mobility work found in the Foundation Courses works best for her.

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Christian Sørlie

Getting esoteric here, but you need a more flexible mind to get a more flexible body. Listen to the advice here and use the forum. That's what it's here for. Alot of people split when the going gets tough, but if you stay you might get the splits instead :-)

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Luka Kopusar

exactly. Dont worry about it. The biggest obstacle is your mind. I also am less flexible, but just in this summer, i feel a lot more limber. I incorporated yoga in the morning. If you look at it, its just stretching, but what i learned later is that, im focused when i stretch. i dont think about the day, yesterday or tomorrow. In those 30-45min, it's just present time, nothing else. And now i really can stretch a little bit further. 

 

I also tried 3-4 programs, but i always rushed and wasn't in a peaceful state.

Be more aware of your mind and breathing, and results will come. (just like in any other part of your life ;)  

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